Thursday, March 5, 2015

Benefits of Calendula and How to Make Calendula Salve

Benefits of Calendula

Calendula is one of my favorite herbs as a mom. Since the first time I knew of it, I know I will always need it on hand. Also known as (pot or garden) marigold, a term that refers to Virgin Mary, this medicinal herb has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and has been used for centuries to heal minor wounds and skin irritations. 

You can make calendula oil simply by infusing calendula petals with extra virgin olive oil for several weeks and it can be used for cradle cap, diaper rash, chapped skin, bruises, inflammations, and sore muscles. It is perfect as a massage oil and all-around moisturizer. You can make calendula salve using calendula oil. This helps to preserve the medicinal qualities of the herb in a form that can be easy to use and it is not messy to carry around. Calendula salve can be used for any skin irritations and inflammations such as minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, acne, diaper rashes, and bee stings. It also relieves itches from eczema flare ups. 

Its naturally soothing properties and mild floral scent is gentle and safe to use on babies and children.

How to make Calendula Salve

I bought a pack of organic calendula petals and wanted to make calendula oil and salve at home. I saw a video tutorial online and have successfully made my first batch of calendula salves. Mine is a simple one - just a mixture of calendula petals that I infuse with extra virgin olive oil (for one month) and I added lavender essential oil, for an added healing power.

Ingredients and Supplies (from this tutorial)

Extra virgin olive oil
Organic calendula petals
Lavender essential oils (optional)
Organic beeswax
A mason jar
Double boiler or a cooking pot
Measuring cup


First, make the calendula oil (see this tutorial) by infusing calendula petals with extra virgin olive oil.

Let it sit for four weeks. Make sure the glass jar is dry so mold will not grow. Check and shake the jar daily. After four weeks, the color of the oil turns golden:

Pour the oil through a cheesecloth and strainer and squeeze out all the extra oils from the petals.

Melt the beeswax in the double boiler, then add the calendula oil (I forgot to take pictures of this step). Stir until everything melts completely. Turn off fire, add lavender essential oil.
The formula is 1 cup (8 oz) of calendula oil by volume to 1 oz of beeswax by weight. If you use beeswax pastilles, it will be 2 tablespoons (reference). If you add the essential oil, add 1 teaspoon per cup of oil.
Pour into your containers immediately, otherwise the mixture will harden and you have to re-melt it. You can use any glass jars or tins like this.

I make a label using this tutorial and now it looks pretty!

If making your own calendula salve doesn't suit you, there are many brands that sell them in Singapore and one of my favorites by far is the one by Four Cow Farm. (See my reviews of their products here). Their 100% natural calendula salve also contain jojoba oil and roman chamomile, another two ingredients that are so gentle even for the most sensitive skin. 

For Pasture Living readers, take advantage of a 10% discount on Four Cow Farm balms and oils this month using this code 3UH4XN07HDVY for the whole month of March 2015. Enjoy!

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