DIY Pine Resin Salve

You’ve went outside for a snowshoe, found a stand of lodgepole pines and collected a small jar of pine resin – but the question is now, what do you do with it? Pine resin is said to have antibacterial properties, so it is the perfect fit for a basic, do-it-yourself healing salve. While there are other variations of pine resin salves with additional herbal ingredients, this simple resin salve can be used on cuts and scrapes or used as a chest rub if you are feeling congested. A little bit goes a long way, so use sparingly.

DIY Pine Resin Salve. Photo by Raeanne O’Meara.
Photo by Raeanne O’Meara.

How to make pine resin salve

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup pine resin
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp beeswax
  • 2 vitamin E capsules

Before You Begin: If you have ever harvested or worked with pine resin, you will be aware of how sticky it is. When working with pine resin, you may want to use tools and supplies that are dedicated to working with the product, unless you don’t mind the tedious task of cleaning afterwards.

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Method

If the pine resin is in chunks, place inside a baggie and use a hammer to gently crush into smaller pieces, which will allow the resin to melt faster. In a double boiler over medium heat, warm the pine resin and grapeseed oil until both are combined. This may take close to an hour, depending on the resin you are using. If there are a lot of impurities in the pine resin (bits of bark, needles, etc.), strain the resin and oil mixture through cheesecloth before moving on to the next step. Once the resin and oil are melted, add beeswax and heat until it to is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vitamin E (just poke a pin hole in the end of each capsule and squeeze the oil out). Pour into small jars and let sit uncovered until completely cooled down.

Makes approximately one cup of salve.

Note: You can swap out the grapeseed oil for whatever else you may have on hand (extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil, or even rendered fat such as lard or tallow); I prefer grapeseed oil as it odourless and allows the aromatic pine fragrance to be the star of the show.