Calendula was the “Windex” of my childhood… whenever we got any bumps, bruises, scrapes, cuts, or any other tiny abrasions like that, mum brought out the calendula cream and we’d lather that baby on ;).
100% natural, potent, homemade healing calendula cream
Calendula’s well known for its healing benefits. It’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour agent, and a powerful wound healer, making it a wonderful healing cream! It’s a fantastic potent medicinal herb, particularly for skin ailments and rashes, including eczema, acne and even diaper rash.
Making the Herb Infused Oil
The first step in making this healing cream is to make an infused oil. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
- Putting dried calendula flowers in olive oil for several weeks, OR
- Using the quick method: heating the oil and dried flowers on low in a slow cooker for up to 24 hours.
Solar-infused calendula oil, sitting on a sunlit window sill (it won’t be ready for 6 weeks)
You’ll need 1 cup total of this infused oil for the recipe, but I always figure it’s better to make more than you need so you have it ready for next time! (Or to use in other recipes/DIYs). It will keep for a fair while (about 6 months).
Solar-Infused Oil Method
This method takes a few weeks to complete (approx. 4-6 weeks), as it involves infusing the oil using natural sunlight (hence the term “solar-infused”). This method is more commonly recommended as it tends to yield a better quality oil.
How to make:
- 1/2 cup organic dried calendula flowers
- 1 cup olive oil, OR 3/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Add the flowers to a pint-sized mason jar (if using fresh flowers, wilt for 12 hours beforehand to remove majority of moisture in the flowers – too much moisture will cause oil to go rancid).
- Pour oil over top (and ensure the flowers are completely covered – with about an inch or two of oil sitting above the flowers to allow for expansion) and fastened with a lid. Allow to sit on a sunny window sill for 4-6 weeks (or until the oil takes on the colour of the flowers (so as the calendula flowers are yellow, the oil should develop a golden yellow colour to it)). Shake once or more daily.
- Strain out the flowers and reserve the oil to make the calendula cream.
- Store any leftover oil in a cool, dark dry place. It’ll last up to 6 months.
Using natural sunlight to infuse the calendula flowers into the oil
Heat-Infused Oil Method
This method only takes 24-72 hours (at most) to make, and involves using a crockpot to heat the oil and infuse the herbal properties (again, hence the “heat-infused” term).
How to make:
- Place herbs in a crock-pot & cover with oil, again leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs.
2. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 38°-60°C (100°-140°F) for 1-5 hrs, or until the oil takes on the colour & scent of the herb. Alternatively, you can heat the oil for 48-72 hrs at a controlled temperature of 38°C (100°F) or until the oil develops a golden yellow colour from the flowers (this is what I did)).
- Turn off the heat & allow it to cool.
- Once the oil has cooled, strain out the flowers (you can pop these flowers in the compost, or sprinkle over your garden for a nutrient boost to the soil).
4. Bottle in dry, sterilised glass jars. Be sure to label your bottles with the date & contents before storing them.
5. Store in a cool, dark dry place. It’ll last up to 6 months.
Heat-infused calendula oil – using a crockpot to infuse the calendula flowers into the oil
How to Make the Calendula Cream
Now it’s time for the exciting part! Actually making this wonderful healing cream!!!!
So now all you need to do is gather the rest of your ingredients, and let’s get started!
- 1 cup calendula infused oil
- 1 ounce beeswax (4 tbsp)
- Essential oils of your choice (I used lavender and grapefruit)
- 1 cup tepid water (a.k.a lukewarm water)
- Jars or tins to hold 2 cups (make sure to sterilise the jars beforehand to ensure the cream lasts as long as possible (minimises cross-contamination of sorts).
Luscious, rich, soft and incredibly soothing calendula cream
How to make:
- Bring several cups of water in a saucepan to a boil. If you have a glass blender, pop about 2 cups of the boiling water into the blender to preheat it (otherwise if you have a plastic blender like me, wait until you’re just about ready to use the blender to mix the cream, then pop the water in to pre-heat it for a couple of minutes or more – just to prevent the plastic from melting or deteriorating in any way).
- Once the water’s boiling, turn down to a simmer and make a double boiler by putting the infused oil and beeswax either in a heat proof bowl on top of the pot of water, or in a glass jar that you place in the simmering water (make sure it sits above the water line, you don’t want any water mixing in with the beeswax and oil).
- Heat until the beeswax melts completely into the oil (ensure you’re stirring constantly throughout). Once melted, take off heat and stir in the essential oils (you only need a little as; 1. essential oils are quite potent, so a little goes a long way, and 2. the calendula oil has a beautiful scent of it’s own – so it’s completely optional if you want to add essential oils or not).
- Pour the hot water out of your blender and put the oil/wax/essential oil mixture in.
- Cover the blender except for the hole that is used for drizzling liquids in at the top (as you’ll be slowly adding the tepid water through this into the mixture). Turn on the blender and slowly drizzle the tepid water in. You may need to scrape down the sides of your blender once or twice to make sure all of the water gets incorporated into the mixture.
- Pour the mix into your sterilised glass jars/bottles/containers.
- Let the cream set for several hours before use.
Set and ready to use! Simply rub a little of the cream onto the affected area as needed
- I adapted this recipe from Grow Forage Cook Ferment’s calendula cream recipe.
- I adapted the herb-infused oil recipe from Mountains Rose Herbs.com Herb-Infused Oils for Culinary & Body Care Use recipe.
This calendula cream is incredibly rich and luscious on your skin! I’ve found it’s better than any lotion that I’ve tried, plus it’s so great to know that it has completely natural, beneficial ingredients like calendula herb, essential oils, and beeswax in it without any of the added nasties, chemicals, and other additive toxic ingredients you might find in the store bought stuff. It makes me feel better, anyway! 😉
I stored my calendula cream in glass containers I’d collected and reused from past products I’d bought, but you’re more than welcome to use tin containers, bigger glass jars or other types of containers too!
Note: Since this cream is made with water and doesn’t contain any of the preservatives commonly found in store bought creams, it’s quite perishable and has a short shelf life of around a month, so it’s advisable that you store it in the refrigerator between uses.
Some other wonderful uses for calendula flowers and it’s incredible oil include:
- a healing salve
- just as is (rub on your skin, cuts, bruises, rub a little in your hair! It’s extremely nourishing)
- a lotion
- body butter (try incorporating some of this oil in an incredibly soft whipped body butter!)
- lotion bars
- homemade soap (and soap bars)
- lip balm
- diaper rash salve
- bug bite balm
- salad dressing (as it’s edible too!)
- calendula shortbread
- after sun butter
Calendula is such a versatile herb, and can be incorporated into so many other beauty products and food recipes! Feel free to get creative with it!!
If you’d like a little live run-through of how I make this healing calendula cream, see my video below for a quick demonstration.
In a future post (coming soon!) I’ll share some natural preservatives you can use in your homemade beauty products (like this one) to extend shelf life naturally! So stay tuned!!!
If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!
Lots of love,