Cuts, scrapes, and burns. We all get them … some, more often than others. And for us parents, it sometimes seems we’re dealing with some sort of cut or scrape every single day.
We wash cuts with soap and warm water and run lots of cold water over a burn. Then what? Do you reach for some triple antibiotic ointment? Have you read the ingredients?
I took a quick look at a label of off-brand antibiotic ointment, and … well, I can’t pronounce most of it. The active ingredients include something called “Polymyxin B 5,000 units as polymyxin B sulfate.” Mmmm, okay.
Then the inactive ingredients contain sodium pyruvate – whatever that is – and white petrolatum, a byproduct of crude oil. Not sounding so great, in my humble opinion.
I want to share with you a recipe for a simple, all-natural homemade antibiotic ointment that includes only four ingredients you can easily pronounce. In fact, it’s so safe you could eat the finished product if you want to. (But you won’t want to….)
Some of these ingredients, you probably already have in your kitchen. Some are growing in your backyard. You may need to order a couple, but Amazon can get them to you quickly.
Are you ready? Let’s go….
How to Make Homemade Antibiotic Ointment
The core ingredient of this antibiotic ointment is a wonderful, friendly herb called plantain. This evergreen plant likely grows in your backyard already. Unless you’ve been spraying your yard with chemicals (please tell me you haven’t!) go read this article on wildcrafting plantain, then come back here to make your ointment.
The other ingredients you’ll need are a mild olive oil, tea tree oil, and beeswax. That’s it! No complicated and unpronounceable names and no worry over what you’re rubbing on your skin.
Once you’ve gathered your plantain, brush off any dirt or spider webs … we’re working with nature, after all … and stuff your herb into a clean glass jar.
Pour olive oil over the plantain to cover it. You’ll want about a quarter-inch of oil above the plantain.
Wipe the rim of your jar lid to remove any oil, then screw the lid on tightly.
Now comes the waiting game. Leave your jar of plantain-infusing oil in a dark place for about two weeks. If you remember, shake the jar a couple times a day.
At the end of two weeks, the olive oil will have turned a deep green color as it soaked up the essence of the plantain. Strain the oil through a piece of unbleached muslin or unbleached paper coffee filters. Squeeze as much of the oil as you can out of the plantain leaves.
Measure your plantain-infused oil to see how many ounces you have, so you can determine how much beeswax to add. A 4:1, olive oil to beeswax, ratio is good. So if you have four ounces olive oil, you’ll add an ounce of beeswax. If you have just one ounce of oil, add a quarter-ounce beeswax. (You can use grams instead of ounces if needed.)
In a saucepan over low-medium heat, heat the olive oil and beeswax together until the beeswax has completely melted. Please click here for details on making a homemade herbal salve.
Once the beeswax has melted and you’re happy with the ointment’s consistency, take your mixture off the heat and add tea tree essential oil. Add together the amounts of olive oil and beeswax that you’ve used. For every ounce, add six drops of tea tree oil.
Stir thoroughly and then pour your newly-made salve into the jars. Allow to cool and screw the lids on tightly.
Beeswax is a great preservative, so this salve can be stored in the cabinet. If you prefer, store your extra jars in the refrigerator.
You did it! You made your very own, all-natural homemade antibiotic ointment. Great job! I would love to see a picture of your salve.
This is my go-to ointment for cuts, scrapes, and burns. In our house of boys, we use it several times a week. How will you use yours?
Please remember that any deep, puncture wounds, wounds that are gaping, or severe burns should be seen by your primary healthcare provider.
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Printable Homemade Antibiotic Ointment Recipe
- fresh plantain leaves
- olive oil
- tea tree essential oil
- Fill a clean glass jar with freshly-picked plantain leaves. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the plantain leaves by 1/4-inch.
- Wipe the jar's rim and screw on the lid tightly. Shake well.
- Place the jar in a cool, dark place and allow the leaves to soak for about two weeks. Shake the jar occasionally.
- At the end of two weeks, strain the olive oil. Squeeze as much of the oil as possible out of the plantain leaves.
- Measure the amount of plantain-infused olive oil in either grams or ounces. Measure an amount of beeswax that is 1/4 the amount of olive oil.
- Warm the olive oil and about 3/4 of the beeswax in a saucepan over low-medium heat. When the beeswax has melted, test the salve's consistency and add more beeswax if needed.
- Once the right consistency is achieved, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add together the amounts of olive oil and beeswax that you've used. For each ounce, stir in six drops of tea tree essential oil.
- Pour the finished ointment into prepared clean, glass jars. Allow to cool and screw on lids.
- Store ointment in the cabinet. Apply to minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is intended only for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your healthcare routine.
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