Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Calendula, naturally.


 Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, has a long history of healing uses.

The beautiful gentle blossoms are my go-to for children and adults.

Some of the conditions calendula soothes:

  •      eczema
  •      poor-healing scabs
  •      pain and swelling
  •      chapped lips
  •      diaper rash
  •      dry skin
  •      hemorrhoids
  •      burns and sunburns
  •      dermatitis


When I think issues of the skin, I usually reach for calendula.  When I think issues of the skin with children, she's my number one go-to.



Calendula-infused oil

I keep a bottle of calendula-infused oil on hand.

Fill a clean, dry jar 1/2 full with dried calendula blossoms.  Add oil of choice; sweet almond, coconut, olive or vegetable.  As your preparation is intended for sensitive skin and to assist healing, choose a quality oil, without chemicals.

Pour your oil over top and stir to release any trapped air bubbles.  Continue to fill with oil to the top of the jar and cap tightly to store for 3-4 weeks, turning and entertaining your oil regularly, infusing the oil not only with the blossoms but also with love as you chant, sing, hum or bless your herbal friend.

If I am making an oil specifically for someone I enjoy infusing the oil with blessings for that particular person.




 You can also infuse your oil quicker with a hot water bath, placing the jar of oil into a pan of hot water and macerating the buds with a wooden or plastic utensil or stone pestle.  If using a hot water bath, I recommend a wider mouth container than a jar.  I like using a large glass measuring cup as it allows me to macerate the buds while heating as well as makes for easy pouring afterwards.

Do not heat the oil over direct heat or too high of heat.  A double boiler set up also works well.



Once the oil changes to a nice golden yellow, strain the plant material through a cheesecloth or other tightly woven cloth or sieve.  Pour into clean jars and allow to cool completely before capping.  A paper towel placed loosely over the jars keep any airborne guests from landing in your infusion.  I occasionally keep the strained blossoms and toss them in my bath for a floral soak.

Use your oil directly on the skin to soothe any of the above conditions or add to a nice warm bath and soak, careful not to slip.  For kids with problem skin, a soak in the oil is both soothing and hydrating.

Calendula-infused balm

Now that you have your beautiful herbal oil, melt beeswax in a double boiler and add your infused oil to make a balm.  About 1/4 oz of beeswax to 4 oz of oil.  If you made a hot bath infusion, make your balms right away as your oil is warm and blends nicely with the beeswax.  


  
A few drops of vitamin E to your oil or balm assists with preservation of your herbal creation.  Storage in a cool, dry place is advised.  

Depending on your carrier oil and storage method, expect your blend to be good for about 9-12 months.  Mine never lasts that long as I always find a variety of uses to consume my supply.

A versatile balm, use on chapped lips, diaper rash, eczema or dry skin.

enJOY this beautiful, gentle, sunny blossom that simply makes me happy every time I work with her.


Stephanie
atONE Holistic Living



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4 comments:

  1. I love Calendula and making it into oil! Mine's steeping right now and I have another one ready. Thanks for sharing on all the great uses for this tremendous flower! Great post! :)

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  2. You're welcome Nancy! I love that you're making some right now :)
    Thank you for your kind comment!
    Stephanie

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  3. Would you recommend grape seed oil as a carrier oil?

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Grape seed oil would be lovely.

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