Arfer: What a great question! Out of curiosity, what is the “shelf life” of the tinctures/salves/gels even oils? Is there a way of storage to get the most out of them? Can some of the things be half made and ready to go, and do the final alchemy when needed? I know my regular first aid kit suffers from not being updated regularly enough and they have dates on them!
AnkeB: Look with tinctures you’ll find that if stored in a dark, cool place they will last years and years. Heat and light make them lose their effectiveness. Also never leave the lid off for long or the alcohol evaporates.
Salves and ointments are best stored in the fridge. You dont want them to melt and reset all the time (especially in QLD heat) The beeswax does act as a preservative so they will keep for a few months.
The best way to get half way is to have the tinctures or infused oils you want to use for your salves already made and stored. Then when you need the salve you heat them up and add a little grated beeswax, upon cooling you have a salve. Takes a minute or two to make and you can tailor make the combination you need at that time.
Infused oils btw keep a very long time as well. hmm, rancidity….I have to check I read something the other day about that……lemme consult one of my books. I’ll get back to you on that…
…I’m back! Rancidity – first of all you’ll be able to tell when your oil has gone rancid by smell and taste. But as a tip for your oil not to go rancid in the first place is to minimise air, heat and light exposure as well as water exposure. That means when you infuse your oil in the first place make sure that your plant material is totally dry. Store in cool location, try coloured glass bottles rather than clear (although I use clear for oils) and keep in the dark, of course.