For the last couple months, I have been increasingly interested in herbal care for not only myself, but my dog as well.
It all started when I read this post on Frugally Substainable, written by Chris Dalziel of Joybilee Farm (another new favorite blog!) She was talking about herbal remedies for pets. That was right around the time when I was really struggling to find a diet to work for my dog to heal his stomach ailments.
One thing she mentioned was using calendula salve for dry, itchy skin. Calendula is very healing for skinI had actually never heard of calendula, but learned it is actually the pot marigold! The flowers can be collected and made into a healing salve. Sammy is a licker – he obsessively licks his legs, and although I don’t think he necessarily has “dry skin”, I knew the healing properties of calendula could help him, inside and out!
I went out and bought a few calendula plants.
Since I knew I would not be able to harvest enough flowers to make the salve, I bought some calendula flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs.
1 cup oil (I used hemp oil, you can use olive oil, or coconut oil)
2 cup calendula flower petals
1/4 cup beeswax (pastilles)
Essential oil (optional)
In a medium pot, combine the oil and the calendula petals. Place over medium low heat and stir to combine. Heat until you see little tiny bubbles. Continue heating for 2 hours over low low heat.
After 2 hours, strain the oil, and squeeze all the oil out of the calendula.
Over a double boiler, heat the beeswax to melt it.
When it is melted, slowly add in the oil, stirring constantly. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil, if desired. I chose not to use any this time.
Pour into a container and let cool. It is not recommended to use a clear jar for storage – you want something not see-through (white is fine), or amber or dark colored, to protect from the sunlight. I am using a glass canning jar, because I am going to be storing this in a dark closet.
Don’t do what I do – when I was straining the herbs out of the oil, I spilled some, and burned my thumb!! Hot oil on thumb = ouch!!
My calendula salve can be used for burns, but it wasn’t cool yet! A burn salve is next on my list to make.
The next time I make this, I think I am going to infuse the oil in the crockpot – fill a glass jar with the oil and herbs, and place in a crockpot filled with water. You can let it cook 6 hours, or up to 24 hours. Just make sure there is always water in the crockpot. Much lower maintenance than cooking it on the stove!
What does Sammy think of this? Ask him – it looks like he is in a talkative mood!
I also got this book recently – I am loving it! It is a great source of information.
Question: Now, my husband has some cactus quills stuck on his arm. Gah! Any idea how to get them out?
This is linked to the Little House in the Suburbs DIY Linky.
UPDATE: I have found it is a lot easier to make the calendula infused oil in the crockpot — fill your crockpot with 3-4 inches of water, and place the oil and the herbs in a quart sized jar. Place the crockpot on low and let it slowly heat for 2-3 days. Add more water in the crockpot as needed. I find this is SO MUCH easier then having to watch a pot on the stove!