For anyone who's ever wanted the most simple, nourishing, therapeutic and basic herbal skin salve (or lip balm), this one's for you. 

Last week, I posted my recipe for Calendula Infused Apricot Oil, a pure and basic combo of calendula flowers and apricot kernel seed oil. This post will utilize that decadent blend as the base for this essential salve. This has been my go-to herbal salve for everything from simple cuts and scrapes to deep wounds and itchy skin. I always keep this little tin with me when I'm out and about, and especially when I'm hiking and backpacking (which is essentially every weekend in the summer and fall). This blend incorporates the soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of calendula with the delicate, moisturizing base of apricot kernel oil with the additions of beeswax and essential oils. This is the perfect simple salve to make if you're just beginning to make herbal topical remedies - super easy, and still a thorough process to really get you involved in the herbal medicine making process. It's a relationship, after all. 

For this recipe, I keep on hand most ingredients and supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs such as beeswax pastilles, apricot oil and small tins, but you can find many of these ingredients from your local health food store. If you're lucky enough to have calendula flowers growing in your garden, use those! 

Classic Calendula Salve

Calendula Infused Apricot Kernel OIl
Lemongrass essential oil
Orange essential oil

Measure the amount of infused oil that you have in a measuring cup and place it in a small pot (ideally with a pour lip). Turn on very low heat. 

(FYI - Just 1 cup of oil will make PLENTY of little salves...)

Add in beeswax pastilles, approximately 1 ounce of wax per cup of oil that you have. (Keep a small amount aside if adjustments are needed later.)

Warm this mixture on low heat until the wax if fully melted, stirring constantly. 

When the wax is fully melted, dip a metal spoon in the mixture to contain a small amount. Turn off heat. Put the spoon in the refrigerator for about 8-10 minutes to make sure it is solidifying to your liking. If too liquidy or not solidifying into a salve like consistency, add about 1/4 tsp bees wax at a time to the oil mixture and repeat the spoon test until the right consistency is reached. If it cools too hard, add a bit more oil to the blend. 

Once you've got it just right consistency, pour the oil into small 1 or 2 ounce tins and fill just below the rim. Let cool for about 1 minute, then add essential oils. I used Lemongrass and Orange essential oils. 3 drops Lemongrass and 2 drops Orange essential oil per tin. 

Place the tins in the refrigerator to cool until solidified. Cover and store until needed. Carry with you for a simple lip balm, cuticle salve or first aide balm. 



Photography by Renee Byrd in our herbal + photography collaboration

No other herb screams "Sun bursting summer celebration!" like Calendula does for me. These beautiful, vibrantly orange marigold flowers are nothing short of breathtaking when they're growing in a hot summer field, basking in the heavy heat of mid summer. Calendula is always a treat for me, as it's really only available and in high quality during the summer and early fall months, so I can't bask in it's glory all year long. But when I can get my hands on some fresh or dried calendula flowers, I want to make 'em last as long as I can.

Enter infused oils (and get ready for a truly decadent full body treat). 

A few years ago, I discovered that calendula and apricot kernel oil are practically made for each other. They're like botanical soul mates. The first time I infused dried calendula flowers into apricot oil and put it on my skin I swear I could hear my whole body just giggling with appreciation. The delicate balance of apricot oil and soothing calendula is a straight up lifesaver for those with dry, sensitive skin (and all others too, let's be real). And in this way, I can keep calendula with me through the winter and early spring as a decadent bath oil, body oil, main ingredient in AMAZING salves (that one's coming up next) and even lip balms. And, it's amazingly simple to make to boot. 

(Side note - when I make infused oils, tinctures, topical medicines, tea blends etc...I totally feel like I'm at Hogwarts, blending up magical recipes to store away and keep in my botanical apothecary. Have fun with this! Let your inner magic child come out, and get imaginative and creative with your blends. It's hard to go wrong with infused oils!)

Calendula Benefits:

Calendula is excellent topically due to it's anti-inflammatory and mucilage (polysaccharide) content, making it soothing and cooling for dry or inflamed skin. It has been used topically as a vulnerary (wound healing) treatment for centuries, as well as a syptic (to stop bleeding) when applied to wounds on the skin. It also has some mild anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties as well (and a salve made of this is usually a staple in my backpacking first aid kit). 

Calendula Infused Apricot Oil

Dried Calendula Flowers
Apricot Kernal Seed Oil

Take a pint mason jar and pack it with dried calendula flowers, leaving about 1.5 inches at the neck. 

Cover completely with apricot kernel oil and give it a good shake. Let it solar infuse (sit in the summer sun) for 4 days, shaking once a day.  

(Another faster option is to put it in a pot, 3/4 filled with water on the stove on LOW heat for about 6 hours. Be careful this way, because if it gets too hot the oil will burn, or the glass may crack. A crock put on low heat also works). 

Take a thin bandana, old cloth shirt, or fine cheese cloth and strain all of the oil out into a clean jar and store away for later use. 



Photos by Renee Byrd, on the first of our many herbal+photography collaborations together <3

Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.


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