Paracelsus McCoy wrote:What's the alcohol percentage? If it is 95% alcohol, then it is not a problem to add some to a wax or oil base. If it's more, you can risk growing botulism when you add it to the oil or wax, since the droplets will be sealed from air. It shouldn't matter too much for a salve, but you would have to be careful that the person had no cuts or scratches where the salve was applied; otherwise, they might get wound botulism. Personally, I would warm macerate the herb in oil, strain, and use that. I have found that a rice cooker on warm is great for doing that. Just be sure to keep inside condensation wiped off or leave the lid off. A lidded jar in the sun works good this time of year too.
Could you please (or someone) explain a bit more about the risk of botulism in tincture-salve? Are you saying that if the alcohol percentage is ABOVE %95 percent you could get botulism? It seems to me that the addition of a high-potency alcohol, or a tincture rather than an oil infusion, would lower your risk of botulism. Isn't that bacteria coming from the plants themselves? It is my understanding that oil infusions could potentially harbor this because of the of the plant material already having it and then it getting transferred to the oil (so by that logic then all oil infusions are at a slight risk)...but a tincture? Alcohol doesn't just kill it?
I am getting ready to produce a salve that we are selling, so I'd like to make sure that I know a bit about these risks.