Calendula (Calendula officilanis) is quite easy to grow and has natural medicinal and healing properties. We always have jars of Calendula Salve on hand for irritated skin, and it also provides temporary relief from the itch of insect bites or allergic reactions to some plants! The flower petals can be eaten and look great in salad, but also can be infused in olive oil to make a versatile Calendula Oil.
Calendula infused oil
Just pick off the petals and place in a jar. Add enough olive oil to well and truly cover them, and let it sit in a sunny spot for a week, shaking now and then. After a week, strain through muslin into a clean jar and discard the petals. The result is a lovely golden coloured olive oil which can be used in dressings or made into salve with the addition of beeswax.
Place beeswax and oil, at the ratio of one cup of calendula infused oil to 1/4 cup beeswax, in a saucepan (we keep one that is only for beeswax products as it is impossible to completely remove the beeswax from anything!) and heat over a pan of water. Remember beeswax is flammable so never place a pan of beeswax directly on the heat, it must always be in a double boiler set up. Once the wax has melted, pour the mix into jars or pots and allow to cool. If it is too runny or too hard, it can be reheated with more oil or wax added to get the consistency required.
Calendula Lotion Bars
Calendula Lotion Bars are so easy to make using Calendula infused oil and following the recipe in The Nerdy Farm Wife though I don’t add essential oil. I always have one beside my chair, to rub into my hands when they are feeling dry after a day in the garden! I use a soap mould, and store them in cellophane bags until needed or for giving away to family and friends.