DIY Herbal Recipe: Calendula Oil

We are proud to say that we dramatically expanded our educational offerings this year at Delight. Throughout the spring and summer, we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the art and process of:  flower arranging, kombucha making, yoga, and DIY herbalism. It is our mission – and a privilege – to educate our community in the ways of land stewardship and self care.

Our three-part Herbal First Aid series is coming to a close this Sunday, August 13th with a focus on our beloved green savior, Plantain (Plantago major). Plantain, usually considered a common weed, is an incredibly useful plant. Its large emerald leaves are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and wound healing. Plantain tends to be abundant in lawns, gardens, fields, and parkways, so it’s almost always there when you need it most! It is commonly used to treat minor skin inflammation, wounds, insect bites, and irritation from poison ivy. This is, hands down, one of the most soothing remedies for those maddening mid-summer bug bites.

Interested in learning more about this healing plant? Want to learn how to make a Plantain salve to soothe all manner of itchy bites and bumps? Check out this upcoming class! Pre-registration is required. All participants will take home their own Plantain salve, and a handmade zine packed with lots of herbal wisdom + magic.

Photo by JP Goguen

In the spirit of love – of plants and of knowledge – we’re sharing a simple and (VERY) useful recipe for DIY infused herbal oils. We used this recipe to make a lovely calendula oil in part one of the Herbal First Aid series.

Calendula has been used in folk remedies for ages. It’s sunny personality and agreeable growing tendencies make it a fun and easy flower to grow, gather and use! We at Delight adore this flower for it’s bright colors, abundant blooms, and heady scent. You can’t feel sad musing by the calendula patch. Calendula is a famous wound remedy that’s used to soothe and heal all manner of burns, blisters, bruises, stings, cuts and scrapes. It’s an essential to have stocked in your bathroom cabinet or first aid kit. This herbal oil is also lovely as a post-bath or shower skin treatment.

But, here’s the beauty of this recipe: you can use it to make a multitude of healing oils, each with their own unique beauty and medicinal virtue.

Here are some herbs that make a wonderful infused oil:

  • Lavender
  • Yarrow
  • Plantain
  • Comfrey
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Calendula
  • Rosemary
  • Arnica

For more information on making your own herb-infused oils, check out this resource from bulk herb distributor, Mountain Rose Herbs. And read on, too!

Photo by JP Goguen

DIY Calendula Oil

Gather:

  • fresh calendula flowers (wilted for 24 hrs), or dry (amount varies)
  • 2 clean, sanitized mason jars + lids
  • organic extra-virgin olive oil (amount varies)
  • sunny window
  • fine mesh sieve
  • cheesecloth
  • label and permanent marker
  1. Take your fresh-wilted or dry herb (most herbs should be used dry, but a few work better fresh-wilted) and tightly pack into a canning jar. Cover the herb with olive oil (or another fixed oil of your choice) so that no dry material is exposed to air. A good rule of thumb is to cover the herb with 1” of oil. If the herb absorbs the oil, simply top your jar off with a bit more.
  2. Stir lightly, and seal tightly with a properly fitting lid. 
  3. Set your jar in a sunny window. This will allow the sun to warm the oil each day, infusing it with the medicinal properties of the herb.
  4. Give your oil a gentle shake at least once every day, or whenever you think of it. This helps circulate plant material and allows the oil to touch every surface of the herb. Assess the progress of your oil infusion after about 2-4 weeks. You’ll know your oil is ready because it will take on the color and aroma of the extracted herb.
  5. When your infusion is ready, strain the herb + oil through a cheesecloth into a clean, DRY vessel or container. Squeeze the spent herb in the cheesecloth to make sure you get every last drop of your precious infusion!
  6. Cap the vessel tightly, label your oil, and store in a cool, dark, dry place. 
  7. Use this oil on stubborn cuts, burns, or skin irritations. Or use it after bathing to nourish and hydrate the skin. Celebrate your body with a love-filled ritual.
Photo by JP Goguen

With flowery devotion,

Farmer Liz

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