Making Calendula Salve

Calendula flowers
This week, one of Aaron's jobs (our WWOOFer/intern this spring) has been to learn about making salves. Calendula, the flower, is especially soothing for lots of skin ailments. Things like itchy skin, mild wounds, diaper rash, chapped lips, dry, patchy skin, all respond well to calendula, and one of the better ways of preserving the flower for use later, is to make a salve.

Calendula Salve

1/2 cup dried calendula flowers
1 cup oil (we use a mixture of pumpkin seed and sunflower oils)
1/2 cup beeswax, finely shaved
12 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil

Combine the calendula flowers and oil in a small crock pot. Turn on the lowest setting and leave for about 2 hours. If the oil is getting very hot, turn it off for an hour then back on for another hour. Or if you have a low-warm setting, you can leave the crock pot on for about 5 hours. Turn off and leave over night.

The following day, strain out the flowers, squeeze out the excess oil and discard the used flowers. Heat the oil again and add the bees wax, mixing well. Add the essential oils and pour into tins or salve containers.

I had Aaron try something new with this batch of salve. While the liquid was cooling, I used an egg beater and whipped the salve. It made for a very nice texture but it's kind of a hassle to whip the mixture to get it right.
Filling salve tins with the whipped calendula salve.
When Aaron came to Long Creek Herbs in March, we still had chickweed. He and I gathered a batch, along with some plantain and comfrey and dried it in the food dehydrator. Last week he made a batch of salve with those ingredients. Chickweed, as well as plantain and comfrey with a bit of yarrow, are strongly healing herbs. Chickweed salve works for small bites, cuts, scratches or minor injuries.
Chickweed makes an excellent first-aid salve.
You'll find recipes for making salves and other herbal formulas in my book, Great Herb Mixes You Can Make, on my website.
The salve formula for chickweed salve is essentially the same as for making calendula salve. The major portion of the 1/2 cup of dried herb was the chickweed, with about a tablespoon of dried comfrey and yarrow, with 2 tablespoons dried plantain.
Chickweed slave tins, filled.
Aaron & goat kids
Aaron is still playing mama to the 2 goat twins. Their mother isn't giving milk so 3 times a say, Aaron fills the baby bottles and feeds the pair. They follow him around like pets.

That's farm life this week at Long Creek Herb Farm. If you're in Wichita, Kansas this weekend, come to the herb festival and farmers market at The Sedgwick County Extension office, 7001 W. 21 st St. North, Wichita KS. I'll be giving 4 programs including Art in the Garden, How to Eat a Rose and Growing & Using the Ten Most Popular Herbs.


summersundays-jw said...

If you need anymore chickweed, would you let me know!

Carla said...

Thanks for this recipe and for the information on Chickweed. I can really use these!

Historic Warren County Ohio said...

If you don't have a crock pot what can you do? What is the temperature you are trying to achieve with the crock pot? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Would aloe vera be a good addition to this mix at all? I sometimes have used fresh or dried lavender in my own but it occurred to me to use the aloe since I have a lot in my garden.