One of my favourite gifts to make is Healing Salves and the key ingredient is Calendula infused oil. Calendula officinalis (commonly called Pot Marigold) is an amazing medicinal plant with antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It is an incredible wound-healer and very soothing for dry or inflamed skin. Good for cuts, rashes, scrapes, burns, eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. Gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, even babies. Here’s a video to show you how to make salve:
There are several methods for infusing oils, this is one of the simplest methods, often called a Sun Infusion (if you’re short on time, you can also use a double boiler and infuse oil on the stove over a very low heat for several hours):
Step 1: Purchase dried calendula flowers from a trusted dispensary or dry your own. To do so, place in a well-ventilated place and patiently wait a few days until thoroughly dried. I find placing plant materials on an old window screen propped up off the ground works really well.
Step 2: Transfer dried petals to a glass jar, pack them in loosely and then fill jar with oil. You’ll want to use a jar that fits all your flowers loosely, so you can fill the oil almost to the top of the jar as this will minimize the amount of air in your jar. Olive oil or sunflower oil work well. Top with a lid.
Step 3: Leave in a warm place (a sunny window, a warm cupboard above the fridge, etc).
Step 4: Shake your jar daily! This prevents any flowers that are floating on the top, exposed to air, from getting mouldy.
Step 5: When your oil smells sweetly of calendula, your ready to strain. This will take 4-6 weeks. Strain the flowers out with cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze to get every drop of goodness out!
To make salve:
Melt beeswax in a double boiler, once melted, add your butters and melt. I used mango and shea butter in the video, but feel free to use any butters in any combination you like. I often use all shea butter. Once butters are melted, remove from heat and stir in your strained calendula oil. If clumps form, return to stove and warm over low heat until fully melted. Remove from heat and add essential oils, I like using lavender for its skin healing and antimicrobial properties. Other essential oils that work well include tea tree and thyme. Pour into your containers, then allow to cool and set. Use liberally on dry skin, scrapes, rashes or burns.