The Accidental Discovery & Lasting Benefits of Natural Salve
‘Tis the season for traditions, right? After all, everyone associates Christmas with family traditions. Oh the bonding, the shared meaning, it is all about memory making.
We have our fair share of holiday traditions also. But that is not the point of this post. I want to let you in on a small but meaningful family tradition. It centers around my natural salve.
I home-schooled my children. That meant everything became a learning experience. One day, I took my midget terrorists out for a walk. They had been cooped up way too long which led them to sinister plots. That’s exactly why they got their nickname. On our walk, they took great interest in weeds. Their inquiring minds wanted to know every.single.name of the plants they picked. I could barely keep up with their questions.
Understanding Benefits of Natural Salve Began with Curious Children
We did what any home-school family would do, we researched it together. That’s when the true fun began. We learned that weeds aren’t just invasive plants littering the landscape. In fact, one website called them medicinal plants. Who knew that they were anything but ordinary weeds?
Our study changed our lives, the lives of our customers, and even set up a special tradition. This tradition reached through the years and impacted future generations of midget terrorists not yet born.
Milk customers often added to my children’s education. It usually started out with a simple inquiry.
“What are you learning in school,” the customer would ask.
The children answered describing their studies. Next, customers took great pride in sharing their personal knowledge/experience on related topics.
A Native American Customer Encourages Us to Learn the Benefits of Natural Salve.
Such was the case when we began our plant identification study. A customer from a Native American background stopped by for her milk. That’s when she asked the familiar question.
“Hey kids, what are you learning in school?”
She made the study three dimensional by inviting us to gather medicinal herbs with her. The experience included showing the children her cultural customs during the collection.
Her encouragement and our research took us deep into the use of herbs to support health. The children helped create a basic healing salve to complete the unit study. They were required to market the product to our customers. They analyzed the cost of goods. Further, they gathered feedback about the effectiveness of the salve.
Natural Salve Became a Staple on the Farm
Imagine our surprise when customers kept coming back for more. Often websites dismiss the usefulness of these herbs as anecdotal and folklore. The children’s school reports said something different.
My children enjoyed the salve themselves. Every time they got a cut, scrape, or rash, they would reach for it. It was scented with lavender. The children grew up associating lavender scented salves with comfort for their owies.
Eighteen years have passed. My children are all now adults.
I still make salves. They still use them. In fact, I’ve had to hide my stash because they use them so liberally. Now there is a new round of midget terrorists, otherwise known as my grandchildren. You may wonder what they think of the salves created oh so long ago.
The Next Generation of Salve Users Arrive
Sammy and Gabriel love grandma’s salves too. They insist they need salve just like their mommy did when she was a little girl.
A few weeks ago, the children were working on the green house. Sammy, 2, decided he was big enough to use a real hammer. He exchanged his toy hammer for the real deal. His shriek caused me to drop everything and look up. He hammered his own finger accidentally. The next shriek was discernible, barely. It was a request for salve.
I won’t lie, it makes my heart swell with pride. Seeing the joy and comfort the salve brought my children was fulfilling. But to see the next generation also beg for it is icing on the cake.
Natural Salves Nurture, Comfort and Soothe
Salve is such a part of our family tradition and heritage. It communicates all things nurturing, comforting, and soothing.
My children all know how to gather the herbs and make it themselves. I expect my daughter will teach her children how to make salve as well.
In fact, I was listening to her instruct Sammy about the proper application of the salve. I was preoccupied so I missed the reason she refused to give him the salve for an owie. He was crying crocodile tears when I stopped what I was doing.
“Why can’t he have salve? I have plenty,” I explained to my daughter.
It was then that I heard her say to her son.
“No, you may not have salve. Swats are supposed to hurt. You don’t get salve for that kind of owie.”
I glanced around the room to see family members strive to hide the laughter. It was a serious parenting moment that required our support. Still, it was hilarious.
This simple home-school unit study made a huge lasting impact on our family and beyond. In 2020, we took our salves to a new level by adding Jewelweed to our basic formula. We harvest the Jewelweed locally for quality control. The children now prefer the new Sho-Me Salve over our traditional Herbal Salve. Customers responded in kind causing us to sell out before winter. We now work hard to stay ahead of the demand for this popular salve.
New Muscle Balm Now Available
This fall we added one more new salve. As a momma of hard working men, it is not uncommon for them to experience strained muscles. As a result, I formulated a muscle balm for that purpose.
You can find this and other salves in our store. Our salves are made with natural ingredients. However, the Sho-Me Salve requires the use of a preservative due to the high water content in Jewelweed. We chose a preservative that is paraben and formaldehyde free to keep things as natural as possible.
Our salves maybe applied to cuts, scrapes, and insect bites. However, my daughter does not recommend salves to comfort a child who received a swat.
When I see this little face, I am tempted to interfere. But I know I had better support the recommended uses only.