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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Woundwort Ointment

For as long as I can remember everybody in the bushcraft field has been saying that the 4 principles of survival are Fire, Food, Shelter and Water, but they are missing a fundamental and probably very important 5th principle..Medicine..
It's only a matter of time till you get hurt or sick in one way or another and being able to rectify this with a natural medicine is an essential part of bushcraft knowledge, an easy remedy for cuts, grazes and minor skin problems is Woundwort ointment.
find some woundwort just before it flowers and pick a few stalks,(if you can handle the aroma!)
you will also need beeswax and a carrier oil like coconut, almond or as I like to use, extra virgin olive oil
coarsely crush the woundwort with a pestle and mortar
put the crushed plant in a stainless steel bowl over a water boiler ( bain marie) and cover with your carrier oil, and heat the oil gently! This is a critical step, the oil must be heated gently over a period of an hour or two, too hot and you'll end up with deep fried vegetables!!!
strain the oil through coarse linen or muslin
if you've done it right the oil should have turned a beautiful deep translucent oilve green colour, then add 1 part beeswax to 10 parts oil and heat gently until the beeswax melts.
once all the wax has melted pour the ointment into a warm jar and allow to cool
once cooled this ointment or balm can be used like germoline or an antiseptic cream, it works very well to stop bleeding and heal the cut or graze as well as soothe the skin.
One last very important point, make sure the wound is completely clean before applying as it heals so quickly you can seal in dirt or debris under the skin!

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