Important note: if you have ragweed allergies, you might also be allergic to calendula – which means that this recipe might not be for you. Just because something is ‘natural’, doesn’t mean you can’t be allergic to it or get sick from it!
Otherwise, if you’re not allergic to it, calendula is often used to reduce inflammation and repair skin. It’s said to be great on burns and useful if you get cuts or wounds.
- Fresh/Dried calendula flowers
- Liquid oil (I used avocado oil because of it’s long shelf-life and stability in heat, but extra virgin olive oil is another option that I’ve tried – EVOO needs to be used up sooner though because of its tendency towards rancidity)
- If you only have fresh calendula, you’ll have to dry them sufficiently (any moisture left in your product may lead to quicker spoilage – if your oil starts smelling sour/rancid or looks like there’s mold, you probably shouldn’t use it. I hear calendula flowers have a lot of resin in them, so it might be a good idea to buy dried flowers).
- Crush up the dried flowers and put them in a jar.
- Cover the flowers with your oil, close the lid and let it infuse for a couple of weeks. (I would say, at least 2 weeks, but I’ve done it for a couple of months, at times – depending on how soon I need it.) I leave it out in the sun to infuse, but I’ve heard other people leave it in shade or indoors in the dark – again, please refer to the notes below!
- When you’re ready to use it, strain away and discard the flowers.
- You’ll be left with your infused oil, ready to use as-is or, you can combine it with other ingredients to create lip balms, lotions, etc.
- I find my sun infusions and sun-dried herbs are still effective. Other people say that the heat from the sun (as well as light) destroys some of the beneficial properties. I’ve also heard that some people only use fresh, non-dried herbs – again, because they say it’s more potent and that even the process of drying destroys vitamins/minerals/other beneficial properties. Having previously had issues using fresh flowers – and subsequent mold (YUCK!) (and the smell that comes with said mold!), I’m gonna dry those flowers until crispy!