The Story of Jim’s Flower of Russia Salve
written by Callie Zamzow, CEO (Jim’s daughter)
A few summers ago, Dynamite’s founder (and my dad), Jim Zamzow, was trimming his Russian Olive trees and accidentally drove one of the notoriously large and very sharp thorns deep into the web between his thumb and forefinger.
“It was a deep pain that rivals any prior puncture wound I have experienced,” he describes. “I knew instantly that it would be a challenging wound to heal based on the depth of the puncture and the highly used location of the wound.”
Dad complicated the wound further as he overrode his better judgement and kept working, rather than treating the wound immediately. By the time he came into the house later that evening, Dad recalls that he overlooked the wound and went to bed. What happened next is one of many “accidental” herbal discoveries. When Dad awoke, he went on about his day and didn’t even remember his injury until later in the morning. He was surprised and amazed to discover that the wound was sealed on the surface and the damaged tissue deep in his hand was only vaguely sore. He rubbed at the area and examined things to confirm that indeed, the wound had begun healing incredibly fast!
Listening to his instincts, Dad decided the Russian Olive Tree must contain healing phytochemicals and wasted no time in returning to the burn pile he had created the day before to gather foliage and flowers from his tree trimmings. He took the plant matter to his lab to extract and make a salve from the very tree that had been the previous day’s foe. The salve then became a gift for friends, family, and eventually attendees at Dynamite’s Spring 2017 Distributor Conference in Boise.
This story has been an interesting one for me to observe. The Dynamite Home Office has received many responses from recipients of my father’s gift. By late spring, requests were pouring in for more of this homemade salve. Naturally, this prompted me to do some research and was not entirely surprised to learn that once again, Dad’s instincts were spot on.
The Russian Olive Tree (Elaeagnus angustifolia) has been used topically in herbal medicine to address pain and inflammation. In folk remedies, the extracts of Russian Olive are known as a wound healing accelerator and inflammation reducer1. This finding supports Dad’s experience, as well as the many other responses we have received about Dad’s salve.
I am grateful for the Dynamite Customer Service Team for being relentless in passing on the many responses from various people who tried Dad’s Flower of Russia Salve. Much to our blessing, Dad carved out some time and I got the rare opportunity to be included in the entire process when his Russian Olive plants bloomed their annual, fragrant blossoms this year. Together we collected wild companion herbs, immediately processed them for extraction, and combined them with wonderful natural emollients for you. As with all Dynamite products, this salve was made with love and the intention to help you and your animals as needed. We look forward to hearing how Flower of Russia Salve works for you and if it becomes a staple in your home, barn, or trailer, we’ll look at creating more next year when the plants bloom again!
- Amiri Tehranizadeh Z, Baratian A, Hosseinzadeh H. Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) as a herbal healer . BioImpacts : BI. 2016;6(3):155-167. doi:10.15171/bi.2016.22.. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108988/