Herbal Remedies for Frostbite and Poor Circulation


Frostbite is painful and leaves the area affected vulnerable due to tissue damage and poor circulation. Keeping the area supple helps prevent further problems. The original “Balm of Gilead” is an ancient moisturizer. Tradition has it being a gift to King Solomon from the Queen of Sheba. Poplar buds are also known by this name. Cayenne pepper, a medicinal plant used by Aztecs, is used for frostbite to repair tissue and increase circulation.

Balm of Gilead

Balm of Gilead in ancient texts is made from the Arabian tree species, Commiphora gileadensis (also known as Commiphora opobalsamum). A more ready supply of “Balm of Gilead”, named so because of its similar properties and usefulness is made from the resin of the North American poplar (Populous candicans). This resin has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and pain relieving properties useful for minor abrasions, burns, dry skin, eczema and frostbite. It is used also to relieve sore muscles and joints.

Materials Needed

  • 50 grams of Balm of Gilead (Poplar Buds)
  • 200 ml of organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 50 mls of beeswax flakes
  • Slow cooker or Stainless steel saucepan
  • Wooden or stainless steel stirring spoon
  • Stainless steel sieve
  • Small amber jars or tins to store salve
  • Safety glasses to protect eyes
  • Hot pads for pan

How to Make Balm of Gilead Salve

  1. Place the Balm of Gilead in a slow cooker or stainless steel saucepan and cover with the organic extra virgin olive oil. The resin is released from the buds on a low heat for about five hours.
  2. Drain the buds away from the oil with a sieve and add 20 percent of beeswax flakes to the volume of oil and melt.
  3. Turn off heat and add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract as a preservative. No added perfume is needed, as popular buds are very fragrant and are often used in potpourri or incense blends.
  4. Pour while still warm into jars or tin. It will then solidify into a salve.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) was used extensively by the Mayan and Aztec. It helps rebuild flesh destroyed or harmed by frostbite, and is good for circulation and is antifungal. It is also used as a rubefacient for lumbago and rheumatic pains. Dosage: Pour a cup of boiling water onto ½ to 1 tsp of Cayenne, infuse for 10 minutes. A tablespoon of this infusion should be mixed with hot water and drunk when needed to improve circulation. To make a salve, take 200 ml organic extra virgin olive oil and add 50 ml of beeswax flakes and melt. Then add 2 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper (this prevents dried herb from burning while the beeswax is melting) and mix together. Turn off heat and add two percentage of the mixture of Peppermint or Lavender essential oil for fragrance. Use Grapefruit seed Extract or Vitamin E as a preservative. Pour while still warm into jars and use as a salve.