How To Make an Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve

Homemade Herbal

Kids. They get cuts, scrapes, and scratches. Most of the time these little “boo-boos” are no big deal, but if your kids are anything like mine, a little herbal salve and a fun bandaid can make anything all better.

Now, not all salves are created equal. Salves can serve different purposes depending upon the herbs used in them. When it comes to these little boo-boos my kids get, I always use our homemade herbal “neosporin” salve. This salve is full of herbs known for their antibacterial properties, and it makes a great fix for these little “major” events that kids can experience from time to time. Today I’d like to show you how you can make it yourself!

Homemade Herbal “Neosporin” Coconut Oil Salve

The first step in making any salve with herbs is to infuse the herbs into your choice of oil. For this salve I’ve used coconut oil because it has its own antiseptic properties already.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

The herbs I’ve chosen are fresh garlic cloves, dried olive leaf, dried plantain leaf, and dried chamomile flowers. Garlic and olive leaf are great antibacterials, plantain is an astringent herb which means it tightens tissues, and chamomile is very soothing with its anti-inflammatory properties. All of these things are beneficial for minor cuts, scraps, and bug bites.

Follow the steps below to infuse your herbs into your oil.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

  1. Place desired amount of herbs into a glass jar no more than 1/3 of the way full. You can use equal parts of herbs or vary them. I used 1 TBSP of each herb.
  2. Pour melted coconut oil over herbs until oil is 1 inch from the top of your jar. Place lid on jar and shake well to mix herbs and oil together.

Now that your herbs and oil are together, they will begin to infuse. You can place your jar in a cabinet to sit for 2-4 weeks, giving it a good shake each day, or you can take the quick route like I do and use your crockpot. Here’s how to do that.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

  1. Place a cloth in the bottom of your crockpot and place your jar on top of it. This is a must. If you skip the cloth your jar will get too hot and break.
  2. Add water to crockpot, filling it up to 1 inch from the top of the jar and turn crockpot on low.
  3. Allow the water to heat up. The heat helps the oil to penetrate the herbs which helps to draw the properties out of the herbs and into your oil. Be sure to give your oil a good shake 1-2 times a day.
  4. After 3 days, you’re oil is finished infusing. It should now look like a brownish-green color instead of clear.

At this point, you need to strain the herbs out of your oil.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

  1. Gather a fine stainless steel sieve and some thin fabric like unbleached cotton or an old clean t-shirt. Lay your sieve over a clean saucepan and place the fabric over the sieve.
  2. Pour your warm oil into the fabric slowly. The oil will leak through the cloth leaving your herbs behind. Gather up your fabric into a pouch and squeeze the herbs really tight to get as much of the oil out.

You can also use a paper towel to strain your herbs into a measuring cup with like I did. Just make sure you have a sieve under it because your paper towel will break.

Once your oil is strained, you’re half way there. The rest is super easy. At this point you’re going to turn your herbal infused oil into a salve.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

  1. First prepare a double boiler. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy… it can be as simple as a pan of boiling water and your measuring cup hung over the side using it’s handle. All that matters is that your beeswax melts into your oil without the oil boiling.
  2. Next add in your beeswax. You’ll need 1 oz. of beeswax for every cup of herbal oil you have. Most times, unless I’m making large batches, I just guesstimate. I add in some of my beeswax pastilles, let them melt, and then check it for hardness which brings us to the next step.
  3. To check your salve for hardness, take a spoon and dip it into your beeswax/oil mixture then let a few drops fall on the counter next to you. Give it 3-5 minute to cool and then touch it with your finger to see how hard it is. If it’s too soft, add a bit more beeswax and try again. If it’s too hard, add in a bit more coconut oil to your herbal oil and check it again to see if that helped. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to salves. Some like them easy to get out while other people like them hard so they aren’t runny when they get warm. The choice is yours.

Homemade Herbal "Neosporin" Coconut Oil Salve | GrowingUpHerbal.com | A DIY "Neosporin" like salve for all your kids cuts, scratches, and scrapes!

Lastly, after you’ve got your oil to beeswax measurements correct, pour your salve up into a glass jar or tin and let it sit for several hours to harden before you label and store it.

And there you have it. A “neosporin” coconut oil salve that you made yourself for 1/3 of the price you could have bought it for!

Let me just say that a salve is to be used for minor cuts and scraps only and is not meant to be used on deep wounds. This is because the wax in the salve can seal off the wound decreasing the amount of oxygen that can get into the wound. This can lead to bacteria growing inside the wound under the surface of the salve. Deeper wounds need to be treated differently.

What do you do when your kids get cuts, scrapes, and bug bites? Do you have a “neosporin” type natural remedy that you use? Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below! I love hearing from you!

Post Mistakes

It’s come to my attention by a concerned reader that I’ve made two mistakes in this post.

First of all, I failed to use correct grammar at one point in this post. I used “you’re” when I should have used “your”. My apologies. I’m busy… sometimes things slip through the cracks… I did not major in English… I make lots of grammar errors… and I use these three little dots way too often than I should… but I really like them… and I really like exclamation points too!!!

My second mistake was that I’ve used “poor judgement” by calling this an herbal “neosporin” coconut oil salve… implying that this “simple salve” is compared to the OTC Neosporin ointment you can buy in most stores. My poor judgement is due to the fact that Neosporin contains the antibiotic Neomycin (correct spelling) in order to give it its antibacterial properties and my salve does not contain this drug, therefore I shouldn’t have used the term “neosporin”. Okay, well… to each his own. The reason I used the term “neosporin” is because parents typically use that product to prevent simple cuts and scrapes from becoming infected, and this is my herbal version of it… without the actual antibiotic drug.

As always, I appreciate the concern of my readers, and I recognize my own short-comings much of the time. I’ll be sure to add these little “Post Mistakes” to the end of posts when readers bring up their concerns to me… because I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea on important issues like these above.

  1. Renee says:

    Wishing I had some now since my youngest just got a cut on his head! I was wondering, where do you get your bees wax?

  2. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for all your interesting posts. I am enjoying your blog!

  3. Stephanie @ Naturally Mindful says:

    Meagan this recipe sounds awesome! Pinning it so I can make it later!

  4. Amber says:

    Wow! Love this tutorial. Sharing 🙂

  5. jj says:

    How long will this keep?

    • Meagan says:

      Good question JJ… I’ve had mine a LONG time. At least a year, but I keep it clean when applying it. I’d say depending upon how you store it (cool place, away from heat, keep it clean when using it) it will last you a good year or two.

  6. Ginny says:

    where can one get plantain??? or olive leafs? health food store and if they don,t carry it where else

  7. josh stevens says:

    May i suggest taking the inner cover of your jar out and putting your cotton filter over the jar , next replace your outer ring on the jar and over the filter. imo this is easier than a mesh strainer you simply pour your oil off and the medicinal herbs remain in the jar. then unscrew the ring empty herbs into your filter and squeeze the goodness out..

    • Meagan says:

      I LOVE this idea Josh, but let me ask you a question. Does it take a long time for the herbs and oil to drain? I could see this working really well with a tincture, but my oil takes a while to drain out of my herbs. Maybe if I propped the jar up somehow. Anyway, I’m impatient so I just squeeze it out, but I really like this idea!

  8. Kalonni Tiffany says:

    This is not very well described. Neosporin has a drug in it called Neomycyn, which many people are allergic to. To say “neosporin” as though that describes a simple salve is poor judgement on the part of the author… Also, please consider editing your post so that you are using the correct words. You use “you’re” in several places, where the correct spelling should be “your”.

    • Meagan says:

      I’ve responded to your concerns in the “Post Mistakes” in the post above. Thank you Kalonni.

      • Kalonni says:

        I wasn’t meaning to pick on anyone. It’s just that just this afternoon, at an Urgent Care facility, for my husband, the doctor prescribed an ear drop, and when asked SPECIFICALLY about whether it contained Neomycin, he swore that it did not… From prior experience, I know that there has only been one ear drop on the market in recent years that doesn’t contain that drug (which I am also allergic to), I did not believe him, and double checked with the pharmacist. Thankfully, it is not my husband who is allergic, but me, so he can still use it and heal. I just can’t help with administering it. Good thing we have a teenager…

    • Shelli says:

      Wow! Talk about anal. The fact is that it is like a Neosporin salve. Kalonni, what Meagan is saying is that this home remedy is producing the same benefit to a minor cut or scrape as a Neosporin product. I think most people caught that and was more interested in the fact she had that information to share than to correct her spelling.

    • Diane says:

      Are you kidding me! How rude. This women is giving you gold.

  9. Melonie says:

    Thank you so much Meagan for such great information. I stumbled onto you website through Attainable Sustainable’s FB page. This is great. Your site will also become a ‘favorite’.

  10. Dana D says:

    I am excited to try this! Do you suppose it would be okay to use olive leaf extract instead of dried olive leaf? I would add it directly when adding the ingredients to the salve instead of when I am making the infused oil.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Dana… you can totally use olive leaf extract instead of the dried herb. Plus the alcohol will help give it some preservative properties. And you’re right, add it at the end of the whole process… after you infuse the oil and add your melted beeswax to it. Stir it well and pour it into your jar or tin. If it wants to settle down to the bottom (since it’s a liquid and not an oil) just keep stirring it as your salve hardens up. Eventually it will stay dispersed. HTH! Thanks for your comment, and good luck!

    • Leslie says:

      Hello. I came across this salve and i am excited to make it. Im new to herbs and oils so i do have a question. Do you have to use bees wax to make the salve? Will the cocnut oil harden on its own? Thanks for the help.

      • Meagan says:

        Yes, coconut oil will harden on its own, Leslie, but it will also melt really easily as well. If you live in a cooler climate, it shouldn’t be a problem, but I have to add beeswax to mine to keep it at a salve-like consistency. Hope that helps.

  11. May Ford says:

    I didn’t think that would work, but I’d definitely try that the next time I get mosquito bites thanks!

  12. Linda says:

    How long do you leave the jar (hours) in the crockpot? and is it on a high or low heat setting. Thankyou

  13. NancyLee says:

    Garlic is the “super-duper” Neosporin….in fact, I believe it is the generic name for it…..Hehehehehehe……..

    So you just throw those fresh garlic bulbs into the mix? Hmmmm…I like this idea.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Nancy!! I LOVE garlic and all it’s goodness! Too bad it doesn’t have the best smell ever, but honestly, it doesn’t bother me all that much. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Bea says:

    Hi Megan,
    Herbs are not just for moms! 🙂 I have learned a lot of natural ways to soothe certain conditions, i.e. sore throat, stomach pains, UTI’s, etc. from my grandmother. Nowadays, they would probably be referred to as old wife tales. 🙂 Ever tried this awesome method? Boil whole potatoes in water until almost tender. Wrap them in a kitchen towel like a burrito. Slightly squish the potatoes. Careful, very hot steam will be released. Wrap a second cozy towel around that to avoid burns. If it is still too hot, use another or thicker towel. Drape it around the front and sides of your neck like a scarf when you have a sore throat. Sit back and enjoy! It’s cheaper than one of those rice bags you stick in the microwave, and boiled potatoes are an excellent carrier for extended release of moist heat. Also great for back, neck, tummy aches, and chills. You could also put a drop or two of eucalyptus essential oil on the towel. The steam will carry it and ease a stuffy nose.

    A while ago I discovered a great website; http://www.henryhappened.com where I found a recipe for an all natural anti itch spray. I changed up the recipe and ended up with a gel/lotion hybrid. Not only did it stop itching within a few minutes of bug bites and a small patch of eczema on my foot, but for the first time, the eczema actually healed! Never used the prescribed topical steroids I got. I keep it in the fridge. Makes it feel cool and heavenly on irritated skin.
    All natural aloe vera gel without alcohol
    Solid extra virgin, unprocessed coconut oil (I warm it up a bit for a smoother texture. It is not quite as slippery as the liquid and is absorbed faster by the skin)
    Couple of drops of lavender and tea tree oil.
    Mix well, apply with cotton ball. LOVE! ♡
    Had to make a big batch for my mom and a friend. 🙂

  15. Rebecca says:

    I’d be curious to add or sub calendula. My mom always had calendula ointment and we used it almost exclusively instead of neosporin. It worked great, no infections and healed skin really well. Any thoughts? …Actually come to think about it we also used calendula tincture as well (worked well as a gargle for oral issues!).

    • Meagan says:

      Oh yes! Calendula is amazing. It has antiseptic properties so it would be great to put in there too!

      • Rebecca says:

        Good to know! Think I’ll try this. Have a soft spot for Calendula since we used it so much. Remember having chlorine burn our eyes from swim team (if we forgot goggles) and mom would whip out a diluted tincture onto a cotton ball and man it soothed our eyes fast.

        • Meagan says:

          Oh wow! That’s good to know! What a blessing it must have been to have had a mama who used herbs with you growing up!

  16. Susan says:

    Great job and having pictures helps a lot. I have 3 pint jars in the crock pot right now one each of yarrow, comfrey, and calendula. The name I use is healing salve, I use them myself but also give as gifts to family and friends. I love the healing properties of herbs what a great gift we have been given. Have a wonderful day.

    • Meagan says:

      Yes Susan! A great gift indeed! Thanks for your comment, and good luck on your salves. I’m sure your friends and family will enjoy them very much!

  17. Patricia Panasri says:

    My daughter has had a few days in a row where she bumped into everything and fell all the time. Nothing serious, just some scrapes and cuts. I read this post before but now I’m sure that I have to make this salve. Just 2 questions, can I sub the olive leave for another herb? And how do you use the garlic? Do you also infuse it together with the other herbs?
    Thank you for this great recipe!

  18. Greg says:

    This is a great post! I love it that people are sharing their knowledge about herbs and applications. I made Comfrey Salve about a year ago using Olive Oil and have run out. I think that the use of Coconut oil definitely has advantages over Olive Oil. I am going to try your recipe. Thanks

    • Meagan says:

      So glad you like it Greg… just be sure to test it for hardness. As you know, coconut oil will harden before olive oil will so you less wax is needed… depending on how firm you want the salve to be.

  19. Raven says:

    Hello and thank you for this excellent recipe.
    With regards to the comments about your grammar…. everyone makes mistakes….. as for the other comment about you calling this after the OTC salve…. well, it all depends how you read it…. I read it as an ALTERNATIVE and not a copy…. but then again, I’m not naive.. 😉 ….. thanks again.

  20. gyen says:

    You can also try this trick I use when I make lip balm:
    Put a spoon in the freezer, and when your salve is done, stick the tip in the spoon in it. Then run your finger along the salve on the spoon and decide if you like the consistency. You can test that way without waiting the 3-5 minutes for cooling. Then if you need more oil or beeswax you can go ahead and add it and then check again.

    I hate waiting!

  21. Kaylin says:

    Great post! I’m gonna buy some beeswax so i can make this. 🙂 Gotta say though, the “post mistakes” section was my favorite part. 😛 Made me laugh out loud. Like, I have tears. Having written a couple articles in the past, i feel ya. 😛 you’re funny.

    • Meagan says:

      I hope this recipe serves you well, Kaylin, and thanks for your understanding about my “post mistakes.” I’m glad you enjoyed them! LOL!

  22. Megan says:

    OMG, dying laughing over your “Post Mistakes” section!

    P.S. I too am a lover of “…”

  23. Jean says:

    I get my beeswax from bulk apothecarthy, much cheaper. Also I made something similar to this but it turned out way to hard for me. I’m looking for an ointment consistency. From what I read in your post the coconut oil will determine the “hardness” of the batch. Is that correct? Coconut oil is pretty hard in and of itself, so I’m just curious if that will work or not.

    • Meagan says:

      If you’re looking for ointment consistency, the best thing I’ve found is to use olive oil instead of coconut oil and use less beeswax too. You may need to test it a few times until you get the consistency right, but you can control olive oil better than coconut oil. If you want to use the coconut oil though, maybe skip adding the beeswax and see how that does for you. If you go with coconut oil only, its consistency will really depend on the temperature. Hope that helps, Jean!

  24. Alyssa says:

    I love this recipe and will be making this salve asap!!! Obviously I too am a fan of !!!… and love the addition of the “important” issues. No one is perfect and im sure some of the flaws were created from neosporin and it’s base of petrolium also known to be highly contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHS) (also spelled correctly)… this is known to cause cancer and Alzheimer’s. But we’re not to blame it’s what has always been used and why would anyone focus on making things naturally vs grammatical errors… #fightongrammar

  25. Anonymous says:


  26. Stephanie Mattson says:

    Bless YER heart lady! I cannot thank you enough for your easy instructional complete with asides, exclamations AND ellipses…for you see, I love them too!!!!!!! So, SO happy I stumbled on your blog this morning while researching my virgin leap into salve and ointment making! The recipe construction is exactly what I was looking for! But the post mistakes section is the whipped cream and cherry on top in that were I you, that’s precisely what I would have thought but probably not had the guts to post, lol 😉

    Okay, my input and query ‘s….

    1: I never go anywhere without my comfrey tincture (that I make myself) & I’d absolutely want to include its amazing healing properties into a “Neosporin like” ointment! This will however be my first year of growing it myself. Wondering if you can tell me if there’s a difference in potency properties in using fresh or dried herbs infused into the oil vs tincture at time of putting ingredients together? …Well outside of the added benefit of alcohol in the tincture acting as a natural preservative…

    2: Have you ever used pineapple weed? It’s a cousin to chamomile and induces calm when used internally. I was delighted to discover it growing wild all over my new yard in early summer. (Just got this place a year ago end of July-too late in the season for it last year.) My pre coffee brain is not leading me to whether it’s effective externally for the same as well…

    3: LOVE the coffee filter under jar ring idea for my tincture’s but am also thinking it’d be a very slow drain with salve. Did you ever try it? If so what were your results?

    4: Do you think going half olive oil and half coconut oil you’d be able to get a more ointment like ointment? Or should you go one or the other?

    5: That reminds me, thank you for adding the tip about not using the salve in deep wounds! I was not aware of the wax contraindication! Although I did once heal what had become a festering gunshot wound on one of my dogs using a commercial comfrey ointment as well as tea tree oil. Not just for its healing properties but also the non cone way of keeping an animal from licking a wound…one taste and they’ll never touch it again, lol! (He had a penchant for going to nearby farms to play with the calves which the farmers did not appreciate.) I’m glad I got lucky and didn’t cause him greater infection!

    5: Are you supposed to chop the garlic or will whole cloves work? Does that leave an extremely overwhelming garlic scent to your salve? I don’t mind garlic either but was planning to use this to make gifts for Christmas and while garlic is a great healer, many people would not enjoy smelling like it, lol.

    6: I would also add tea tree oil to the ointment as well as calendula flowers during the oil infusion process.

    7: Please pardon my ignorance but to double check, you do put the lid ON the crockpot for that method, correct?

    Again I thank you for the information and the entertainment AND appreciate your patience in responding to my ridiculously long post…

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Thanks for your comment, Stephanie. To answer your questions…

      1. I do not recommend infusing fresh herbs into oil unless they have wilted first. Fresh herbs infused in oil can lead to botulism and spoilage which is no good for wounds. However, you can tincture fresh herbs, and I love adding tinctures to my salves. It does add a small amount of water to the finished salve, but I’ve never had any issues in doing that as the amount of alcohol is greater and tends to preserve it. Again, this is my experience only.

      2. I’m familiar with what pineapple weed is, but I don’t know enough about it to use it therapeutically. It would be a great one to research and learn to use, though, since you have so much growing near you.

      3. It is a slower drain, but most times I let my herbs strain from their liquid for while anyway while I do other things. If you’re in a hurry, a larger piece of cloth will be faster.

      4. Yes! Since writing this, I’ve been adding more olive oil to the coconut oil… say 3:1 ratio (3 parts olive oil: 1 part coconut oil) becuase I like my salves a bit softer. If you do this, you’ll have to adjust the amount of beeswas as well.

      5 – (Part 1). I’m glad your dog is okay. I love it when herbs prove themselves useful… especially in serious situations like infections.

      5 – (Part 2). I’d chop the garlic in order to release it’s properties. You can always crush the cloves too. And yes, it will give it a garlic scent. If you don’t think your gift recipients will like that, I’d swap the garlic out with a different antimicrobial herb.

      6. Both of these sound great!

      7. I leave the lid off the crockpot so the liquid doesn’t get too hot.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope I’ve answered all your questions!

  27. Kat says:

    After reading this the whole way through, your salve has garlic which has antibacterial properties, sure it is not the same as lab created antibiotic, however it is still helpful ^_^ Also seems really close to what I usually do but add in peppermint leaves and tea tree oil. Thank you for the reminder on the beeswax to coconut oil ratio!

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