One of the healthiest vegetables to add to your diet, cabbage is a member of the Brassica family, which also includes our friends broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. Cabbage has many superpowers. When cabbage is taken internally as a raw juice, cabbage is known to be a fountain of youth for the skin with loads of vitamin C and antioxidants. Cabbage also assists in detoxifying the body which results in weight loss. This recipe combines the healing properties of cabbage and aloe vera to make a spectacular anti-inflammatory skin salve. Cabbage contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound with strong anti-inflammatory abilities when applied to skin. This brings in our succulent superstar, Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera, an aloe from the broad Liliaceae family, is most well-known for being able to fight some of the most common inflammation, the sunburn. Aloe is also known for soothing acne scars and blemishes. Combining these two powerful plants together, we will create a fabulous healing salve to soothe inflammation, burns, rashes or common redness on the skin.
- ½ cup beeswax pastilles (add more beeswax to make the salve thicker)
- Double boiler- a pot filled ¼ with water and a metal bowl to put inside the pot so the herbs down burn
- 2 cups finely chopped small red or white cabbage (most cabbage salves are made of red cabbage)
- 3 tbsp fresh aloe vera leaf gel
- Cutting board
- Knife (I use a small sharp knife and a french herb chopper)
- 2 cups of hard coconut oil (softened should be about 1 cup)
- 1 8oz wide mouth mason jar
1. Infuse Your Oil
Depending on time, you can do a cold infusion or hot oil infusion. This recipe will give directions for a hot infusion. To start, melt the coconut oil using a double boiler method.
While the coconut oil is melting, cut your medium cabbage into inch-thick size slices and cut one section very finely. It should be about two cups of cabbage.
Place the cabbage into the melted coconut oil.
Cover, and heat in a double boiler at low heat for at least 4-5 hours. Check every 45 minutes to an hour to make sure there is still water in the pot so the cabbage does not burn. If needed, add more water.
2. Strain the Cabbage
Turn off the stove. Use a cheesecloth or panty hose to filter out your cabbage from your oil.
Let cool and then squeeze all of the excess oil out of the cabbage in a measuring cup. Purple liquid should come out and sink to the bottom, separating with the oil.
Pour cabbage infused coconut oil into a measuring cup, doing your best to avoid the water based purple juice, back into your bowl you used doing the double boiler method. You should have one cup of infused oil. Discard the purple water.
3. Prepare the Aloe Vera
Wash your aloe vera leaf in the sink thoroughly. Be careful because it is prickly! Cut the top 5 inches off your leaf and the bottom 4 inches off your leaf. Cut off the prickly sides too. Cut the aloe like you are fileting a fish, cut off the top layer of the leaf, and put the knife under the gel to get the gel filet out.
Once the aloe has been extracted, mash with a potato masher in a small bowl. You don’t need more than 2-3 tablespoons of aloe- you can save the rest in the fridge to eat or use later.
4. Add beeswax
Next, we turn back on the double boiler and add beeswax at our leisure. Usually salves do a 1:4 ratio beeswax to oil. For this I did 1 cup of beeswax pastilles which is a ½ ratio. If you want the salve to be harder, like a balm, add more beeswax. If you want the salve to be softer, with more oil, add less beeswax. I prefer my salves softer, so usually I pour some of my solution into a spoon and let sit to test if the consistency is right. Keep the temperature low and play around. Stir the oil and the beeswax together and let the mixture cool down a bit by taking it off heat. Then add in the aloe vera and stir until dissolved.
5. Add to Jar
When you have found the right consistency with oil and beeswax, pour into a clean jar.
Allow the salve to harden and cool.
6. Use Away!
Keep your salve in a cool location, and cure your inflammation with this fabulous cabbage and aloe vera salve that we have made today! Keep for no longer than one year. Keep in mind, this salve does smell strongly of cabbage, but it has an INSTANT soothing effect. You can put the salve on anywhere externally, but please do a skin test before to see how your skin reacts, especially on your face.
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