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Calendula Miracle Balm: A Natural Alternative to Neosporin and Much More

This past weekend, I had an incident with a splinter the size of a cocktail toothpick. It took a set of nail clippers, a set of extraction tweezers and a set of brow tweezers to remove it from the bottom of my foot. And as unpleasant as the experience was, I welcome it, because it gives me a reason to put last year’s harvest of healing Calendula petals to use! Silver linings, eh?

Healing Calendula

Treating the wound with petroleum-based, chemical laden antibiotic ointment like Neosporin is not an option (I tossed it out of my medicine cabinet years ago).

Skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything you put on it.

If it isn’t safe to eat, you shouldn’t slather it on.

Conventional thinking (and advertising) has us believing that we have to use chemicals to heal, but Mother Nature (I just love her) designed the human body with the ability to heal itself, and this process can be supported (even expedited) with nurturing and healing compounds from whole plant-based ingredients like Calendula. YU can easily grow/harvest this power flower yourself or buy it online to easily infuse an oil for a healing balm.

Calendula Oil/Balm can be used to treat:
• Acne
• Rosacea
• Eczema
• Psoriasis
• Dry/damaged skin
• Premature aging
• Bruises
• Spider veins (astringent action on blood capillaries)
• Burns
• Swelling/inflammation
• Stretch marks
• Diaper rash
• Incisions/cuts

Nursing moms listen up! You can also use this balm to hydrate, heal and soothe delicate skin after breastfeeding. If you use food grade, organic ingredients to create your salve (just don’t use the honey/lavender), you won’t even have to wash it off before breastfeeding again. Be sure to check with your pediatrician, doula or midwife to get the a-ok first, but this Calendula Miracle Balm will keep the irritation, chapping and discomfort away.

YU may want to allow your cut to heal/dry about 1-2 days before applying this balm if wound is open or “weeping.” You can make a tea from petals to immediately/repeatedly wash your wound—allow it to dry in between washings.

Tools:
2 oz glass jar with airtight lid
6 oz glass jar with airtight lid (only for Best Method)
Cheesecloth (only for Quick Method)
Medium saucepan
Silicone spatula or metal spoon
Kitchen scissors

Best Healing-Ooomph Method:
3 tbsp calendula infused almond oil*
2 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 tsp candelilla wax (vegan) or beeswax
2 tsp cocoa butter
1 tsp wild harvested raw honey (optional)
10 drops lavender oil (optional)

*1/4 cup packed dried, organic calendula petals and 1/4 cup organic almond oil

Quick Method:
3 tbsp dried, organic calendula petals
2 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 tsp candelilla wax (vegan) or beeswax
2 tsp cocoa butter
1 tsp wild harvested raw honey (optional)
10 drops lavender oil (optional)

Before we start.
YU can grow and harvest your own Calendula petals easily. Give the plant room in your yard or plant in a container for more control—they grow like crazy.

Plant seeds in the Spring, and once you see flowers, start trimming them off the stems to save petals. Pinch off heads with hands or use scissors about every three days. The more you harvest, the more flowers the plant will put out. Trim the stems back to the first set of leaves to keep any rotting to a minimum.

Harvest in the morning, before it gets warm, when blooms are freshest if YU can, but this isn’t a rule.

Calendula Flower

Bring heads inside (do not wash) out of direct sunlight and trim off any extra stem.

Calendula petals

You can either dry the heads whole, of pull off the petals before drying out. Either way, once dried, you will need to save just the petals.

If you have a dehydrator, you can speed things up by drying on a screen at 90-95F (no hotter, don’t subject the petals to too much heat).

No dehydrator? Just lay out petals on an old window screen, a dry paper towel or a plate, out of the sun, in a dry place. They will shrink up quite a bit—once completely dry, place in an airtight glass container until ready to use. They must be 100% dry before storing or mold will set in.

Calendula petals

Let the prettiest blooms run their course on the stem (that way you can regrow your faves) and you will get these beautiful seed heads.

Calendula seeds

It’s best to harvest these seed heads when they are brown (like below), not green (like above) to plant again next year, or to gift to friends and family. I keep mine in an envelope dried in the fridge.

Calendula seeds

If you don’t harvest the heads, they die back on their own, and go to seed fast. Collect all the heads before they die back if you don’t want Calendula taking over your yard/garden because it will, which I like, but folks who prefer a more manicured look, may not.

Now let’s make some balm. I have outlined two ways to do this—the quickest way and the not-so-quickest-way that yields a more powerful balm. Let’s start with the more involved, but most rewarding option…

Steps:
Best Healing-Oomph Method
Pack 1/4 cup dried calendula petals tightly into a 6 oz. glass jar and fill with almond oil. Secure tightly with a lid and set on a windowsill or on a gas stove (you want some warmth either from the sun, or during cloudy stretches, the pilot) for 4 weeks at least. Using a cheesecloth draped over jar opening (secure with a rubber band), pour oil through cloth and into jar. Discard petals. Store oil in cabinet or pantry—make sure you label your jar so you know what it is.

Calendula Oil

To make your balm, heat all the ingredients together (except lavender) in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cocoa Butter

Stir constantly, until all oils and wax are dissolved and clear.

Calendula

Transfer to your 2 oz. container, stir in lavender, label, seal and store in a cool, dark place like a cabinet or pantry. Apply 1-3 times a day to affected area for amazing healing.

For those of YU who overwhelm quickly, try the quick method using store-bought petals below.

The Quick Method
Heat all the ingredients together (except lavender), in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cocoa Butter

Stir constantly, until all oils and wax are dissolved and clear. Reduce heat to low, add petals…

Add Calendula Petals

… and heat ingredients together for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Calendula

Strain through a cheesecloth into your 2 oz glass container, stir in lavender, label your jar and discard petals.

Strain

Allow to cool to room temp before applying 1-3 times a day to affected area for powerful benefits.

Other uses for Calendula petals:
1. Fill a teabag and steep in a hot bath to keep skin radiant and smooth (wrinkle fighter)
2. Fill two tea bags with calendula and dip in hot water—fight the crow’s feet by using as a compress
3. Juice the heads, stems and leaves and drunk for IBS, upset stomach, liver/kidney support
4. Enjoy as a tea for:
• Arthritis pain
• Detoxification/liver/kidney
• Cancer-fighting benefits (flavonoids/antioxidants)
• Nausea and heartburn
• IBS
• Bloating/water retention relief
• Yeast/fungal infections
• Blood purification
• Stimulating circulation
• Parasite infections

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References:
Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals (with reference to German Commission E monographs) Edited by Norman Grainger Bisset and Max Wichl. 2001 Publishers: medpharm Scientific Publishers. Pages 118 – 120.
Health Through God’s Pharmacy by Maria Treben. 1994 Publishers: Ennsthaler. Pages 14 – 16.
Encyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs by Andrew Chevallier. 1993 Publishers: Dorling Kindersley.
The Complete Book of Herbs & Spices by Sarah Garland. 1993 Publishers: Reader’s Digest.

Read the comments or add yours.

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  1. Hooray! Great post. I have some calendula petals infusing right now in orgsnic virgin olive oil ready to make balm! Paired with a live calendula plant from the local herb sale ive got a great gift for mom. I was able to get local beeswax from a local beekeeper. Call you local honey companies .

  2. Colette

    I have some calendula soaking in almond oil on my windowsill, but in the interim decided to try the quick version. I somehow managed to burn the honey in it. I went ahead and put it in a jar and it has solidified and feels nice on the skin. It does have a burnt nut smell though and I wondered if it is still going to be beneficial or have I burnt the goodness out :)

    Thanks for the inspiration to change my life in such a positive way,

    Colette x.

    • Heather Crosby

      Colette,
      Thank you for the sweet feedback. I would say that some of the power/benefits of the honey has probably been compromised (I don’t know how “burned” is burned), but you can definitely use this version while you wait for the infusion you are making. Add a few more drops of essential oil to balance out the burned smell and know that if the other oils weren’t heated too high, you will still be receiving the benefits there. Hope that helps!

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