Here’s a simple recipe for making your own calendula salve, a wonderful remedy for topical skin irritations. Beeswax acts as a preservative, giving this salve a shelf life of about six months. After that time, it will develop a rancid odor letting you know it’s shelf life has expired. Store the salve in an airtight container, in a cool dry place, away from heat or direct light, especially sunlight.
- 2 oz Calendula Flowers + 1 cup Olive Oil
- 1 oz shaved beeswax (or beeswax pastilles)
- Put the flowers and oil in a small stainless steel, glass, or ceramic pot and place a thermometer into the mixture.
- Heat to 120 degrees F and “cook” at this temp for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
- Strain the oil.
- Put the fixed oil into a stainless steel, glass, or ceramic pot; add the shaved beeswax. Warm until wax melts.
- Test consistency with a metal spoon: Dip the spoon in mixture and place into freezer for 3-5 minutes. Add either more beeswax or oil if needed to reach desired consistency.
- Put into an airtight container; allow to cool and harden completely before moving into storage.
- Label and date the salve.
Tip: Adding a few drops of Vitamin E oil will help preserve the salve, increasing its shelf-life.
If, after being in the freezer, the salve is too hard to spread easily on the skin and be absorbed, add more oil. If the salve comes out softer or too liquidy, add more beeswax. Hardness or softness of the salve is both a personal preference and relevant to the purposes intended for the final product (e.g., on rough elbows you may want a harder salve. For diaper rash, you may want a softer product).