Years ago while still living in Romania I remember buying from a pharmacy, calendula salve in a small white plastic container ... I liked the yellowish colour and as always when you buy something from a pharmacy you think ... oh boy it must be very complicated to make, this must be a secret only people with specific training know. Little did I know that 30 years later ... I will be making calendula salve. Of course it took me a while to get comfortable with the field of making natural cosmetics, of course I had to read lots of magazines, books, blogs, of course I had to try and make mistakes until I learned how to get the right balance of ingredients, the right temperatures, the right way to infuse oils. Nothing comes easy, nothing happens over night but if one is passionate and curious ........ magic happens.
I love my time in the kitchen, weighting oils, being very careful to respect the recipes .... mixing and waiting for the oils to solidify ... and take the form they need to take.
The next phase is making the labels, creating them, printing them .... one cannot do things fast ... but slowly and with patience ... this is something I had to learn and probably my 3 years of tai chi practice helped and continues to help.
So, the other day I made another batch of calendula salve. Why would you make such a product? Why should you have it in your cupboard and better still in your bag? Here is why!
First of all you need to know that calendula salve is a traditional healing balm or ointment and it takes its name from the plants name Calendula officials, also called marigold. The plant has a high concentration of flavonoids which are actually antioxidants. Known to have anti allergic, inflammatory, microbial properties calendula salve is ideal for treating a range of cuts, abrasions, bruises, sores, rashes, ulcers and fungal conditions. The salve also hydrates, nourishes and supports skin and can be used as face moisturises, lip balm for dry lips, bug bites .....
How do you do it? The recipe below is the most basic calendula salve.
First of all you need to infuse olive oil with dry calendula flowers. There are 2 ways of infusing the oil ... a quick one and a slow one (details in a future blog entry).
4 oz calendula oil
1/2 oz beeswax
Once you have the calendula oil and beeswax you are ready to start the process.
- Add water to the bottom pot of your double boiler, and then pour your calendula oil into the top pot and place above. You can also create a double boiler if you don’t have one. The main thing is that the oil needs non-direct and even heat to prevent burning.
- Bring your double boiler to a low heat and grate in your beeswax. Once everything has melted, stir the mixture, and then quickly turn off your burner.
- Now you can put this mixture into a liquid measuring cup to make pouring your final product easy. Slowly pour into each tin, and allow the salves to cool.
One hour later ... it's all done .... put the lids on, labels and ... that's it. Enjoy!