Sunday, 8 July 2007

Calendula salve

I always like to have some calendula salve on hand. Calendula has great healing properties and my youngest son appreciates the healing qualities of a good skin-to-skin massage that goes along with applying calendula salve.

We picked a basket of calendula flowers and E and I put the petals into our crock pot. We covered them with olive oil and then turned the pot onto low until the oil was hot, then turned it off to sit for awhile. I repeated this step two more times to get a triple strength oil.

Then we strained the oil into a pot and re-heated it. E added a bit of beeswax, to melt into it, so that when it cooled it would set up into a solid salve at room temperature. ( I used to use coconut oil to make this when I was vegan as it is solid at room temp. and I would just need to remember to store it in the fridge during our hot summers) I also like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil when it is cooled and I sometimes add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract to act as a sort of preservative.This really only takes about 15 minutes of your time to make and now we have at least a year's worth of salve, likely E will want to give a couple away as gifts so we may make more. I sometimes like to make it with chamomile as well. It makes for a nice combination. It costs very little to make, only the olive oil and a bit of beeswax, and it makes the health food store product seem very pricey. I love things like this that are easy to make and offer a huge cost savings, as well as being pretty fun because you can customize it.

I saved a little bit of the calendula oil to mix with a chamomile infusion to make a lighter, less oily lotion so we will see how that turns out.


Fantastic Five said...

Thank you for your great recipes. They inspire and encourage me. My goal is to make yogurt this week and laundry soap later this month. Thanks for making it look doable.


Mary-Sue said...

YAY!! I think you should write a book, Heather. I truly do.
I'm so excited about this easy recipe for calendula salve. I'm going out to pick mine right now. I've ALWAYS wanted to do something with them and each year passes and I don't. I've been saving containers to do this for years!
Can you tell me how to use the chamomile too? You talked about making shampoo or soap out of them? I'm so keen. Remember me saying I wish I had some? Well, imagine my surprise when a plant my neighbour gave me burst into bloom and it's sure looking exactly like the plant you showed! thanks so much

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing this, Heather. You do make it all look so easy.

Heather said...

Mary-Sue - you just make a sort of chamomile tea and then use it as your shampoo base. ( The only thing that I have found is that it can go a bit off rather quickly - I didn't add any kind of preservative when I use to make it- so I would just make a small quantity.) If you have any Dr.Bronner's you can just use the tea to dilute the soap and then use it as a simple shampoo. I plan on finding out what to use as a preservative so that I can still use the chamomile and make bigger amounts of shampoo that last. Otherwise for shampoo I have just found a soap that I like and grate it, melt in water, add any essential oils that I like and then let it cool to set up into a gel. Haven't done that for a few years though. To use the chamomile in your salve just throw the flowers into the crock pot with the calendula. I have the book Health and Beauty the Natural Way by Nerys Purchon and it has all kinds of useful recipes and tips. I think the library might have it still. Calendula and chamomile also make a good skin toner, far better than slapping chemicals onto your skin. I also like calendula infusion for sunburns and insect bites and the salve is excellent for any kind of skin rash, diaper rash, etc. I have a jar of seeds waiting here for you too, I will give it to J when I see her so that she can pass it on to you, maybe you can share it with your friends.

Heather said...

Hi Diane
Last time I made the laundry soap I didn't even bother making it into a liquid. I just grated the soap really fine, ( my smallest grater)so that it was almost a powder and then mixed in the borax and washing soda. Now I just use two tbsp of it per load. It was nice and easy and I didn't need to dirty a pot to make it. ;-)