Updated: Aug 20, 2021
You see it all over the place, but do you know how truly magical this stuff really is??
This week we were especially lucky to find a few different types of resin! We found some Pine resin, and Spruce resin. We love to have resin in our home, we use it for a few different things like tea, and incense, and salves. To find resin, you just need to find some trees. Look around, In Canada we are blessed with so many types and species! To tell the difference between spruce and pine, just take a look at the needles and the cones. Pine trees have hard woody cones, while spruce has soft and flexible cones. The needles on a pine tree come in clusters of 2 or 3, and on a spruce tree, the needles are attached to the branch individually. Spruce needles are square and hard, and roll on your fingers easily. Pine needles are long and soft, and fir tree needles are flat.
The picture above is one of our newest herbal tea blends in the making, the top right shows the spruce branch, the bottom right shows the pine branch and the top left shows cedar. Unfortunately i do not have any fir to show you. But as you can see, the branches are all quite different from each other, which makes it quite easy to spot what type of conifer you are looking at!
If you have access to some quality resin from any of these trees, you can make your very own salve. The salve is an important tool for your medicine cabinet, resin is produced by trees to help protect and heal itself when there is damage done by humans, animals or storms. The tree with start to release the sap and after exposure to the air, the sap will turn to a hard resin. Some traditional uses for this resin are things like chewing gum, plastered in hair, used as glue, burned in torches, used for incense, and used to waterproof canoes and woven baskets.
The resin may have antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti- inflammatory properties. It may be used to help with sore throats, coughs, respiratory issues, lung problems. It may be helpful for many types of skin conditions, like cuts, bites, rashes, sores, boils, burns, itchiness, sun burns and infections. The needles are rich in vitamin A and C and can help as an effective cough syrup.
To make a salve, there are a few different ways. I will share with you my way. If you have any tips , or ideas, or another way that you can share i would love to hear from you in the comments below! I am not sure how much salve you will be making, small batch or large batch, but do not worry so much about exact measurements. let your imagination run wild when making magic in the kitchen! This salve can be altered or tweaked to your own personal liking and preference.
Conifer Tree Healing Salve
1 cup resin ( add more for higher potency)
2 to 3 cups natural beeswax
4 cups carrier oil ( i use olive oil)
On the stove, on a very low simmer, place your tree resin in the pot, and allow to slowly melt down. You may add a tiny bit of water, maybe a tablespoon to help it along. Once your resin is fully melted down into a liquid, you can add in your oil. Slowly simmer the oil to infuse it with the resin. You can leave it on a low simmer for a few hours, stirring regularly. When the mixture has fully infused to your liking, it is now time to strain out the debris. When using raw product like conifer resins, there will be a few pieces or wood, sticks and needles in with your mixture. Place a cheese cloth over a bowl, get someone to help you if possible. Pour the mixture into the cheese cloth and twist the cloth closed, allowing the liquid to pour down into the bowl. This part is tricky, as the mixture is hot so be very careful! The longer you take, the cooler your mixture gets, and becomes more difficult to strain out.
When your liquid is in the bowl, all that should be left in the cheese cloth should be wood pieces. Throw this into the compost bin.
Now get your liquid back into a pot, and put on a low simmer.MMMMMmmmmmm this should be smelling amazing right now!! Add in the desired amount of beeswax. If you like a softer salve, then add in less, if you like a harder salve then add in a bit more. I added extra to mine.
Allow your beeswax to slowly melt into your mixture. Stir is well, and once it has fully melted, you are ready to pour your homemade salve right into a small mason jar, or individual tins. (Amazon or Michael's sells them.)
Let your mixture set in your preferred container for 24 hours and your all done!
You can add things to your salve, like essential oils, but conifer resin has its own strong essential oils in it that you wont need to add anything at all. The smell on its own is just amazing already! A few tips for your salve making endeavor, is to only use pots and pans that you really dont care about. Once resin gets on anything, it is very hard to get it off! For your hands, resin will come off your finger tips if you rub your skin with oil. Water doesn't do a damn thing! Rub your skin with oil, add a bit of soap and rinse off. It took me a long time to figure out this little trick trust me!
Well, I hope that my recipe and blog has really helped someone out to make their own amazing resin salve! Tell me what you think in the comments, did you try this recipe? How did it turn out ? I would love to know !
***PLEASE MAKE SURE TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, and always make sure to check with your doctor before choosing herbal teas or natural remedies, as some herbs or remedies may not work for all people and may react to certain medications.
This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is not intended to represent or replace professional medical advice. Please be aware of any herbal allergies you may have prior to consumption. These products have not been approved by Health Canada***