Saturday, May 23, 2015

Making a Calendula Salve

All of my children have suffered from eczema, but my littlest one has had it most extensively ever since he was an infant. We've used lotions especially suited to the task, as well as steroid creams from the doctor's office, with varying degrees of success in treatment.

Finally I decided to simply make my own salve at home to help my little one via the goodness of the earth. Calendula (Calendula officinalus), also called "pot marigold," is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory that soothes skin ailments such as bee stings, scrapes, burns, chapped lips, and dermatitis, so it's quite useful for treating eczema. And making salves at home is a simple and satisfying process.
Dried calendula flowers; two types of beeswax (beads and unprocessed)
I used dried calendula petals (a little over 1/4 of a cup) with roughly a cup of canola oil and 1/4 cup of beeswax beads. I gently heated (on the lowest setting on the stove - the goal is not to stir-fry the poor things!) the oil with the petals for about a half an hour, then strained the oil through a cheesecloth into a steel pot and added the beeswax beads. Once they melted, I poured the mixture into a small canning jar to cool. And that's that! 
Calendula oil, after straining
This is the quick method, and in all it took about an hour to an hour and a half to finish the entire process. You can use fresh petals/flower tops for this as well, though you must use a much higher quantity, and you can also steep the flowers in your chosen oil in a closed jar for a week or two for a slower, gentler way to infuse the oil with the flower's essence. You can use beeswax beads (which I did for this particular recipe) or raw, unprocessed beeswax (I have this in stock for the next batch!). If you know a beekeeper, you may even be able to secure some wax through them! Otherwise you may find some at a health food store, metaphysical shop, or herb supplier. 
Petals strained from the oil
Cooling in a glass jar
Gabriel was quite excited to have his very own, homemade eczema salve, and it goes on smooth and light, with a lovely aroma of calendula blossoms!


  1. You've forgotten to mention the most important ingredient you've added: Love!!!
    I am sure your boy's skin will calm down from this pure and beautiful salve

    1. Hah, you're right, that's an important one! Thanks, so far it's working nicely, and I'm using it on myself as just yesterday I took a tumble at the beach and scraped myself up! It eases the pain, which is so nice!

  2. I'm no gardener (I joke that I have black thumbs rather than green). And I haven't been much into kitchen witchery, either. My Dear One puts me to shame in that regard. He made this kind of salve for our eldest and for my MIL, from growing the flowers to making the oil and turning it into salve. It's a beautiful, loving thing to do :)

    1. That's wonderful! Growing the herbs adds another layer of love in there!