The term salves is simple a generic term used to describe or label any type of cream, lotion or ointment which you would use for skin that is severely dry, cracked, burned or in some other way irritated or damaged. These topical ointments come in all types and choosing the best one for your skin is merely a matter of preference in most cases.
Generally salves that are available on the market contain all natural ingredients such as aloe and other naturally healing herbs to help treat the dry and infected area and promote healing from the inside to the outside.
Salves are most notably used for the treatment of burned, irritated and dry skin and are applied to the outer layer where the area is causing the most discomfort. Natural healing herbs such as aloe, avocado and witch hazel are quite common ingredients. Applying the soothing creams or ointments to the affected areas, usually multiple times per day will quickly rehydrate or moisturize the dry or burned area and help your skin return to its natural, hydrated and healthy state.
In the past few years there have been a series of drawing salves that have come out on the market which have lead to some controversy. Drawing salves and the companies that manufacture it claim that unlike regular ointments, the drawing salves literally draw out infections, poisons, splinters and other ailments that are within the body.
Drawing salves are very popular with the new age or spiritual communities as it is thought the ailments reside or present themselves due to negativity from within or that we react to by way of the universe. Many of these community members believe that skin disorders and ailments are a direct result of spiritual ailments and that for them to be treated properly, those ailments need to be prompted to the surface or are "drawn out" by natural drawing salves.
While many drawing salves include the same ingredients as typical salves, others include natural herbs such as Calendula, Arnica and Echinacea, all of which are thought to have magical healing agents within them. Some also include herbs and agents such as Comfrey Oil which acts as an anti-inflammatory and Bergamot oils because they are rich in vitamin E.
The holistic communities have also claimed that drawing salves have the capacity to draw out tumors beneath the skin as well as can be used to treat spider bites and can counteract venom excreted from a snake bite. Many of the studies and clinical trials have been inconclusive to such claims, but still a large portion of the population reports successful treatment of such ailments using this type of salve.
The ingredients within salves naturally contain oils and fats that help the body to replenish lost moisture as well as soothe irritated skin or burned skin and cells. The second job of the salves is to continue to protect delicate skin from harsh weather conditions such as brisk cold which can cause chaffing and chapping and the sun's RV rays that can cause irritation and burns.
Salves are safe to use on skin as well as can be applied to the lip area. Salves that contain aloe are great for burns because aloe has a natural cooling agent within it which feels amazing on hot and burned skin. Calendula often contains anti-inflammatory agents as well as natural pain relievers within it, which also makes it a popular choice for salves.
Many salves are created and referred to as organic salves. This type of salve contains active ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil known to have antibacterial and antifungal agents, Lavender which has antiseptic properties in it and aloe for its cooling agents.
For a salve to be labeled as organic is must have natural and home grown organic herbs only within the ingredients. One such salve which has increased in popularity is called Black Salve. It's popularity rests in the claims that it can naturally burn skin ruptures such as moles, skin tags and cysts as well as other anomalies. Black salves all contain an herb called Bloodroot which is naturally harvested and is very strong. It is recommended that if you wish to use Black Salves that you do so under the care of a physician or herbologist because of the intensity of it.
Other uses for salves also include treatment for bronchitis and sinusitis. By placing a little dab under the nose or rubbing it on the chest the natural ingredients act as a vapor which can clear passageways making breathing easier as well as being able to break up phlegm thereby also unblocking airways.
Because organic salves use home grown and all natural ingredients they are often a little more costly than regular over the counter salves. There are also books and information available on the Internet for recipes on how to make your own natural and organic salves if you are so inclined.