purple dead nettle salve

Easy Purple Dead Nettle Salve

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Springtime on my homestead brings an abundance of vibrant plant life, and among the first to greet the season is the humble yet mighty Purple Dead Nettle. This often overlooked “weed” is a treasure trove of healing properties, and each year, I eagerly await its arrival to craft one of my favorite remedies – a simple, yet effective Purple Dead Nettle salve. The recipe I’m sharing today is for a small batch that can be doubled or tripled depending on your needs. I find that a single 2 ounce tin is enough to last me quite a while.

This salve can be wonderfully soothing for dry, irritated, or chapped skin, and it embodies the simplicity and tradition of folk practices with just 2 (or 3) ingredients.

As a bioregional herbalist, I believe in using the wild plants right outside my door for wellness and healing. I love reviving the folk medicine wisdom of my ancestors, who no doubt relied heavily on local plants for their medicinal needs. This purple dead nettle salve recipe contains just a few simple ingredients and provides a natural option for skincare. Let’s get started.

purple dead nettle salve

Purple Dead Nettle Salve Recipe

This recipe is perfect for beginners, with only a few basic ingredients and equipment needed. 



  • 1.65 oz (47 g) purple dead nettle infused oil (learn how to infuse herbs in oil here)
  • 0.25 oz (7 g) beeswax
  • Optional: 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions for Crafting Your Salve:

  1. Starting the Process: Begin by gathering your equipment and ingredients. 

  2. Combining ingredients: Combine the purple dead nettle infused oil and beeswax in a heatproof jar or container.

  3. Creating a Double Boiler: Next, find a saucepan and fill it with a few inches of water. Place your jar containing the oil and beeswax mixture into the pan. This makeshift double boiler is a gentle way to heat sensitive ingredients, much like warming your hands by a fire, without getting too close to the flames.

  4. Melting the Mixture: Turn your stove to a medium-low setting, allowing the water in the pan to warm up and gently heat the jar’s contents. Watch as the beeswax slowly melts into the oil. Stir occasionally, ensuring the mixture combines smoothly.

  5. Adding Essential Oils: Once the beeswax is fully melted and the mixture is clear and uniform, remove the jar from the heat. This is the perfect time to add a few drops of essential oil if you choose. I often opt for lavender for its calming scent, while tea tree oil is known for its refreshing quality. Whichever you choose, let it be a scent that brings you peace and joy.

  6. Pouring the Salve: With a steady hand, pour the warm, liquid salve into your chosen tin or glass jar. I find this step particularly satisfying, as it’s the moment your efforts start to take shape. 

  7. Letting It Set: Allow the salve to cool and solidify, transforming from liquid to a soothing salve. This waiting period is a good time to reflect on the healing journey you’re facilitating, not just for yourself, but for anyone who might benefit from this salve.

  8. Sealing and Storing: Once the salve has cooled and solidified, gently place the lid on the container. Your Purple Dead Nettle salve is now ready to be stored in a cool, dark place. Don’t forget to label your jar or tin with its contents and the date. When stored properly, your salve should remain potent for up to a year.

A Note of Gratitude

As you complete your purple dead nettle salve, take a moment to hold the finished product in your hands. Feel the weight of it, the solidity, and the promise of healing it holds. 

May this salve be a balm not just for your skin, but for your soul, reminding you of the simple beauty and healing found in nature.

purple dead nettle - purple dead nettle tincture

The Benefits of Purple Dead Nettle for Skincare

Purple Dead Nettle, with its soft, fuzzy leaves and delicate purple flowers, is not just a feast for the eyes but also a lovely addition to your skincare routine. Its traditional use in folk practices highlights its soothing properties, making it a natural choice for irritated skin. Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a day in the garden or the dryness of winter air, this salve can offer a natural, nourishing option for your skin.

Crafting my own herbal preparations, like this Purple Dead Nettle salve, is part of my journey in living a self-sufficient lifestyle and a commitment to understanding and controlling what goes into the products I use. There’s a profound satisfaction in knowing that the salve soothing my skin is born from the earth and is free from the harmful chemicals that often lurk in commercial products.

purple dead nettle - purple dead nettle tea

Basic Purple Dead Nettle Salve

Barbi Gardiner
This salve can be wonderfully soothing for dry, irritated, or chapped skin, and it embodies the simplicity and tradition of folk practices with just 2 (or 3) ingredients.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 tin or jar


  • beeswax
  • lavender or tea tree essential oil
  • heatproof jar, saucepan or double boiler
  • 2 oz. tin or 2 oz. glass jar.


  • 1.65 oz 47 g purple dead nettle infused oil
  • 0.25 oz 7 g beeswax
  • optional – 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil


  • Combine the infused oil and beeswax in a heatproof jar or container.
  • Place the jar down into a saucepan with a few inches of water, forming a double boiler.
  • Heat over medium-low heat until completely melted.
  • Remove from heat and add the lavender essential oil, if using.
  • Pour into a 2-ounce tin or glass jar.
  • Let cool before putting the top on the container.


Store in cool, dark, dry place.
Shelf life is 1 year.
Keyword Dry skin salve, Purple Dead Nettle Salve, salve
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More to Explore

For those interested in delving deeper into the wonders of Purple Dead Nettle and herbalism, I invite you to explore these insightful articles: Wildcrafting Purple Dead Nettle for Food and Medicine and Bioregional Herbalism and 8 Effective Ways To Practice. They are wonderful resources that echo my passion for the natural world and the healing power of plants.

May this simple purple dead nettle salve bring you closer to the wisdom of the earth and the healing it holds. Here’s to a season of growth, healing, and deepening our connection with the natural world.

Grab Your Free Purple Dead Nettle Monograph

purple dead nettle monograph


The Outdoor Apotheca website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

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