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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.
If you are interested in making natural products from herbs and flowers you can sign up below to get access to our e-book library along with my Friday letters.