Kloss's Liniment

Summer time is here! Sunny days, swimming, playing, laughing, splashing… sun burns, mosquito bites and poison ivy. I know that living in the country we definitely experience the latter two, a lot. But when in need I just grab my Kloss’s Liniment and everything is A-OK. Well maybe not everything but most certainly our mosquito bites and poison ivy. 

A liniment is a “liquid or semiliquid preparation for rubbing on or applying to the skin.” It is different from a lotion or a salve, which are also rubbed onto the skin but are more viscous or thick in substance. Kloss’s Liniment was originally formulated by Jethro Kloss, the herbalist, food scientist, writer, lecturer, health advocate and wonderful author of the book Back to Eden. Kloss’s Liniment is a very old recipe and has been handed down generation after generation. Although it’s old it is still just as strong and today I bring you Rosemary Gladstar’s version of the recipe. You can use it on scrapes, insect bites, inflamed muscles, sunburns, poison ivy, bruises and wounds. Wow! A must have in every medicine cabinet. 

Kloss’s Liniment

1 ounce echinacea powder

1 ounce organically grown goldenseal powder 

1 ounce myrrh powder

1/4 ounce cayenne powder

1 pint rubbing alcohol 

(The reason that it is important to make sure that the goldendseal you use is organic is that so much goldenseal has been wildcrafted that it is now endangered. It is better to get it from an organic cultivated source. If you can't find organic goldendseal powder Rosemary suggests replacing it with chaparral or oregon grape root.)

  1. Place the powders in a jar and cover with rubbing alcohol (a food-grade alcohol can be used, but rubbing alcohol seems to work best), leaving a good 2-inch margin above the herbs. Cover with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Place the mixture in a warm location and let it sit for 4 weeks. *side note: If you need to use it before the 4 weeks is up don’t even hesitate. Once the herbs are in the menstruum (rubbing alcohol) the medicinal properties begin to be extracted. Something is better than nothing in this case.
  3. Strain and rebottle. Label the bottle clearly FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY.

If you're looking to purchase herbs The Grainery Natural Grocery in Flint has a good selection, although they do not carry myrrh powder. Another great and trustworthy online source for herbs is Jean's Greens. Happy herbing everyone!