CALENDULA INFUSED OIL
Calendula is an excellent herb for skin irritations, including rashes, scratches, cuts, inflammation and minor burns. It’s also good for chapped lips and hands, and is gentle on elderly and baby skin (and can be used for diaper rash). It stimulates the production of collagen at the wound site, helping to minimise scars.
To make a calendula-infused oil, fill a 1-litre glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid three-quarters full with fresh calendula petals (half full for dried petals). Before putting them in the jar, allow fresh petals to dry for 12 hours after picking to remove most of the moisture. Too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid.
Fill the jar with cold-pressed virgin olive oil, stopping about 3cm from the top. Stir, screw the lid on tightly, then place the jar in a warm room out of direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks. Shake once a day. Then strain through a fine muslin cloth. Pour the infused oil into a glass bottle, label with the name and date, and store in a cool, dark cupboard.
This oil can be rubbed onto the skin to soothe rashes and eczema, or use it to make a salve (see recipe), which is less messy.