Violet Leaf Salve

Violet Leaf Salve

Violets are one of my favorite plants to have in the garden for their beautiful little purple flowers that add a rich contrast to all of the many shades of spring green. Though their beauty can't be overstated, like many plants the flower tends to overshadow the rest of the plant. Not only are all aerial parts of our Early Blue Violet edible, they are also medicinal.

Violet leaves have great nutritional value when eaten, but today I'm focusing on their topical uses. When infused into a carrier oil, violet leaves are great for soothing, moisturizing and toning our skin. This can be helpful for dry skin, sunburns, rashes, insect bites/ stings, varicose veins and more.

Infusing oils at home with herbs grown in the garden is a timeless practice that has been passed down and perfected across generations, and is one of my favorite ways to prepare home herbal remedies. For this preparation we are going to start with dried violet leaves and olive oil. I use a unique method to infuse oils that is a combination of the traditional 'cover the herbs with oil and let sit' and Kami McBride's 48 hour method, and usually have oils that are ready to use in about a week.


  • Dried Violet Leaf
  • Olive Oil, or other carrier oil
  • Beeswax

I use a small digital kitchen scale to weigh out the violet leaves, and use a 1:7 herb:oil ratio. After weighing the herb, I use a coffee grinder that has been set aside for herbs only to grind the violet leaves down to a powder. If you don't have a designated herb grinder THAT'S OK! You can use your hands to crush the herbs down as small as you can get them. Put the crushed/ ground herbs into a wide mouth mason jar and cover with the oil in your 1:7 ratio. At this point, an immersion blender makes the difference of several weeks for infusion time, and there are a couple of options moving forward here.

For my herbal preparations, I use an immersion blender and blend the oil multiple times a day for about two minutes at a time. This really helps to continue breaking down the dried herbs to extract all of the constituents and compounds into the oil, and I have a usable oil in roughly a week's time. The traditional method of storing the jar in a cool, dark place and shaking regularly works well, too. However if you use the traditional method, you'll need to let the oil infuse for 4-6 weeks.

You'll know your oil is ready to use when it has taken on a rich dark green color. Strain the oil through cheesecloth or unbleached muslin fabric to remove all plant material and you have a medicinal oil that is ready to use. At this point it can be used as an oil, combined with other herbal oils, or made into a salve.

To prepare the oil as a salve, we will add beeswax to the oil in a 1:3 to 1:5 beeswax:oil ratio. This is adjustable for how solid you're wanting your salve to be. Using a double boiler (or a bowl set on top of a pot of boiling water) heat the oil just enough to melt the beeswax, stirring regularly. When the beeswax is fully melted, your salve is ready to be poured into containers and left to chill before use. Chilling can be sped up by placing the salve in the fridge or freezer.

And there you have it, a homemade salve to help with myriad skin issues- just in time for spending more time outside in the coming warmer months!