Herbs & Superfoods - - Herbs For Health & Wellbeing -

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.

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