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Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Cover

Homemade Anti-Inflammatory Golden Salve

Controlling inflammation is a major component in managing some ailments and diseases. Inflammation causes both mild and severe knock-on effects ranging from an annoying discomfort to serious complications.

There is an abundance of research on the causes of inflammation which has resulted in a better understanding of the pathways to reduce inflammation in the body. Finding alternatives to non-steroidal topical creams has led researchers to a number of effective herbal sources which include turmeric, which, as you will read below, easily turns into a DIY anti-inflammatory golden salve.

Turmeric Medicinal Properties

The medicinal properties of turmeric are well documented, particularly the ability to reduce inflammation with practically no side effects. When used topically, it has a number of other well-researched benefits, including;

  • Being a strong anti-oxidant
  • Conditioning the skin
  • Minimizing the risk of cancer
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Cleansing the skin as an effective anti-microbial

Most research points to the compound curcumin as the main reason for turmeric’s medicinal properties. Luckily, extracting curcumin out of turmeric is relatively quick and easy since curcumin is readily soluble in oil. This makes it an ideal candidate for infusing into an oil to be made into a golden salve to treat inflammation. Otherwise, you can purchase turmeric essential oil.

Grow Your Own Turmeric

In milder climates, turmeric is easy to grow and the roots can be harvested at any time of year, sliced, dried, and ground into a powder to use in your own golden salve. In colder climates, turmeric can be grown as an annual by digging the roots up once the leaves have died back in the fall.

Carrier Oil

Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Ingredients

As always, choosing a carrier oil can be as easy as reaching for the olive oil from the kitchen cupboard, but consider blending olive oil with high absorption oils such as soybean oil. This will increase the penetration of the golden salve deeper into the skin and potentially closer to the source of inflammation.


This recipe calls for only 3 ingredients, but there are a couple of optional ingredients that can also be added:

  • 5 teaspoons of dried turmeric powder (or 10 drops of turmeric essential oil)
  • 6 tablespoons of carrier oil (either olive oil or a mixture of different plant-based oils)
  • 2 oz (6 g) of beeswax

Mix the turmeric and carrier oil in a jar and sit it in a pot of warm water (maximum 100 °F) for 1 – 2 hours.Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Step 2

Since curcumin readily dissolves in oil, it doesn’t require a long infusion period like other herbs. The oil should be stirred every 10 – 15 minutes.Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Step 3

Once the infused oil is ready, allow it to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes so that all of the solids settle to the bottom of the jar, as shown in the photo below.Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Step 4

This infused oil can be carefully decanted or poured into a clean jar while leaving the solids behind. You should be able to almost fill a 2 oz (50 ml) cosmetics jar with the infused oil, plus have a little leftover infused oil with the solids for your next curry night.Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Step 5

Place the jar of turmeric-infused oil back in the pot of warm water and add the beeswax. Stir until it has all melted then test the consistency with a cold teaspoon from the fridge.Homemade Anti-inflammatory Golden Salve - Step 6

When satisfied, remove it from the warm water to cool (if you are using an essential oil, then this is the time to add it). I find turmeric salves are more prone to forming a crust on top so be sure to allow it to cool slowly.


The bright orange color of turmeric produces a golden salve that feels warm when massaged into your skin.

It can be massaged into your skin as often as required, but unfortunately, topical use of turmeric has one negative side effect; it stains everything. That vibrant, golden color stains clothes at the same time as giving your skin a healthy glow! I massage it in after showering and after about an hour most of the salve has been absorbed, but perhaps don’t wear anything white afterward.

Shelf – Life

Since this is a water-free product it will last for a year. If you choose to substitute the olive oil for soybean, flax, corn, or sunflower oil then this may decrease the shelf-life to 6 – 8 months.

You may also like:

50 Health Benefits of Turmeric

The Unnoticed Symptom That May Point to an Internal Inflammation (Video)

DIY Colon Detox with Ingredients You Have in Your Kitchen Right Now

Turmeric Lemonade

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Would coconut oil work with the olive oil or is it too solid at room temperature?

I’m asking the same…coconut oil. There are two types too…one is solid at a room temperature and the other is processed to be liquid all the time. I hope we get an answer from this articles writer.

Yes, this recipe is perfectly suited to using fractionated coconut oil which, like many of the oils specified in the recipe, remains liquid at room temperature. It’s the beeswax that will firm the salve to the right consistency.

I would absolutely NEVER use Soy anything (scientifically Proven to cause breast cancer in men and women) nor corn oil. Sunflower oil is healthy as, of course is olive oil. Coconut oil is amazingly healthful! I am an herbalist and a retired nurse so I am telling you facts about All soy bean products….
I will never understand why this site continued to promote the use of any cancer causing item!🤔

Can you use the spice tumeric?

where does one purchase beeswax?

this sounds great!
Have you ever used Emu oil as a carrier oil? I have used it just plain as it is, as it is powerful anti-inflammatory and has a high transdermal rate, so you dont feel greasy after. Im thinking this should work. but wondered if I needed some olive oil too for any reason… Also can I pour the oil/turmeric mixture thru a double cheese cloth or coffee filter..?
How long would you leave the oil/turmeric to soak in total? Thanks !! Love your books by the way!

Would you also need black pepper in the turmeric infused oil to help the the curcumin to be absorbed into the body and used properly? Or is that only necessary when ingesting it?

Hello Peta ~
Please correct your ratios of beeswax to infused oil and repost. I made this recipe as listed and it makes a rock.

Hi DJ,

Thank you for your feedback. We really appreciate it. We will definitely forward this to the author.

As a general rule, making salves is all about simple proportions–the ratio of oil to wax.
– 4 parts oil to 1 part wax yields a firm salve.
– 6 parts oil to 1 part wax makes a soft salve

If you want to repair a too-hard salve, just reheat it and add more oil as needed.

Many blessings and good health!

Yes. Hence, the ratio should be 6 tablespoons carrier oil to 1 tablespoon beeswax—not 2 oz!—for a nice soft salve. Or 2 tablespoons beeswax for a firmer salve. By correcting the recipe with 4 to 6 parts carrier oil, the ratio of turmeric powder must be increased. I corrected everything, but I have enough turmeric powder salve to last a lifetime! No problem,,,I have clients who are happy to purchase, but I hoped the ratios would be corrected for anyone else attempting this recipe. Regardless, thank you for a fabulous and informative blog.

Where can I buy turmeric plants?

Hi Rhonda,

Turmeric plants can be found from commercial sources via a quick online search, however, we recommend sourcing from local growers if available.

Many blessings and good health!

Unless you want them taking over, I recommend planting in a pot or one of those styrene “broccoli boxes”. Same for ginger – if in open ground they will also take over

I love this article. Thank you. I never thought of using turmeric this way!

Enjoyed the sunflower recipe and also turmeric salve. Glad for correction on beeswax. Thank you.

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