Growing herbs — 7 Comments

  1. My dad would crumble a block of tobacco into a melted container of petroleum jelly, let it set up for a week, or three, then remelt it and strain the tobacco. He used this on wasp and bee stings to help draw the poison. When he smoked, he’d just chew the tobacco from one of his cigarettes and put on the stings. Thank goodness, he hasn’t smoked since the early 70’s. I think using lard would do the same thing.

  2. Michelle,

    Balm of Gilead is a variety of poplar or cottonwood tree, often reaching over 100 feet in height at maturity. It grows in most areas of the country and is very similar to cottonwood in appearance. It grows in zone 2 & 3 so is VERY hardy and it is also easy to grow; in fact, around here, in Northern Minnesota, it is almost a “weed tree”. Poplar or cottonwood tree buds can also be used to make this salve, but Balm of Gilead is more fragrant and thought to be more healing. I.e., the name “Balm of Gilead”.


  3. Mandy,

    You can easily melt rendered lard in a double boiler. Yes, it gets hot enough for making your ointment.


  4. Sepp Holzer gives a recipe for Calendula salve in his book Permaculture that is about the same. You heat two handfuls of fresh chopped Calendula in lard, remove from heat, cover, let stand for a day, then warm and strain it. Lard is available in 1 pound blocks in some grocery stores, if you can’t render your own. This year I’m growing Calendula to try making the salve. Calendula is not difficult to find, either plants or seeds, and it should be a bit more hardy and easier to grow than Balm of Gilead.

  5. Where do i get starter seeds/plants for the Gilead? (now where is my Territorial seed catalog…..)
    Love the balm recipe! Esp. if its good for both people and goats.

  6. Jackie,
    Would heating the lard in a double boiler be the same, less chance of scorching, but will it get hot enough?

  7. Thanks for the inspiration! Laying out my garden plan for this year and I’m excited to get a decent variety of herbs mixed in for companion planting.