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DIY Skincare,  Flowers & Herbs,  Herbal Remedies,  Natural Health & DIY

How to Make Soothing Chickweed Salve Recipe and Infused Oil 

There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own skin! So read along to learn how to make our soothing homemade chickweed salve recipe. It’s easy to make chickweed infused oil and salve, and requires only a handful of ingredients. (Some of which you may be able to find in your own backyard!) The result is a beautiful, moisturizing, nutrient-rich topical salve that can calm skin irritation of all kinds – including rashes, redness, eczema, bug bites, poison ivy, and more. 

If you’re here because you want to make chickweed salve, chances are you’re already familiar with chickweed itself… But just in case you aren’t, let’s start with a quick background lesson.

What is Chickweed?

Chickweed (stellaria media) is a tender, edible, and nutritious annual herb. It’s often thought of as a “weed”, commonly found growing in the shade in backyards, open fields, and riparian habitats during the cool wet season. Chickweed is originally native to Europe but has been naturalized throughout the United States, Canada, and beyond. Historically, chickweed has been used by Native Americans for centuries in herbal medicine and skincare. 

Learn more about chickweed here, including foraging, cultivation, harvest, and identification tips. 

A wicker basket full of freshly harvest chickweed. It is held aloft in front of a grass meadow underneath large oak trees.
We harvest and dry wild chickweed from our property all winter and spring – stocking up enough to use all year long!

What is Chickweed Salve?

Chickweed salve is a soothing golden-green topical balm made with the chickweed plant, natural oil, and wax (usually beeswax). The first step in making chickweed salve is to soak or infuse dried chickweed in oil, which extracts the beneficial compounds from the plant material into the oil. Then, the infused oil is combined with other ingredients like beeswax to make it more firm and spreadable, creating a salve or balm. 

You can also customize your homemade chickweed salve recipe and add optional ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, other skin-friendly herbs (e.g. calendula, chamomile, rosehips, or lavender), or essential oils to enhance the moisturizing and healing benefits. For example, I often like to soak half chickweed and half calendula in oil to make an extra-rejuvenating salve!

A half gallon mason jar is filled with half with calendula flowers and half chickweed that is infusing in oil. The infused oil will then be used to make chickweed salve.
Infusing sweet almond oil with both dried chickweed and dried calendula

Benefits of Chickweed Salve

Chickweed possesses many therapeutic qualities that make it wonderful for natural skincare and healing! First, it’s loaded with numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants including Vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Chickweed also has potent cooling, drying, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. When combined with moisturizing natural oils and beeswax, this gives chickweed salve the ability to fight skin inflammation, reduce redness, itching, and more. 

What is chickweed salve used for?

Chickweed salve may help soothe irritated skin and conditions including (but not limited to):

  • eczema
  • rashes and hives
  • insect bites
  • psoriasis
  • poison ivy or poison oak
  • acne
  • minor burns and scrapes 
  • sunburn
  • razor burn
  • general itching, redness and swelling

I broke out in hives recently (after pruning some overgrown elderberry bushes – they’re toxic) and our chickweed-calendula Skin Calm Balm provided immediate relief. The hives were gone within 10 minutes!

A metal tin of chickweed salve, the tins lid is resting partially on the bottom part of the tin, revealing the golden salve within. Calendula flowers and chickweed garnish the surrounding area.
Our chickweed-calendula “Skin Calm Balm” is offered seasonally in our shop – along with many other organic skincare salves, face oil, bath salts, and more.

Drying Chickweed

This chickweed salve recipe calls for dried chickweed. Since added moisture (water) can cause mold and spoilage, it’s important to use 100% dry herbs in infused oil and salve – especially when using the slow cold oil infusion method like we do in this recipe. Remember, oil and water don’t mix! 

Thankfully, chickweed dries very quickly. If yours isn’t yet dry, simply lay out the fresh chickweed on an herb drying screen or in a woven basket in a warm, dry, well-ventilated location for several days. Or, pop it in a food dehydrator on the lowest heat setting until fully crispy dry. That’s what we do!

You can also buy certified organic dried chickweed here.

A dehydrator tray full of dried chickweed. A hand is holding up part of the dried plant material for better inspection.
We use our Excalibur dehydrator to dry all sorts of veggies, fruits, flower and herbs – chickweed included! I love that it has low-heat “living foods” and herb settings that retain the medicinal compounds and nutrients as much as possible.

Chickweed Salve Recipe


  • Dried chickweed – enough to loosely fill an 8 oz jar (see infusion notes below).
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) carrier oil of choice. Popular carrier oil options for skincare include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. You can use one, or mix a couple! For the maximum healing benefits, we like to use certified organic cold-pressed oils. Learn more about the pros and cons of 11 carrier oils here.
  • OR 1 cup (8 ounces) of already-infused chickweed oil
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) beeswax pastilles or pellets. Beeswax is the most common type of natural wax used to make chickweed salve. It’s readily available, easy to work with, and creates a perfectly smooth, firm but spreadable salve. Beeswax is also antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and highly moisturizing! See vegan wax options below.
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp organic shea butter, which is highly moisturizing and rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Optional: a few drops of essential oils of choice. Technically, you can safely use up to 100 drops (1 tsp) maximum per cup of carrier oil, though that will result in a very, very strongly-scented salve. I suggest using ¼ to ½ that amount, or less. Lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are all especially soothing for skin irritation (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory). We like to use certified organic essential oils from Plant Therapy.

Supplies Needed

  • A double-boiler or DIY double boiler (e.g. a smaller pot or glass bowl that can rest inside a slightly larger pot). To prevent overheating or denaturing the therapeutic compounds, it’s important to use a double boiler rather than heating your chickweed salve ingredients directly on the stove.
  • Small glass jars or salve tins, for storage. We often use 2-ounce amber glass jars or larger cobalt blue 4-ounce jars for personal use or gifts, and 2-ounce salve tins for easy shipping for our shop.

Yield: This recipe makes just over a cup of finished chickweed salve, or about 8 to 10 ounces (4 or 5 two-ounce containers). Note that I made a double batch in the images shown. There is a scalable, printable recipe at the end of this article.

A white ramekin is full of oil sitting next to a metal measuring cup full of beeswax pastilles and a tablespoon measurement of shea butter. These are the ingredients to make chickweed salve. A fresh sprig of chickweed is splayed out as a garnish.

Vegan wax options for chickweed salve

It’s possible to make chickweed salve with plant-based waxes like soy wax, carnauba wax, or candelilla wax too. However, this may take a little experimentation since they have different textures and therefore may yield different results than beeswax. Soy is an easy 1-1 replacement for beeswax, while you’ll want to use slightly less carnauba or candelilla wax than beeswax since they’re more firm and prone to cracking (e.g. 1 part wax to 6 parts oil, rather than 1:4).

How to Make Chickweed Infused Oil

Before making the salve, first create chickweed infused oil. Fill a clean jar or other container about two-thirds full of dried chickweed (lightly packed). Next, pour over your oil of choice. Use enough to fully cover and submerge the chickweed. Again, this recipe calls for 1 cup of chickweed oil, so use at least a cup of oil or more. 

Add a lid and let the chickweed infuse in the oil in a cool dark location for at least 10 days, or up to several weeks. The longer it infuses, the more potent the oil will become! Once the time is up, strain the chickweed and reserve the oil. I like to set a small cheesecloth-lined strainer on top of a new clean jar or measuring cup, and pour the chickweed oil through. Then I can gather the chickweed in the cheesecloth to squeeze out any remaining oil. See photos below.

If you’d like to use a quick heated oil infusion method and/or use fresh (wet) chickweed instead of letting it passively steep, see this guide for further direction. 

A pint mason jar of infusing green plant material in oil. The surface surrounding the jar contains a bunch of dried plant material while a wicker basket behind the jar is full of freshly harvested green plant material.
Soaking dry (not fresh!) chickweed in oil
A four way image collage, the first image shows a jar with a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth resting over the top of it while a jar of infused oil is poured into it from above. The second image shows the jar after the infused oil has been strained, the strainer and cheesecloth now contain the infused plant material that was strained out. The third image shows a hand holding the cheesecloth as one would a tea bag, it has been squeezed to render out any oil that was left within the plant material. The fourth image shows the jar of infused oil, the cheesecloth of plant material is in the background.
Straining the oil after a few weeks of infusing

Instructions to Make Chickweed Salve

  1. Before starting, get your salve tins, glass jars, or other salve storage containers of choice ready and waiting.

  2. Add 1 cup of strained chickweed-infused oil along with 4 level tablespoons of beeswax to the top portion of a double-boiler (or DIY double-boiler, see photo below). Optional: also add 1 tablespoon of shea butter and/or a few drops of vitamin E oil if you choose to use it.

  3. Add enough water to the bottom portion of your double-boiler so that the top bowl or pot is in contact and resting in the water below.

  4. Next, heat the double-boiler over a medium-low heat on the stovetop uncovered (without a lid). Remember, we want to avoid excessively heating the chickweed oil more than what is necessary! Just enough to melt the beeswax.

  5. Monitor and routinely stir the mixture until the beeswax (and shea butter) completely melts. Stir to thoroughly combine, and then remove from the heat immediately thereafter.

  6. Wait to add optional essential oils until after removing the liquid salve from the heat. They’re very volatile and therefore will dissipate quickly when exposed to high heat. Whisk to combine.

  7. While it’s still hot, carefully pour the now-liquid chickweed salve into your chosen storage containers. If it starts to solidify while you’re still filling containers, simply put it back on medium-low heat until it liquifies again.

  8. Finally, allow the chickweed salve to fully cool and harden before adding lids.

  9. Now your homemade chickweed salve is ready to use to soothe and heal your skin! Use either clean fingers or a salve spoon to collect a small amount of salve and apply as needed. A little goes a long way!

Store your salve containers in a cool, dark location. Homemade chickweed salve can “stay good” for several years. However, it’s medicinal potency may decrease with extended time and age. Discard if mold appears.

A stainless steel pot is sitting inside of a large pot to create a double boiler. There is oil, beeswax pastilles, and a glob of shea butter in the top pot.
A makeshift DIY double boiler: a smaller stainless steel pot nestled inside a larger one, with water in the lower pot.
A stainless steel pot is poised over metal tins, pouring melted golden liquid into the tins below.
A honeycomb shaped array of round metal tins of chickweed salve. The salve is a vibrant, yolk colored yellow, fresh chickweed twigs garnish the area around the salves.

And that concludes this lesson on making homemade chickweed salve.

That was pretty easy, right? I hope that this tutorial helps you feel excited and empowered to go make chickweed salve of your own. I also hope it helps your skin feel wonderful! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. If you found this to be useful, please consider leaving a star rating or sharing this post. Thank you so much for tuning in today.

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4.41 from 5 votes

How to Make Homemade Chickweed Salve

Learn how to make soothing chickweed salve with this easy step-by-step tutorial. Chickweed salve can help calm skin irritation and conditions including rashes, eczema, minor burns, insect bites, poison ivy or oak, psoriasis, razor burn, and more!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Cooling Time20 minutes
Keyword: chickweed balm, chickweed oil, chickweed salve
Servings: 10 ounces


  • A double-boiler, or make-shift double boiler (such as a glass pyrex bowl or stainless steel bowl perched on top of a saucepan with water below)
  • Glass storage jars or salve tins


  • 1 cup Chickweed-infused oil (dried chickweed previously soaked in sweet almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or other carrier oil of choice – see infusion instructions in post)
  • 4 tbsp Beeswax pastilles. 4 Tbsp = approximately 1 once if you're using shaved, block, or other forms of beeswax. (vegan option: replace with the same amount of organic soy wax or slightly less candelilla wax)
  • 1 tbsp Shea butter (optional)
  • 20-25 drops Essential oil of choice such as lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus – all great choices for skincare. (Feel free to scale up or down, but the maximum concentration or safe dilution ratio = up to 96 drops EO max per 1 cup oil)


  • Have your chosen salve tins or small glass storage jars ready and waiting.
  • Add 1 cup of strained chickweed-infused oil along with 4 level tablespoons of beeswax to the top portion of a double-boiler (or DIY double-boiler, see photo below). Optional: also add 1 tablespoon of shea butter and/or a few drops of vitamin E oil if you choose to use it.
  • Heat the mixture on the stovetop over medium-low heat (without a lid) and only until the beeswax melts. Stir frequently.
  • As soon as everything melts and is thoroughly combined, remove from heat.
  • Add essential oils once removed from heat. They're highly volatile and prone to dissipating.
  • While it is still hot, carefully pour the liquid salve into your chosen containers. (If it starts to solidify while you’re still filling containers, simply put it back on medium-low heat until it liquifies again.)
  • Set the full chickweed salve containers aside (lids off) and allow them to fully cool.
  • The chickweed salve will harden as it cools, and then it is ready to use. Use either clean fingers or a salve spoon to collect a small amount of salve, and apply to your skin as needed. A little goes a long way!
  • Store your salve containers in a cool, dark location. Homemade chickweed salve can “stay good” for several years. However, it's medicinal potency may decrease with extended time and age. 

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  • Anna

    Hi! I have a question. Can I use ground chickweed instead? I know it might leave some of the weed in the mix but it was the only option I had online as Mountain Rose Herbs.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Anna, absolutely you can use the dried chickweed if that is what is available, your salve will like have a really nice green tint to it, if you use a nut milk bag to strain out the plant material when it has finished infusing, that should take care of a lot of plant material. Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Gayle

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed your information about Chickweed and how to make the salve. I’ve got my oil brewing now and am looking forward to making my salve. Thanks for all the information you share.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Gayle, that’s so great to hear you have some chickweed oil going and will be able to make some salve before you know it. Hope you enjoy it and let us know how it turns out for you!

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