(Excerpt from Essentialbird yahoo group)

I recently developed a foot salve that I am using for a case of bumblefoot in my Princess of Wales, and it seems to be working quite effectively, so I thought I’d share the recipe. This salve could be used for any injury or damage to the foot that did not involve an open wound (this formula could cause an infected open wound to close up too quickly, sealing in the infection). It is a salve designed to alleviate nerve and muscle pain, reduce inflammation and to repair and re-grow damaged skin cells in the foot.

My Princess of Wales, Monkey, has always craved heat since she was a baby, and I have always provided supplemental heat for her. I started using a heated perch in her cage several years ago, and she seemed to enjoy it. However, it eventually caused red sores on the bottoms of her feet (and I know of another case where this same foot injury was caused by a heated perch). Monkey has become quite lame from this, and hobbles around when she walks; when she perches I can see that she is in pain and tries not to hold on too tight. Bumblefoot is actually extremely hard to cure, in my experience, so I have been trying many different options, but nothing seems to have helped her other than this salve. I did get rid of the heated perch, and have wrapped her regular perch in a roll of polyester fleece so that she is basically perching on a kind of fleece pillow, and I’m certain this will help as well as the salve. But I can see her pain relief after each application of the salve, and she is becoming much more mobile now.

UPDATE: After about three weeks of receiving the salve three times daily, Monkey’s feet look almost completely normal, she is clearly feeling dramatically improved and has begun “playing the piano” back and forth on her cage perches when she wants to come out. This is something she has not done for several months due to her foot pain.


– 1 part comfrey root
– 1 part arnica flowers
– 1 part st johnswort leaf and flowers
– 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– 3/4 ounce shaved beeswax (pastilles are nice)

I place the olive oil in a double boiler, then add the herbs, just enough so that all the herbs are coated, and none are sticking out of the oil. I then set the bottom pan (with water in it) on a very low heat (the lowest possible setting) for about three hours, stirring the herbs every fifteen minutes or so. I always make sure there is enough olive oil to cover the herbs at all times, but not more than that.

After three hours, I remove the double boiler, strain the oil/herbs through cheesecloth or muslin, then return the clear oil to the double boiler on low and add the shaved beeswax. After the beeswax melts, I pour the warm liquid into a small glass jar and let it harden as it cools. I use a one year expiration date on the label, however I always check the salve for mold since I don’t use any preservatives. If there is any sign of mold, of course the salve must be discarded – but I have only had this happen once in many years of making salves. Vitamin E can be used as a preservative if people prefer to use one – you can use about one capsule per ounce of salve.

I apply this salve about three times daily, using a very thin coating rubbed onto the feet. Care should always be taken not to get any salve onto feathers.


Comfrey root: I use this as a skin cell proliferant: it repairs cells and strongly encourages new cell growth.

Arnica flowers: these help with pain and inflammation, as well as relieving any form of bruising or trauma.

St Johnswort leaf and flowers: I use St Johnswort in this formula for its ability to rapidly heal all types of wounds, sores, and burns, as well as for its ability to reduce inflammation and pain, particularly nerve pain.


I buy the herbs via or, in the case of St Johnswort, I pick it fresh myself each summer. Mountain Rose also carries a really nice “cotton tea net” which is how I brew all my teas, and this can work well for straining salves. Beeswax pastilles are available via Mountain Rose, and dissolve readily in warm oil.

Lainey Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.