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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

DIY Hard Tack, Auntie Gaye’s Terrific Healing Skin Salve, Holiday Freebies


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources



Auntie Gaye’s

True healing salve, used for anything and everything skin related.

How to make Auntie Gaye’s awesome healing skin salve

The ingredients below will make about 8 ounces of salve. This amount is easily doubled or even tripled.

1/2 cup Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons
Beeswax Pellets
Rosemary Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Ointment jars (I prefer glass but plastic jars work just fine as well)

Measure the coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and beeswax into a heatproof glass jar or measuring cup. Set in a pan of water on a low simmer until completely melted. You can help things along by giving it a quick stir from time to time with a knife. This may take some time, up to 30 minutes.

While waiting for the oils and beeswax to liquefy, drop the requisite number of oils into the bottom of each jar. Add an equal amount of each oil in accordance with the following table. So, for example, I used 4-ounce mason jars which meant I used 40 drops of each oil in each jar.

Size of Jar in Ounces
Total Drops
Drops of
Each Oil

When the oils are completely melted, remove from heat. I like to give them one last stir with my knife before moving on to the next step.

Carefully pour the warm oil into each jar, leaving some headroom at the top. When all of the jars have been filled, take a stick (I use coffee stirs that I pick up at Starbucks) or a toothpick and gently stir the liquefied salve. Set aside to firm up. Depending on the temperature of your home, this could take up to 12 hours.

Notes:  For those of use that grate your own beeswax, I weighed the beeswax pellets (also called pastilles).  2.5 tablespoons weighed in at 0.8 ounces.  Also, as a reference, a 5 ml bottle of essential oil holds approximately 85 drops whereas a 15 ml bottle holds 250 drops.

Suggested uses

If I put some thought into it, I could come up with 101 uses for this awesome healing salve. Let us leave that for another day. Instead, I will give you my top ten favorite uses.

1.  Skin moisturizer

2.  Anti-itch ointment (darn those no-see-ums!)

3.  Burn cream

4.  Relieve sore, aching joints (arthritis anyone?)

5.  Muscle relaxer

6.  Relief for foot and ankle cramps (rub in nightly before bed no matter what)

7.  Scar preventative

8.  Headache relief (rub into temples and back of neck)

9.   Cuticle cream

10.  As a carrier oil for other essential oils (see below)

Healing skin salve — the perfect carrier oil

Something I have learned over the years is that this awesome skin salve makes a superb carrier oil for other essential oils. The three oils, rosemary, lavender and peppermint, blend well with other oils and seem to make everything work better.

Recently I had an infected earlobe that was red, angry and sore. Did I mention how much it hurt? I added a couple of drops of oregano oil to a dime-sized dab of this salve and rubbed it into my earlobe to fight the inflammation and what appeared to be an infection. The next morning my earlobe was mostly healed. To me, it was a miracle!

Sometimes I add a few drops of Frankincense to my jar of skin salve and use it as a face serum. On other occasions, I have added melaleuca (also known as tea tree) and clove oils to create a potent first aid ointment.

Where the formula originated

At this point, you might be wondering how I came up with the magical formula of rosemary, lavender and peppermint. It started back in the early 90s when my husband was suffering from tendonitis. I found the formula in Valerie Warwood’s book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. Much to our amazement, we found that this synergy of oils resolved his pain. Later, when he had a knee replacement, I mixed these same oils with a bit of sweet almond oil and rubbed them over the scar to promote healing. To this day, the scar is barely visible.

Over the years I have played with many combinations of oils for this or that, but I always came back to this formulation as my go-to solution anything and everything skin related. For that I thank you, Valerie.

A word about essential oils

I prefer essential oils from Spark Naturals, an online company based in Utah. They are not the cheapest nor are they the most expensive, but they have a quality product I trust and some fantastic sales. You can purchase them directly from their website and also on where they have their own branded store.

Another brand of essential oils I have used is NOW Foods. This bargain brand works great in DIY cleaners. Feel free to experiment and always let your nose guide you. If your essential oil smells like paint thinner, return it. Good oils smell nice.

Note: For direct purchases from Spark Naturals, Personal Liberty readers get a 10 percent discount using this link and discount code “gayelevy” at checkout.  I am definitely a “Spark Girl“!

Other resources

The ingredients used in this healing skin salve are readily available locally in stores as well as online. Because of where I live, I find it more convenient to shop online. In the long run, shopping online saves me money because I can research prices and read reviews. But honestly it is a matter of personal choice.

Virgin coconut oil: The coconut oil I used comes from Tropical Traditions, where I purchase this fantastic product in 5-gallon tubs. I kid you not. For smaller quantities, I recommend either the Nutiva brand or the Naterre brand from Spark Naturals that is sold on Amazon with free shipping.

Extra virgin olive oil: I used to use “pure” olive oil to save money but have since learned that there is nothing pure about it. Even Costco has rebranded their pure oil to indicate it is highly refined. Go with EVOO. I get Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Costco because I know it is the real thing and chock-full of healing qualities with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Beeswax: I get my beeswax from Amazon and have never been disappointed. I recommend the yellow beeswax pellets since they have not been treated or bleached to turn them white.

Ointment jars: Over the years I have used both plastic and glass ointment jars. These days, I prefer 4-ounce mason jars coupled with these plastic storage caps that are super handy to have on hand. When I need a smaller amount of salve, or when I want to mix in an additional oil, I will transfer some salve to one a smaller 1/2 ounce or 1-ounce jar that I purchase in bulk for very little money from Amazon.

For someone just getting started, I recommend these inexpensive 2-ounce jars that run about $10 per dozen on Amazon.

Summing it all up

One of the joys of being retired is that I have more time to experiment with new things. But sometimes new is not better. That brings me back to the statement at the beginning of this article where I said I tend to stick with the tried and true. Tried and true is good but always leave room for refinement and improvement. That is the strategic living way of doing things.

Before closing, I ask you to do me a favor and give this awesome healing salve a try. There is a reason I call it “Auntie Gaye’s Awesome Healing Salve.”

Discover the difference it makes when you stop putting chemicals and petroleum-based products on your skin. Using this salve, you will find that skin heals quickly and it will become super moisturized and pleasing to touch. Dryness and itchiness become a thing of the past. Not only that, you will save a ton of money as you finally are able to toss out all of the over-the-counter skin remedies that never really worked in the first place!

— Gaye Levy

This entry was posted in On Your Own


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This is one of the most cost effective long term survival foods that you can make.  Hard Tack-It dates back to ancient Egypt & to Our own Civil War

It just isn’t very carb friendly…

You can make hardtack almost identical to what sailors, troops, and pioneers have been eating (minus the weevils!) by following this simple recipe:

4-5 cups of flour

2 cups of water

3 tsp. of salt

Mix the flour, water and salt together, and make sure the mixture is fairly dry.

Then roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness, and shape it into a rectangle. Cut it into 3×3 inch squares, and poke holes in both sides. Place on an un-greased cookie or baking sheet, and cook for 30 minutes per side at 375˚

As far as cooking goes, your done!

The next step is just to walk away.

You’ll want to let it dry and harden for a few days.

When it has roughly the consistency of a brick, it’s fully cured.

Then simply store it in an airtight container or bucket.

To prepare for eating, soak it in water or milk for about 15 minutes, and then fry in a buttered skillet. You can eat it with cheese, soup or just plain with a dash of salt.

This basic hardtack should keep for years as long as it is kept in an airtight container.


What about you? Got anything interesting to share?

Bruce, the Poor Man, free thinker, social critic & cynic

A Final Note…

License to Kill That Debt

Having student loan debt is
stressful enough.
Knowing the government could pull
your driver’s license if you can’t pay it off?
Way worse. And it’s real: These 20 states can revoke your
licenses if you default on student loans


Our Native American Princess Blesses
This Holiday Weekend!

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How to Survive the War on the Middle Class

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Have a happy, healthy, safe Thanksgiving holiday!



A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production



Larry,Curly,Moe said...

Lots and lots of great goodies-thanks and have great turkey day!

SunnySideUp said...

First here courtesy another reader...really good stuff!