Whether you are a kid or grown up, cuts, scrapes, and scratches are inevitable. You can purchase a first aide salve at the store, or the treatment may be just out your back door. If you have an herb garden, you don’t have to look very far to discover that nature has provided us with many natural remedies.
One herb, easy to grow, and with so many uses, is Calendula. It is a great skin care herb, with many healing qualities and can be safely used by children and adults.
In most areas, calendula is considered an annual. You can plant seeds after all danger of frost, but buying plants will give you a head start on your herb garden. Plant in full sun with at least six hours of sun each day.
You can harvest the flowers when they are large enough, and dry them to make a healing herbal balm that is all natural.
How do you make an herbal infusion?
Calendula infusion is easy to make.
-Fill a sterilized jar 1/2 full with dried calendula flowers.
-Fill the jar with oil . I use sunfower oil because it is light. You can also use grapeseed, sweet almond oil. -I don’t like to use olive oil. It seems a little too heavy, and oily.
-Place a tight-fitting lid on the jar and shake well.
-Place the jar in a warm place, out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks. I keep mine in my office closet downstairs. An alternative way to create the infusion if you are in a hurry is to place the jar, with the top removed, in a pan of shallow water. Heat on low heat for 2-3 hours.
** It’s VERY important that the flowers are dry.Fresh petals which contain water, could mold, or cause the oil to spoil.
Infusing fresh calendula into oil is a great way to transfer some of the healing
properties of calendula into oils that can then be uses to make salves, balms,
or soaps. Once the flowers have infused, strain out the flowers and add to the compost pile. You now have an infused oil. I date my jar, and keep in a cool dark place. I discard after 6 months.
How do you make calendula salve?
To make a calendula salve, place 4 ounces of calendula infused oil in a clean sterlized jar. Place the open jar in a pan of shallow water. Add 1 oz beeswax and allow it to melt The jar will be hot, so use a mitt. Once the beeswax has melted, pour into shallow tins, or a small jar. Allow to harden overnight.
Use it on minor skin irritations, scrapes and cuts. It’s also good for chapped hands, lips, and cheeks. You can purchase lip balm sticks and make a lip balm, 2 ounce tins, or small jars to hold your salve.
I also make a Calendula Lotion bar. This is more solid, and can be removed from the tin to use. Great to rub on rough elbows and to nourish dry hands. You can see how to make it here:
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