Calendula is a natural herbal treatment traditionally used topically to aid wound healing and for minor burns and abrasions, lacerations, swellings, contusions, and muscle and joint strains and sprains.
It is antiseptic, helping to prevent the formation of pus. It causes the scar to form, without contraction of tissues and in the simplest possible manner. It hastens the healing of wounds and materially favours the union of co-adapted (stitched) surfaces by first intension. It relieves pain in wounds and if there are no bad bruising, it quickly relieves the soreness and supports the healing process.
Numerous sources corroborate calendula’s external use for the following: fibrocystic breast disease, mastitis, radiation-induced dermatitis, skin ulcers and venous leg ulcers, inflammatory skin lesions, diaper rash, cradle cap, poorly healing wounds, burns, and chapped dry skin and lips.
A calendula salve is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits.
note: some people can be allergic to calendula. Make sure to find out first – rub the dry calendula flower on the skin first to see if there is a reaction.
- 3-4 cups of calendula flower tops (enough to fill your crockpot)
- Coconut oil
- Extra virgin Olive oil
- Vitamin E
- A brick of beeswax (a pound)
For a nicer smell, I also add chamomile flowers and if you are making chapstick, add peppermint essential oil – about 2 drops to 1 cup of the completed recipe.
- Cheese cloth or muslin cloth
- 2 Bowls
- Glass containers for the salve
- Put calendula into the crockpot. Add about 50% olive oil and 50% coconut oil (add until the calendula is well saturated with oil so the amount will depend on how much calendula you are using.
- Let the mixture sit for two days on very low heat. Try to stir 4 to 5 times a day to make sure the top part is pushed down towards the bottom so that every piece of the flower is saturated by the oil. This way, you are getting the medicinal properties out of the calendula.
- Get two bowls ready with the cheese cloth around them. Use something to keep the cheese cloth on the bowl. I use an elastic band around the rim. Spoon the calendula from the crockpot over the cheese cloth one bowl. If the bowl fills up before all the calendula is transferred, take off the cheese cloth to squeeze out the excess oil.
- Strain the oil from the first into the second one (with the cheese cloth over it) as there is usually quite a bit of sediment when we first do this.
- Pour the second bowl into your pot and put on the stove. Put it on low heat.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of Vitamin E. This is to help the salve last longer.
- Add the beeswax, in chunks. Whether the salve is soft or hard depends on how much beeswax you add and by adding it chunk by chunk, you can test it as you go along. Once the first chunk (about 1/3 of the beeswax) has completely melted, take a toothpick and dip it into the mixture to check the consistency. The mixture should cool within minutes – wipe onto your skin and test the texture. If you think it will be too soft, add more beeswax. I find that a pound of beeswax for a full large crockpot is about the consistency I want, about chapstick hardness. It isn’t too hard but I do have to use my fingernail to get it out.
- Pour into the glass jars using a glass measuring cup. The oil will be very hot so don’t use any plastic measuring cups.
- Leave until it is 100% hardened and then put the lids on the jars.
Make sure to label it!
Note: Clean up isn’t the fun part but using the salve is!