Homemade Calendula Salve

Last summer's calendula has been put to great use. In addition to saving hundreds of seeds, I have enjoyed making infused calendula oils, lotion bars and salves. To infuse oil in this way is to infuse it with history. Calendula salve is a wonderful skin care remedy to keep on hand, as it can help sooth eczema-prone dry skin, rashes, bug bites, minor cuts and scrapes, and minor burns. It is versatile and gentle enough for all ages to use, making it ideal for gifting as well.

Here is how I make calendula salve:

You Will Need
8 ounces (240 ml) calendula-infused oil (see my Growing, Harvesting, and Preserving Calendula article for details on how to infuse oil) 
2 ounces (60 ml) beeswax
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure Vitamin E oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops sweet orange oil

double boiler or saucepan and glass Pyrex measuring cup
small tins or glass jars with lids
a wooden bamboo stick (I use this to stir and blend ingredients and then compost it when finished)

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To Make

  1. Combine the first two ingredients in a double boiler over low heat and stir occasionally with a wooden disposable chopstick or skewer until completely melted and combined.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the vitamin and essential oils.
  3. Carefully pour the mixture into tins or glass jars and leave undisturbed to cool completely at room temperature before moving or capping.

Note: This recipe can be adjusted to fit your own personal preferences. The essential oils can be substituted, and if you prefer a firmer slave than this recipe makes, simply reheat it back to a liquid state, add a couple more pinches of wax pastilles, and pour back into molds. Keep in mind that remelting the mixture causes the essential oils to become less effective, so add the essential oil combination again after taking the mixture off heat. If you prefer a creamier salve, use the same reheating process but add a tablespoon (15 ml) more oil.

This recipe makes 5 two-ounce storage tins or glass jars with lids. The amount yielded by this recipe can be adjusted to fit your needs. By volume, just be sure the ratio is 2 parts wax to 1 part oil.

Storing your salves in a cool, dark location, such as a linen closet, cabinet, or beside table, will extend the life of your salve for a year or more. Avoid leaving it in the sun where it will melt and re-solidify.

Sources: Botanical Skin Care Recipe Book, Herbal Academy

Troubleshooting Tip! Don't have a double boiler? No problem. Simply use a glass measuring cup with a handle (Pyrex is my favorite for this purpose because it is sturdy and heavy) and place it inside a saucepan that has an inch or two of boiling water. Be sure to let the handle of the glass measuring cup hook over the side of the pan so that it doesn't tip over if it is jostled by the boiling water.

Ready to take your herbal journey to the next level and expand your knowledge of how plants can nourish, soothe, and support? The Herbal Academy has a wide range of top-ranked herbal courses, workshops, resources, workbooks, journals, and so much more.

calendula salve

calendula salve

calendula salve

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