June 18, 2008

by Jared Tropple, MH

Calendula has been used since the Roman times for healing wounds. It is bright yellow to a beautifully brilliant orange and contains volatile oils, tannins, and resins that help with inflammation and speed healing. It also has Antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties.

Calendula has been used in countless salves as a primary ingredient for skin rashes, diaper rashes, minor cuts, chapped lips, and minor burns. A strong tea made from the flowers makes an excellent foot soak for athlete’s foot, a facial wash for acne, or a mouth wash for canker sores.

To make a Calendula Salve first make an infused oil by covering the 1/4 cup of flowers in 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a closed jar for at least two weeks. After two weeks the oil should have turned a darker yellowish color. Strain off the flowers through a muslin cloth and pour oil into a stainless steel or pyrex pot. Heat oil on low and grate about 1/8 cup of beeswax. After it has melted take off heat and add 40 drops of essential oils (I would add Lavender). Pour into the jar you intend to keep the salve in and store in a dark, dry place. This salve should last at least a year if not longer if stored properly

Not only is it fun to make your own herbal medicine but you can tailor it to your specific needs. Calendula is a wonderful herb to add to many herbal formulas.