Lavender and Calendula-Infused Oil and Hand Salve
Infuse Your Own Calendula and Lavender Oil!
This is the time of year we gather the last of our herbs from the garden and try to find good uses for them. Lavender and calendula (also known as pot marigold) make a wonderful infused oil. You can use the oil in a massage, add it to your bath or create a healing hand salve. Both lavender and calendula are plentiful in our gardens right now, but if you don’t have fresh flowers, you can purchase them dried online or in many health food stores. Want to make the hand salve but don’t have time to make your own infused oil? You can order our infused calendula oil and lavender essential oil, and use them instead when making the hand salve.
Harvesting and Drying the Plants
Harvest your lavender and calendula after any rain or morning dew has evaporated. After harvesting the flowers, let them dry for a few days to a week. If they aren’t completely dry, they may introduce moisture into your oil, which can encourage microbial growth. Note: If you don’t have calendula growing in your garden, go sow some seeds right now for next year! It’s a wonderful plant that repels garden pests such as aphids and hornworms and has been used in folk medicine for centuries to soothe skin irritations and help heal wounds.
Sunny Windowsill Lavender and Calendula‑infused Oil
1. Fill a sterilized jar with the dried flowers. The dried calendula you purchase is usually just the petals, but you can use the whole flower (just not the stems or leaves).
2. Pour jojoba or almond oil over the flowers, making sure the flowers are completely covered with about an inch of oil on top. The flowers will rise to the top of the oil but will sink slowly over time.
3. Screw on a lid and place the jar in a sunny window for four to six weeks, shaking occasionally.
4. After four to six weeks, strain the oil through clean cheesecloth into a glass bottle. If any plant residue remains, strain a second time. Store with a tight lid in a dark location.
Lavender and Calendula Hand Salve
4 tbs lavender and calendula-infused jojoba or almond oil*
2 tbs shea butter
2 tbs beeswax pearls
One drop of Vitamin E
Three to five drops of Lavender Essential Oil
*See recipe above or purchase calendula infused oil from our website.
- Warm the infused oil and shea butter on low heat in the top of a double boiler (or heat in a glass measuring cup in the microwave) until melted. Add the beeswax pastilles and stir until the mixture is completely melted and blended. (If using the microwave method, you may need to heat and stir again.)
- Let the mixture cool a bit, and then add the vitamin E, the lavender essential oil, and stir.
- Pour the still-warm mixture into a container and let it sit undisturbed until it’s completely cool. Then add a tight-fitting lid. The less water or moisture you introduce to your salve, the longer it will keep.
As the summer heads into fall, the days are getting shorter here in Western North Carolina, but there’s still a lot of sunshine and time to enjoy the garden. We have a fair amount of late-blooming roses in ours. If you’d like to make rose-infused oil instead and use it in the hand salve recipe above, just follow our directions here.