A stash of calendula is an essential herbal medicine to have on hand for making remedies to treat minor wounds, burns and infections. This hardy plant is easy to grow, preserve and use, let’s find out how!
When winter descends, the veggie garden takes on tones of dark greens and purple. Calendula punctuates the garden with pops of orange. The flowers seem to have an internal light, no wonder they attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden all year round.
Calendula Water Infusion
- Tea – calendula tea has been enjoyed as a tea for centuries to aid in the healing of inflammation and ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract. Check with your healthcare practitioner before drinking calendula infusion regularly.
- Mouthwash and Gargle– preparations aid in the healing of gingivitis, ulceration, thrush and other minor infections of the mouth and throat. It is also useful for tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Swish a cooled infusion around the mouth, making sure it is being pushed through the teeth, gargle and then spit out or swallow.
- Eye infections – for minor eye infections you can soak a cotton ball in cooled calendula infusion (strained through a very fine doubled cloth or doubled over clean nut milk bag) and apply liberally around your eye with your eyelid shut. You will need to make a fresh infusion every day and do not double-dip with the cotton ball to prevent cross-infection.
Calendula and Lavender Healing Balm
- For every 1 cup of cold-pressed vegetable oil, add 1/2 cup of dried calendula flowers. Place in a saucepan over very low heat. Bring the oil to just below a simmer.
- Allow infusing at this heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Strain off the flowers through a sieve lined with doubled cheesecloth.
- Store the oil in glass bottles/jars in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
- 250mL calendula infused extra virgin olive oil
- 50g natural beeswax, grated
- 25g medicinal honey
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
- Assemble clean, sterile glass jars and lids to hold approximately 300mL of balm.
- Heat the beeswax and oil in a double boiler (see note) over medium heat. The beeswax will slowly dissolve into the oil. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- When the beeswax is almost dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, but not so long as for the balm to harden. Add the honey and essential oil, then stir again to combine.
- Pour into a small jug with a fine spout or, load up a large syringe.
- Fill the jars. You will need to work quickly as the balm will harden. If you are using a jug, stir the balm between pours to ensure the honey does not settle in the bottom.
- Allow the jars to cool (I place a piece of kitchen paper on top). When cool cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
If you do not have a double boiler simply pop a stainless steel or heatproof glass mixing bowl over a saucepan. Fill to a quarter with water and bring to a simmer. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.