Liniment and Leisure. A Local River Tour!


It is autumn. The aspens in the mountains have turned yellow and are dropping their leaves. Down in the valleys and lower elevations near rivers and arroyos and small villages near where I live… the cottonwoods are throwing out their golden shimmmery hues against blue sky. With all my learning and studying and home apothecary making of tinctures, salves and liniments… I need to also remember what is going on outside. I spend a lot of time outside amist other chores and work responsibilities. But, the special places remind us of the beauty of nature. Also small willow trees grow near arroyos and rivers and I will feature a gallery of the river walk I took today. Images dispersed throughout this post as a parallel post. Nature always surrounds us. And as a creative expression to take a parallel tour.

Here goes…And make an herbal liniment with me too!


Willow near the river


I used Witch Hazel for the base of my healing liniment. To this I added dried herbs: Grindelia, Lavender, Thyme, Chamomile and Lemon Balm leaf.

All of these herbs have healing and/or anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties for the skin. Witch hazel also has many healing properties.

image source

Witch Hazel!


If you have already seen my post about tinctures, then rest assured! Making a liniment is very similar to making a tincture… with one basic difference!

Liniment, liniment… What is a liniment. I felt like I knew what it was but now, with so many herbal terms swimming in my head like: balm, salve, embrocation, percolation, tincture etc…. I needed some clarity. And with that clarity, I can share with you!

Basically, a liniment is like a tincture but is only used on the skin. It is used externally for topical use only. In fact, label your liniment: FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY!


Liniments can heal skin issues such as rashes and dermatitis. Liniments can soothe and heal inflammations, bruises and sprains. Liniments can ease and lessen pain. The proper liniments can soothe a sore throat by applying the liniment to the neck area. Liniments can cool down an area or heat it up. Liniments can work deeply on tendons, nerves, muscles and even bones!


tips and ingredients & Dr. Kloss’ famous liniment!


In this post I will show you how to make a liniment to soothe skin irritations. I am sometimes prone to skin irritations and rashes and thought it would be a good addition to my Home Remedy Kit!

Grindelia herb for skin: is excellent for poison ivy rash, contact dermatitis, eczema, stubborn to heal wounds, fungal infections and other skin irritations.

Grindelia liniment is excellent for rashes.


Please seek informed, appropriate counsel when applying herbal preparations to various wounds and skin conditions as well as for internal use. For instance, in a list I found of Grindelia health benefits, it is listed that Grindelia helps heal bed sores but, what is the proper herbal preparation? Would it be a tea, a tea compress, a salve?… I haven’t found specific treatment methods or I would share it here.

I describe this as a way to show importance of knowing and understanding methods of herbal preparation and treatment for a specific condition.

When using a liniment do not apply to open sores.

It is essential to know the proper dose and/or application and the proper herbal preparation.


Grindelia is a versatile herb. And, when I learned about Grindelia’s beneficial skin properties… I decided that I wanted to make a skin healing liniment. Its beneficial uses for skin led me into researching other skin benefitting herbs which I could add to the liniment.


Grindelia, with a locust seed pod, found draped amidst its stems.

Grindelia is equally known for skin healing properties as it is for healing bronchial and cough issues! And the other herbs, I used to make the liniment, are healing for a variety of internal and external issues as well.

Grindelia and How to Make Tinctures!

A Field Walk and Finding Grindelia!


And how and what to put in your very own Herbal First Aid Kit? Here is a very helpful guide with contraindications and guidance for best use of herbs!

Make Your Own Herbal First Aid Kits! by Susan W. Kramer, Ph.D., Esq.

The first aid kit includes helpful liniments!


Liniments are useful when quick evaporation and penetration of healing effects is needed.

liniments and more!

Adding oily salves to an inflamed area may not be beneficial. Because sometimes an inflamed area does not want more heat. And, oil contains heat and does not typically let the heat dissipate.

*Although lavender oil has reputed benefit to aid in healing of skin abrasions and burns… Know your ailment, therapeutic application and herbal remedies!

Also, oil will tend to spread rashes such as poison ivy, because oil, by nature has a spreading quality.

Liniments can be made in a Rubbing alcohol base. Or I prefer to use Witch Hazel with a maximum, 14% added ingredient of rubbing alcohol.

I’ve also read that vinegar can be used as a liniment base or even vodka, etc.

Liniments are made for a variety of desired effects.


Gattefossé: Lavender Oil heals burns!

According to the above site, René-Maurice Gattefossé discovered the amazing miraculous benefits of lavender oil himself amidst a terrible accident. He worked in a laboratory of a cosmetic firm which his family owned, when a terrible accident caused horrible burns of his hand. The burns turned into rapidly developed, gas gangrene and he was in excruciating pain.


image source this site


He had been studying the healing properties of lavender oil and had good inclination to immerse his hand in the Lavender oil. His burns healed relatively quickly with little scarring and he worked on many burned soldiers during the first World War.

Gattefossé, Father of Aromatherapy.

A key influential book also available in English.

Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles Hormones Végétales.


René-Maurice Gattefossé

image source

how to use Lavender essential oil

Lavender oil not recommended for 3rd degree burns!


lavender and herb liniment


And, now my own, unique herbal liniment!


I really want to start an herbal garden. Along with wildcrafting and buying quality organic herbs like these! Above are some lavender flowers in the palm of my hand.

more about Lavender!

And some lovely chamomile flowers in the jar.

Health and Skin benefits of Chamomile


I started off with 1/3 of a jar of cut lemon balm leaf. (More about my measurements later!…oops)

Lemon balm, bug repellant and anti-oxidant rich!


Some chopped Grindelia I had wildcrafted


And some Thyme

Health and Skin Benefits of Thyme

So my recipe really soaked up all the witch hazel. I used a pint sized jar. 16 ounces of Witch hazel. I left an inch and 1/2 from the top but all the dried herbs just soaked up the Witch Hazel.
So I would leave more room next time.


I followed some basic guidelines though the blend of herbs was my idea. I have a tendency to overfill my jars although, I also learned that dry herbs can soak up a lot!

I used 1/3 of a pint volume of Lemon balm leaf.
Then added equal parts of Thyme, Lavender flowers and Chamomile. Then 3 Tbsp coarsely chopped Grindelia.

It is a thick mixture and the menstruum: the Witch Hazel does… cover herbs completely. But it’s thick!
I used up all the witch hazel. Next time I would use less dry herb overall. I will keep you posted. I am going to give the liniment 2 weeks to cure. I am flipping it twice a day since it is so thick and to diminish any oxidation effects by chance herb being exposed to air. Which the gap is minute, but still… to be careful.


I will strain it with cheesecloth and squeeze and wring out the healing liniment. Pictures soon to follow when the liniment is done. Meanwhile waiting for the magic, I am hoping! To happen 🙂 also see my post on making tinctures to get good ideas on using phases of the moon in making herbal preparations or check here!

Lunar Based Preparations


Stir it up! I added too much dry plant material and had to scoop some out! This is a thick mixture so flip it twice and shake it, at least, once a day. Should last several years!


I couldn’t use latin binomials here because my source did not list them on the package! Something to consider when buying herbs. But this is for my own use so it is okay for me. All the herbs are organic.



I also made a Brandy tincture using all the herbs except Grindelia. (Lavender, Lemon balm leaf, Thyme & Chamomile)

And now I also have a favorite hot tea blend using: Lavender, Thyme, Lemon Balm leaf and Chamomile in equal amounts. It felt both restorative and calming. Health enhancing and yummy. I added a bit of raw honey while it steeped. Yumm!

The tea as well as the tincture promotes a calm and happy mood. Lemon balm is known as the merry heart herb. All four of these herbs benefit mood and ease anxiety. Chamomile is also a gentle cleanser for the liver.


I’ve really enjoyed using these herbs in tincture, herbal infusion and in a liniment. Showing that herbs have, sometimes, many benefitting uses both external and internal. Not all do, but some surely, as in this case do.

Lavender essential oil has some definite caution for internal use however!


herbal terminology


The tea!



And let the music in your life be merry. Whatever gives you joy, makes you happy to sing along, hum a tune, play along or want to dance to!
Thankyou for joining me in this Liniment making Merriness and Best Wishes on Your Journey!


About wildlettucegal

certified plant lover 😀

Posted on October 23, 2014, in healing herb, healing salves, Herbal Preparations, Herbal Tinctures, New Mexico Wildcrafting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi Donna! How wonderful to have found your blog! I too am studying herbs! You have so much information to share I have learned so much already.
    I can’t wait for the next post
    Many Blessings

    • Dear Michelle, thankyou so much for visiting the blog! It is so great to connect with a fellow herbal enthusiast. I’d like to stay connected i am sure there is much to share and learn from each other. Thankyou and Many Blessings to You! Donna

  2. HI Donna, this is actually Michelle Walter Smith! I have some elderberry syrup in my fridge I made from fresh elderberries earlier this fall.
    Lots of love and I love your stories and how they connect the herbs to history and uses today,

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