Here’s an excerpt from my new book……A Simply Homemade Clean!
Springtime finds us enjoying much more time outdoors; however that also means bug bites, scrapes, cuts, and probably a few bruises, too! You can very simply make your own all natural, healing Calendula Salve and you’ll be back outside enjoying the season in no time!
Having an all- purpose salve on hand is essential! I keep this salve made up and on hand year round, and if anyone in the family has any type of ailment you’ll hear someone say, “Get some salve on it!”
Calendula, is technically known as Calendula Officinalis.’ Calendula’ is from the Latin ‘kalendae’, the given name from the Romans, used to indicate how it bloomed year round in their area; and ‘officinalis’ meaning it is included in official lists as a medicinal herb. Another more common name for Calendula is Pot Marigold; and it has some pretty amazing healing properties. This powerful, yet pretty ‘flower’ is from the Asteraceae family; other family members include Yarrow, Arnica and Chamomile which are all powerhouse herbs! Calendula is both a culinary and medicinal herb. The petals are completely edible and are great on a fresh green salad! I tend to use dried Calendula for medicinal uses, primarily for its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also great in tinctures, poultices, in teas…it really is wonderfully diverse!
However, as with any herb or commercial medicine, if you are pregnant or nursing always check with your doctor first! I also recommend with any commercial or herbal preparation that you do a small test before using in full capacity, especially with children. Test a bit of salve on a small patch of skin to assure no allergic reactions. So with all the formalities out of the way, let’s gather up our supplies make some of this wonderful healing salve!
Here’s what you’ll need: One quarter cup dried calendula petals, one-half cup extra virgin olive oil, one eighth cup grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles, thirty drops lavender essential oil, cheesecloth, heavy pot and spoon, measuring cup, rubber band, Crock-Pot (paper coffee filters and canning jars, too, depending on your preference and on which way you choose to make your salve. I also like to double or triple this recipe; it keeps well and I never (well, almost never!) run out!
I have made this salve for years, and done some variations (occasionally adding in a handful of plantain leaf, comfrey, or lavender buds) and sometimes amending the preparation method, too. The addition of Lavender adds another layer of protection (kills many common bacteria) as well as a pain reliever. Comfrey is a very powerful herb commonly used in poultices for blunt trauma injuries; broken bones, burns and in the case of my salve I use it for its ability to heal swollen bruises! Plantain is sometimes referred to as the ‘mother of all herbs’ and I can see why; it works healing wonders on just about any medical problem! I will add a handful of plantain leaf to my infusion for its ability to heal bites, stings, cuts, wounds, bee stings and so much more! I obtain most of my essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs. If I have not grown my own herbs, I will get them at Mountain Rose or at More Than Alive
I most often make my salve using solar infusion. I will put olive oil and calendula petals in a canning jar, put the lid on and set in out in the hot afternoon sun. However, there have been times where I’ve run out and need to make a batch faster, or there is no “hot afternoon sun”. In that case I will put my olive oil and calendula petals in a small Crock-Pot and heat on low for approximately three hours.
When either of these processes is complete, I will generally use a canning jar covered with an inverted paper coffee filter, secured with the canning jar band, and slowly pour the infusion in, straining out the calendula petals. I prefer this method for smaller batches, because there is less mess. If I am doing a larger batch, I lay cheesecloth over the top of a glass measuring cup (I use a four-cup Pyrex measure that has a very wide mouth) and secure the cheesecloth with a strong rubber band. Then I slowly pour the olive oil through the cheesecloth so the petals are caught on top and the oil filters through into the measuring cup.
Next I pour my strained oil into a heavy saucepan (stainless steel; no teflon) and turn the heat on low. I add the beeswax and stir occasionally until melted. Once the beeswax is completely melted, I remove the saucepan from the heat, let sit a couple minutes and add the essential oil(s), stirring to distribute these throughout the mixture (chopsticks or popsicle sticks are great for this). Then I pour the mixture into a clean container. I use small tins for carrying in purses, backpacks and they are included in all our first-aid kits! I use larger canning or glass jars for general use around the house.
I leave the salve uncovered until completely cooled, label and cap it. Prepared and stored properly it will last upwards of a year – if it doesn’t get used up faster! Just rub on as needed!
I love making this for my family, I love knowing what is in it (no chemicals or toxins) and I absolutely LOVE using what God gave us to take care of our bodies.
Posted: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 @ 8:44 am
Categories: Frugal Homestead, Homemade Clean, Homestead Simplicity!, Lessons Learned at the Homestead, Musings from our Homestead to yours!, The Homestead, The Prepared Homestead, Tips from the Homestead.
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