Calendula is a beautiful flower and is well known throughout the world as a powerful healing plant. It grows easily in most climates and readily reseeds itself to come back year after year, and it’s a plant that I believe most herbalists would recommend growing yourself. I was so pleased when I moved into my new house to find a sea of Calendula in my backyard! I started thinking of all the ways I could use it, and making a Calendula salve was first on my list.
Benefits of Calendula
Before I walk you through how to make a Calendula salve, I want to start by telling you how amazing this plant is and why it is so common in many natural skin products and topical herbal remedies.
Calendula officinalis is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and astringent. All of these things combined make it an herbal heal-all. It is most commonly used on minor cuts, scrapes, and burns as well as rashes and bug bites. Calendula is very gentle on the skin and may help to ease dryness, cracks, and itching. It is often used in herbal salves, creams, lotions, and soaps for this reason.
How To Make Calendula Salve
A great way to use Calendula is by making a salve. Homemade herbal salves are generally simple to make and require only minimal ingredients.
Below, I’ll go over the basics of how to make a Calendula salve, but keep in mind that I’ve left specific ingredient amounts out because it doesn’t have to be exact. You can tailor it to your own needs.
A few quick word on ingredients:
- This recipe starts with dried Calendula flowers. You can either purchase them dried or dry them yourself.
- I’ve also made salves with only pure, organic olive oil, and they turn out wonderful. Feel free to use a blend of different oils if you would like. Virgin coconut oil and sweet almond oil are known for being great for the skin so I often add a bit of those in, too.
- Beeswax is easiest to use when purchased in one ounce bars, but it’s more economical as one pound blocks. I find that the ratio of one ounce beeswax to one cup infused oil makes for the perfect consistency, but do what you like. A little more beeswax will make a harder salve (great for really hot summers) and a little less will make a softer salve (great for cold winters).
- Essential oils can be a nice addition, but are completely optional. Lavender essential oil would be a good choice for this salve.
Dried Calendula flowers
Oil for infusing the flowers (olive, coconut, and sweet almond oil make a good blend)
Beeswax (one ounce per one cup of infused oil, more or less)
Essential oils (10-20 drops per cup of infused oil, optional)
- The first step is to make infused Calendula oil. There are many ways to do this, here is more information: How to Make Infused Herbal Oils.
- Strain the infused oil using a cheesecloth and strainer, squeezing out as much of the oil as possible.
- Put the infused oil into a double boiler, which can be as simple as a stainless steel bowl that fits over a pot with an inch or two of water in it. Bring that water to a simmer to gently heat the oil.
- Add the beeswax, and stir occasionally until it has completely dissolved.
- Add essential oils if using, and stir to combine.
- Carefully pour the hot salve into tins or jars.
- Let cool completely before use.
I personally use this salve almost daily, usually on my dry hands and feet. I love having it at the ready for any type of boo-boo I may get while I’m working out in the yard or out on a hiking adventure. It also works wonders for chapped lips and is a great medium for a massage. Its golden color is pleasing, and it has a lovely sweet herbal fragrance.
I find making my own herbal remedies very so empowering, not to mention fun! I love learning about herbs and their actions and then actually doing something with that knowledge. Making this Calendula salve is a great way for budding herbalists to take an herb that you can grow in your backyard and easily turn it into something beneficial. Now that’s sustainable!