Kloss's Herbal Liniment

Sunday, January 19, 2020
Today, my spouse handed me this empty bottle of Kloss’s Liniment and asked … “Can you make some more of this stuff, it really works?!”  Now, I don't know about you but when I receive that kind of feedback I know I've got something that's earned a permanent place in my home apothecary.

I first ran across this liniment recipe in Jethro Kloss’s book Back to Eden which was published in 1939. Tried and true all these years later, it continues to be a favorite among many of today’s herbalists. It’s very useful when applied as a disinfectant and for inflammation of muscles. It’s also great for insect bites, swellings, bruises, boils and eruptions.

My next encounter with this liniment was in Rosemary Gladstar’s book Medicinal Herbs – A Beginner’s Guide. She bumps the recipe up with the addition of Echinacea powder and I agree that it rounds the formula out just right. It’s the version I have chosen to keep on hand.

To make your own bottle of Kloss’s Liniment couldn’t be easier! Just combine the listed herbs in a clean glass pint jar and cover by 2-3 inches with rubbing alcohol. Shake it up and sit it in a warm spot to soak for about 6 weeks. Shake it briefly every day.

When it’s time to strain it let it sit unshaken for about 24 hrs first. The reason for that in this particular formula is that the powders are fine and will settle quite nicely on the bottom which will make it easier to just pour off the liniment and leave the saturated herbs behind. You get much less sediment in your final product that way. You can filter out the rest using a tightly woven cotton cloth if you like. Pour the liniment into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid and store in a dark cool location.

Always, always remember to label your jar!! I labeled mine with the name, the herbs used, the solvent used, the month and year it was bottled and how to use it. 


2 Tbs echinacea powder (antibacterial)
2 Tbs organically grown goldenseal powder (anti-viral, antiseptic)
2 Tbs myrrh powder (disinfectant)
½ Tbs cayenne powder (circulatory, disinfectant)
1 pint rubbing alcohol

In our household this recipe ran empty in about a year and a half.

Important note: Because the solvent is rubbing alcohol you must label it “external use only”.

To use: Apply it directly on wounds or use it applied to a cotton ball first to dab the area. If using on a deep wound mix the application with a little oil first – cayenne might sting!

Tip: If you need to powder the myrrh first you can easily do so in a coffee grinder. Use one you’ve dedicated for herbal use. This is the one I use. The main tip though is that it’s much easier on your grinder if you pop the myrrh into the freezer for a couple hours first so it doesn’t get hot and gum up your grinder. You’re welcome!

Caution: Don’t use if allergic to any of the ingredients.


The Authentic Kloss Family Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss. p. 107

Medicinal Herbs – A beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar. p. 133

The Science and Art of Herbalism – An Outstanding Herbal Homestudy Course – Dr. Kloss’s Famous Disinfecting Liniment – A "Rosemary’s Remedies" video lesson.