Read on to discover something no household should be without – Calendula Oil
The humble plant calendula officinalis (or pot marigold) happens to have a long history, centuries actually, of healing. Believe it or not, many plants that are common to gardens – or are considered weeds – are among nature’s most useful plants and are full of healing properties. Calendula is a great example of this. It can be used in multiple ways internally and externally, but the way I most commonly use it is externally as an oil or salve to put on the skin, so that is the aspect I am going to focus on in this article.
Among calendula’s long list of healing properties, is the fact that it is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial and an incredible wound healer. I use it often and liberally for cuts, sores, eczema, rashes (including diaper rashes), sunburn, inflammation – literally most everything. It’s gentle healing qualities are undeniable, and the best part is that it is readily available in health food stores and very easy to make. I have bought it before as a salve, but I prefer to make it myself because it is more concentrated as an oil. The fact that it is very gentle makes it ideal for using on children and those with sensitive skin.
To Make Your Own Calendula Oil:
Use dried calendula officinalis flowers (it must be this kind of calendula, not another variety) that are a bright golden yellow in color. You can grow them yourself, buy them online or buy them from a place like Whole Foods that sells bulk dried herbs.
Step 1: Pack them tightly in a clear glass jar all the way to the top and pour oil over them. I like to use a cold-pressed sunflower or almond oil, but you could also use olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or almost any high-quality cold-pressed carrier oil.
Step 2: Cap the jar and let it sit in a warm, sunny window for 2 weeks or more, shaking occasionally. What you should end up with is a wonderful golden yellow liquid that has taken on the hue and healing properties of the dried calendula flowers.
Step 3: Once your oil is infused(the healing properties of the calendula flowers have become part of the carrier oil), strain it into another jar – I use brown glass as it protects the potency of the oil. I strain mine by putting a funnel with an unbleached coffee filter into the brown glass bottle and letting the oil strain through the coffee filter. It is that simple to make!
If you find oil hard to use and want to make a salve instead, you can gently, slowly heat your infused oil using a double boiler method and add beeswax (with roughly a 5 parts oil to one part beeswax ratio). You may want to experiment a bit with ratios so it doesn’t get too hard. Once it cools it will gradually become more solid.
So there you have it: an effective way to use one of the healing wonders of the plant world. Whether you have heard of calendula or not, this is something no household should be without.