How to Make Pine Resin Salve

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Pine resin is the sticky substance secreted by pine trees when they get damaged. This response protects the tree in many ways. Firstly the resin has antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These properties prevent the tree from becoming infected and encourage healing. The stickiness allows the resin to act as a natural adhesive staying put on the wound site. It also serves as a sealant preventing both moisture loss and damage from burrowing insects.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

Each of these qualities has led to a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. And it is still harvested commercially in many parts of the world. There are many different evergreen trees that you can collect resin from, with Pines, Spruce and Firs all being good candidates. As with all foraging, it is essential to ensure that you have correctly identified the tree before collecting. Please note that some of our native evergreen trees here in the UK are toxic (Yew for example).

Collecting pine resin is a sticky process. I would advise wearing old clothes and using a container that you keep for the purpose. Pine resin is oil rather than water soluble, so rubbing some oil into your hands before washing should help with removal.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

 

How to Make Pine Resin Salve

Add an equal amount of oil to the resin you have collected. We used Almond, but Olive Oil works just as well. We ended up with roughly half a cup each of resin and oil.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

Pine resin is extremely flammable so it should be melted into the oil gently using a double boiler. Our double boiler consisted of glass bowl and saucepan containing barely simmering water. Please note the glass bowl should sit above the water and be heated by the resulting steam not touch the water itself.

Simmer very gently until the resin melts. Ours took a good hour to dissolve.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

 

Strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of muslin and return to the double boiler.

For every cup of resin/oil mixture, add 1/4 cup of grated beeswax. Gently heat while stirring until the wax has melted, then pour the melted balm into small containers and allow to cool.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

Although I have titled this as pine resin salve, we did collect our resin from many trees and used a mix of both pine and fir. Our resulting ointment has a lovely fragrance and should make a fab addition to our bushcraft first aid kit for use on sore and irritated skin.

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

As a bonus, pine resin salve can also be used as a fire starter smeared on cotton wool, or as an emergency candle with a makeshift wick due to it’s flammable properties.

For more traditional nature craft inspiration check out our Making Dye for Lichen and our How to Make Oak Gall Ink Posts.

 

 

Pine Resin has a long history of use by man for everything from medicine to construction. Here we show you how to make a soothing pine resin salve for the skin.

 

 

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8 comments

Tanya October 5, 2019 - 11:48 am

Can you use jojoba oil instead?

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders October 5, 2019 - 12:18 pm

Hi Tanya I think Jojoba oil would work beautifully in this balm 🙂

Reply
Maximilian Pichler August 4, 2019 - 11:27 am

This is just amazing. The ink, the salve and dye is an impressive example that we would be able to do a lot of things more naturally and maybe even on our own. Keep on !

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders September 4, 2019 - 8:22 am

Thanks for the lovely feedback Maximillian 🙂

Reply
deborah weymouth April 28, 2019 - 9:33 am

This looks great Sarah. I plan to make some of this but would like a vegan version. Would coconut oil be a good alternative do you think?
Debbie

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders April 28, 2019 - 10:04 am

Thank you Deborah. I think that you could use coconut oil but you’d need to use it to replace the almond oil (or at least most of it) rather than the beeswax because I think both oils together would stay too liquid. If you want a salve that is stable enough to leave in the bottom of your bag without it melting I’d try Candelilla wax as a replacement for the beeswax. Please come back and let me know how your version works out, whatever you do try 🙂

Reply
Michelle Leslie March 7, 2018 - 5:19 am

I bet this works like a charm Sarah, and it must smell so lovely and fresh. I’d love to give this a try with some of our indigenous plants here in South Africa. I wonder if out Marula tree would work? It’s worth looking into and experimenting a little or even our aloes.

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders May 2, 2018 - 10:06 am

It’s a lovely smell Michelle. I don’t know the Manula Tree so off to google it now!

Reply