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Herb info 06/2017: Cucumber, oil and salve.

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Herbcard 06.2017: Cucumber. Herbcard 06.2017: Cucumber. Cucumbers are cooling and (water)moistening.

Herbally, they're useful for itches, for sunburnt skin and to cool down those who are much too hot. Apply cucumber slices to the skin for sunburn. For itchiness, an oil or a salve might be better, as an infused oil helps with fat-deprived itches. Other good herbs for itches are various jewelweeds (touch-me-nots) and chickweed.

An infused oil of cucumber

1 cucumber
(calendula or plantago)
500 ml (1 pint) cold-pressed organic oil, for instance olive or sesame

Grate a cucumber and pour the result into a steel bowl. Add the oil. Pour a few centimeters (about an inch) of water into a pan, set the bowl on top of the pan and bring the water to a boil. (That is, make a waterbath). Let simmer for about 1.5 hours.

Strain. You can wring all of the cucumber through a cheesecloth if you like.

Pour the strained oil into a wide-mouth jar and let it sit until it clears. This takes a few days. Carefully pour the oil off the bottom muck, or use a large enough syringe. Pour the bottom muck into a glass and let it clear. This takes a few hours. Again try to get as much of the oil as you can, for instance with a syringe.

A cucumber salve

400 ml strained clear infused cucumber oil
50 g beeswax (preferably organic, without any additives)

Pour the oil into a metal bowl and add the beeswax. Set the bowl on a pan with water (like above) and let the water boil full-out until the beeswax has melted. Pour the result into salve jars or use a syringe. Let cool and set. This takes about 30 minutes. Add lids and labels.

Use the oil or salve for itches and for dry skin.

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