The common marigold (Calendula officinalis) is well known for its medicinal uses. It is used as a balm to treat small cuts and bruises, as it helps the skin to heal and regenerate faster.
The flowers can be used for tea and as edible decoration on meals. They are also the active ingredient for this easy homemade Calendula balm.
Calendula contains anti-inflammatory compounds and is antibacterial. It stimulates blood circulation and aids the healing process of wounds. The balm is very helpful for dry skin or acne.
Step 1: Calendula Oil
You will need Calendula oil to make the balm. This can be bought in health stores, or you can easily make your own.
- 10-20 marigold flowerheads (fresh or dried)
- 100 ml high quality plant-based oil (cold-pressed sunflower or olive oil)
- a fine sieve
- a clean jar
- a mousselin cloth or tea towel
- some string or rubber band
Put the dry flowerheads in the jar and fill up with the oil. If the flowerheads are too wet, mould can be a problem, so if you’re unsure, let them dry for a few days. The flowers should be completely immersed in the oil.
Cover the jar with a cloth and fix it into place with a rubber band or tie with string. This will prevent anything getting into the jar, and at the same time reduce the chance of condensation. Put the jar in a warm, sunny space and leave for 3-4 weeks. Move the jar a little every day, so the flowers and oil are slewed around a little.
Pour through a fine sieve after 3-4 weeks and keep in a clean jar or bottle.
The oil can already be used on your skin in liquid form.
Step 2: Calendula Balm
- 100 ml Calendula oil
- 10 g lanoline (wool fat)
- 10-12 g bee’s wax
Melt the lanoline over a pot of simmering water in a suitable bowl. Add the calendula oil and the bee’s wax. Stir the mixture until the wax has melted completely.
The lanoline is used to ensure that the water-soluble components are bound, not just the fat-soluble ones in the oil. If you’re allergic to wool fat you can leave it out, but you might need to use a bit more bee’s wax.
Fill the balm into a clean jar and let it cool.
Use it on cuts and grazes, to soothe dry skin or to aid the healing of acne.