Infused Calendula oil is a great tool that every herbalist (and mom) should have stocked. Calendula is the go-to herb for skin related issues. It can be very soothing on inflamed and irritated skin. Its simple to make, and requires only 2 ingredients. Calendula flowers and your oil of choice. You can read more about all of the wonderful healing properties of Calendula here.
Choosing your Calendula
The cheapest and most rewarding Calendula to use would be flowers from your own garden. I can't imagine too many things more satisfying than growing and nurturing your own herbs to make powerful healing concoctions. However, due to current circumstance, this just isn't practical for me at the moment. I buy my dried herbs through bulk herb store. Make sure where ever you get yours, get organic. The last thing you want in your healing oil is toxins and pesticides.
If you are using fresh flowers make sure to dry them completely before using them to infuse an oil. To check just make sure they are nice and crumbly when you crush them. If herbs have any moisture in them it's more likely that your oil will become contaminated and unsafe to use.
Choosing your oil
This time I used coconut oil. It's my usual go-to oil. You can use any oil you prefer through. Almond oil, olive oil and sunflower oil tend to be common favorites of others.
We go through a lot of oil in my house. I personally use it every day as a moisturizer, face wash (i oil-wash), in sugar scrubs, to wash my baby during bath time and on their bums during diaper changes. If you plan on using a lot, save your self some money and buy it in bulk. Here you can get a gallon of certified organic, non-gmo oil for very cheap. It's currently 15 cents per oz. Which is way cheaper than the other usual 50-60 cents per oz. A gallon would only last a few months in my house.
Infusing your calendula oil
Here you have a few options.
Traditionally the best way to infuse a herbal oil is with the heat from the sun. Simply fill a large jar half full with your herb. Then pour your oil of choice over the herbs covering them completely. Place in a warm sunny spot (but not too much direct sun, as intense sunlight can destroy some of the healing properties) and let infuse for 2-6 weeks. Make sure you give it a gentle shake each day. The longer you allow your herbs to infuse the stronger your oil will be.
*If you do a solar infusion, i wouldn't recommend coconut oil as it hardens if the temperature drops, unless you mix it with another oil to make it more fluid.
Slow cooker method
Slow cooker is quite a bit quicker and still pretty gentle in terms of low heat. Put a small towel at the bottom of your slow cooker and put a few inches of water. Turn the slow cooker on low, and place your jar in the slow cooker. Let infuse for 8-24 hours. Check that the temperature doesn't get too hot. Ideally around 115 degrees, but i never check. I'm the "wing it" kinda gal, and hope for the best.
This is the method i use. I don't have an actual double boiler so I make do with a glass bowl. Put several inches in a pot in which your glass bowl fits over. Make sure the water is high enough to create steam, but not high enough to touch your glass bowl.
Fill your glass bowl with your oil and herbs. I used hardened coconut oil so i had to melt it first before i added the herbs.
And the herbs.
Infuse for 4-6 hours on the stove. After my water starts simmering I keep my burner on very low, like setting 2 out of 10 for the entire time. Again, we don't want to cook the goodness out of the herbs and oil. Just heat it enough to let them release. After your herbs have infused, strain them in a strainer or mesh bag and squeeze out the remaining oil from the herbs. I used my favorite tea strainer. (Seriously, i have 3 of them)
Then Taa-Dah! Beautiful Calendula Oil in all its golden goodness.
Now you can store in a clean jar in a cool dark place. The oil is supposed to last about a year or so. If you notice a strange smell or something seems "off" after a while, it may have gone rancid.
Enjoy your calendula oil as is, or use it to make awesome personal care products like all natural diaper cream.
- Benefits and Uses of Calendula
- Diaper Cream made with Infused Calendula Oil
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