Making Calendula Balm or Salve
I first became aware of the amazing soothing powers of calendula when my youngest daughter caught chicken pox as a baby. This is many, many years ago now but I still vividly remember the horror of her being so covered with itchy scabs, inconsolable, unable to bear clothing, unable to feed - completely miserable.
A friend suggested bathing her in a mix of oats and dried calendula flowers - so simple I was sceptical, but it soothed her almost immediately - taking the itch out of the pox, allowing her to feed, be held and snuggle into sleep.
Making calendula balm - perfect as a moisturiser, to help with irritated skin, or to soothe insect bites - is incredibly simple.
- Calendula oil (you can make this by steeping calendula flowers in any base carrier oil for 4-6 weeks on a sunny windowsill or you can buy it).
- Beeswax pellets
- Essential oils (lavender and tea tree work well)
- An old glass or metal bowl you don't mind getting covered in wax
- Small jars
Weigh out your calendula infused oil and add 1/8 of that in beeswax pellets - so if you have 80g oil add in 10g wax.
Carefully heat in a bain marie/double boiler (or put your bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a steamer) or on low setting in a microwave - just until the wax melts. You do not want to overcook the calendula oil as it is sensitive to heat - so it is important to take your time and heat it slowly.
Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding in essential oils - it depends on how strong a scent you want but I find 20-25 drops per 80g oil works well.
Stir well and pour into the jars - leave a gap at the top of about 0.5 cm and leave to cool naturally before putting the top on.
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