I recently started a formal Certified Herbalist Education program. After I saw the huge increase in understanding that completing a formal Permaculture Design Course gave me, I decided that my dabbling in herbal medicine would probably also benefit from a more directed approach to study. This project is part of my latest homework assignment.
Calendula has been used historically to soothe and heal wounds and skin irritations. It’s often incorporated into salves and lotions. It’s also very useful in the garden, repelling pests and as a companion plant for potatoes, beans and lettuce. I enjoy using the petals as a salad garnish.
I started by harvesting Calendula flowers for my yard. When using fresh flowers, they need to dry for about 12 hours to remove moisture. This helps prevent the oil from getting moldy later.
At this point there are two different options for how to proceed with infusing the oil. The jar can be capped and placed in a sunny window. It should be shaken every day for 4-6 weeks, then strained and stored. The second method is the one I opted to use. The oil can be infused by placing the jar in an uncovered container filled with gently simmering water (about 100 F) for 3-5 hours. I used my crock pot to do this.