Sunday, June 25, 2017

How to make calendula salve

Calendula is starting to pop up and bloom in my garden!

Calendula is a cheerful annual flower known for its beauty and medicinal qualities. I use it in my garden, for medicine and soap making. 

Cheesemakers and cooks used to add the petals to butter, cheese and custards to make them look more golden. 

Either grow the plants from seed and collect the petals yourself, or buy dried flower petals. (Rose Mountain Herbs sells dried calendula in bulk online).

If you grow your own plants, make sure you purchase the correct seeds. You want Calendula Officinalis, not other kinds of cultivated marigolds. 

I seeded half a flower bed years ago, and it faithfully comes back every year - voluntarily spreading cheer in other places, too. It wanders and spreads because its seeds are prolific.

Why is calendula so famous? It has been used for eons to heal wounds and irritated skin, and is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and an immunostimulant. Since the properties in calendula stimulate the production of collagen, this plant helps to minimize scarring and wounds, and also helps with stretch marks, sunburn, diaper rash and dry skin.

My favorite way to use calendula is to infuse it in olive oil, which I then make into goat milk soaps.  I wrote a tutorial on how to do this here.

Another favorite is to make salve with it. Let me show you how.

How to make calendula salve:

This is super easy, very quick and saves you money! 

You need

  • 4 ounces calendula-infused olive oil (see above)
  • 1/2 ounce grated beeswax (about 2 tablespoons packed down)
  • optional: about 20 drops of essential oil (I love lavender)

Put a stainless steel bowl inside a pot of boiling water. This creates a double boiler effect.  

Melt the beeswax inside the stainless steel bowl, and once it's liquid, add the calendula oil.  

Keep this in the double boiler and warm it up for about a minute, and then stir it together so it's all mixed and blended well.  

Add essential oil if desired.  

Pour this into a small container and let it cool.  

You can buy little tins for this, or just use what you have in your house.


  1. When I was in high school, my best friend's mother used calendula salve on EVERYTHING! Burn, bites, rashes, you name it. She was hauling out that jar and scooping out a finger full. Her's was not pretty and looked a bit like snot...but it worked, so we didn't complain that we looked like someone sneezed on our bug bites :^)

    1. Ha! That's funny! Yeah, who cares about this looking pretty - what counts is that it works, right?

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