Making calendula oil…

calendulaCalendula is not only a beautiful flower but it’s also a very healing herb.  Calendula, sometimes called pot marigold, is an herb known for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic properties.  It’s commonly used to heal wounds and treat muscle spasms.  These lovely flowers have been used for everything from hair dyes to eye treatments to headaches.  Calendula is by far one of my favorite herbs to work with.  That’s why we’re making calendula oil today. Smile 

STEP 1:  Gather your ingredients.  For making  any herbal oil you’ll need:

  • DSCN0549dried herbs, in this case calendula flowers (enough to almost fill a pint jar)
  • 1 pint jar with a lid
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a stick or knife or other pokey object
  • a crock pot
  • water
  • a cloth rag

 

DSCN0552

 

STEP 2:  Fill your jar about 2/3 full of dried calendula flowers.  You don’t have to pack them down hard or anything.  Just fill it.  If these were fresh flowers you would want to pack them a little tight and fill the jar til it was just about full. 

 

 

 

DSCN0559STEP 3:  Pour the olive oil to within about an inch of the rim.  You want all the herb to be covered with oil.  No bits left out above the oil. 

STEP 4:  Take your stick or knife and poke the herbs down into the oil.  You can also use the end of a wooden spoon.  That works really well.  By poking the herbs into the oil you will also release any air bubbles that are hanging around down in there.  Screw on your lid.

STEP 5:  Next, place the rag in the bottom of the crockpot and sit your jar on the rag.  This will help keep your jar from getting too hot and breaking.  Pour in enough water to fill the crockpot to just under the lid of your jar.  Set your crockpot to the lowest setting.  You only want your oil to be warming, never boiling.  Some crockpots will not go that low so keep an eye on it until you know for sure it’s not going to boil.  Let this sit warming day and night and we’ll strain it out in three days. 

A couple notes –

Your water will evaporate out as it sits heating in the crockpot.  Just add more water as this happens.  I usually check mine every 4 – 6 hours.  This isn’t precise so don’t fuss too much about it.  If you see it getting low, fill it up.  It will be fine while you sleep so don’t worry about that either. 

If your crockpot is prone to boil then I recommend using the cold infusion method.  It will take longer for your herbs to fully infuse but that’s better than burning up your herbs! 

This oil can be used in all sorts or rubs, salves and lip balms.  A good all-purpose salve is so helpful to have around the house.  I like to pour it up into little tins so I can keep them  with me all the time in the diaper bag, my purse, even my pocket.  

Stay tuned and in a few days, we’ll strain this out and take a look at some other oils as well. 

Happy herbing! Smile

-knittingprose

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