I recently posted a herbal medicine tutorial on how to make your own calendula infused oil. You can use calendula oil in a range of home made natural beauty products. It works especially well for a healing salve or balm. Learn how to make calendula healing salve today. Stock it in your medicine cabinet for cuts, grazes and other skin issues.
Make Your Own Herbal Medicine
Have you tried making your own herbal medicine before? It doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. It is a lot of fun to create your own natural health and beauty products. They are toxin free, eco-friendly and safe for the whole family.
What is a Salve?
A salve is simply an external use healing mixture. It is made of fats like plant oils that have been infused with herbs. Salves can be used for cuts and grazes, pain relief and more!
It all depends on the different herbs incorporated into the mixture. The oils are easily absorbed into the body, providing a nourishing and healing effect.
I love making my own calendula healing salve. This is my go-to herbal medicine for a range of issues. It started out as making this salve for a mild case of nappy rash for my baby. I didn’t like the barrier creams that were available at the store.
There were too many additives or chemical ingredients. And I found some of the eco friendly ones to be a bit expensive. So I decided I would try make my own and I ended up with a huge batch that has lasted me over a year!
It worked brilliantly, too. I have used the extra salve for my cuts and grazes (so common being a gardener!). I also used the leftover calendula oil as a base for a hair and scalp oil for hair loss (more on that to come in another post).
Equipment and Ingredients
For this herbal medicine tutorial you will need the following equipment and ingredients:
- A double boiler – a pot of simmering water with a glass bowl on top. The glass bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath and no water gets mixed into the glass bowl.
- Measuring jugs, cups and stirring spoon.
- A clean, dry glass container with a lid and labels for storing your final product.
- Beeswax pellets – preferably organic and unrefined.
- Calendula infused oil – homemade or store bought.
- Essential oil for fragrance (optional) – if you are using this salve for nappy rash, only chamomile or lavender essential oils are safe for babies when used externally.
Method for Preparing Calendula Healing Salve
The method for preparing calendula healing salve is simple:
- Decide on the amount of salve you wish to prepare. A suitable ratio to create a salve is 1 cup of calendula infused oil to 1 oz. (28.34 grams) of beeswax pellets.
- Measure and weigh your oil and beeswax and add to the double boiler.
- Warm gently until the beeswax has fully melted and is fully mixed with the oil. Remove from the heat.
- At this point you can add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture. 5-10 drops per 150ml of salve is a perfect amount.
- Perform the spoon test: dip a metal teaspoon into the mixture and place into the freezer. Once set, you can test the final consistency of your salve.
- If you prefer a more loose you can add more oil and repeat the spoon test until you are happy with the final consistency. For a more solid salve, add more beeswax.
- Pour your product into your chosen container: stainless steel or glass both work well. Allow it to cool and set and seal with a lid.
- Remember to label your beautiful salve and date it! This is best used within 1 year.
Benefits and Uses of Calendula
Calendula officinalis, or commonly known as pot marigold is a wonderful healing plant. It offers such a wide range of benefits and uses.
When planted in the garden, it easily self seeds and puts on huge displays of bright orange to yellow coloured flowers (depending on the variety). It also repels pests in the garden when interplanted between vegetable crops.
Benefits of Calendula Healing Salve
Calendula has so many benefits, it would require a whole post on its own to list them all! However, for this section I will keep it simple.
I primarily use calendula externally for its wound healing benefits. Medical Herbalist Carole Fisher states this is because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It helps prevent bacteria and fungal growth which can lead to skin infections.
Calendula when taken internally also has benefits for the immune, lymphatic and cardiovascular systems. Perhaps I will need to do a full research-style post on the benefits of calendula after all!
Other Uses of Calendula
As a trained medical herbalist, I use calendula both internally and externally for treating health conditions.
When used internally, dried calendula flowers can be used as a herbal tea or as liquid tincture in a herbal formula. In a liquid tincture, calendula flowers are steeped in high-proof, food-grade ethanol.
After some time, the ethanol is filtered off from the herb. This liquid tincture that remains is used in appropriate quantities for treating health conditions. I have described a general overview of the process. In reality, all of this is a calculated and measured process to ensure that a safe and therapeutic product results.
I also use calendula petals in salads, as they are edible and show a bright pop of colour.
Calendula is also used externally. When infused into a cold pressed oil like sweet almond or sesame, it becomes a beautiful medicinal oil to add into your health and beauty recipes. I use it for nappy rash cream, hair oil, creams and lotions.
Calendula Healing Salve Tutorial
- 1 double boiler simmering with water
- 1 cup calendula infused oil
- 1 oz beeswax pellets (28 grams)
- 5-10 drops lavender or chamomile essential oil
- glass or stainless steel containers 50-150ml sizes or any size you prefer
- Set up your double boiler, ensuring the bottom of the glass bowl is not touching the water below.
- Add your calendula infused oil and beeswax pellets to the glass bowl. Melt gently over low heat until the beeswax is fully melted.
- Add your chosen essential oils and mix well.
- Perform the spoon test* to ensure your final consistency is to your liking. Adjust as required with more oil, or more beeswax.
- Pour your final product into your storage containers. Allow to cool then label. This is best used within 1 year.