A few weeks ago, our little guy got a rash all over his body. It wasn’t bothering him (it definitely bothered us!) and his pediatrician suggested it was a viral and it would go away with time. He also suggested a few things that could speed up recovery: sunlight, aloe, baking soda baths and calendula oil or cream.
Calendula is also known as “pot marigold” and is a hardy perrenial (something else for our herb garden?). Oil or tincures are used topically for treating acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue. While poking around the Poughkeepsie Farm Project‘s herb garden, I found a stash of the flowers and decided to try and make calendula oil.
This is a pretty easy DIY if you have lots of time. Most herbal oils are made using the “cold method.” You put dried herbs in a jar and cover them with a carrier oil (olive oil, grapeseed and almond are all recommended). Shake the jar every day for 2-4 weeks and then sieve the herbs, making sure to press them to release every bit of extract. I didn’t have that long to wait, so I decided to use the heat-infused method with our yogurt maker.
I first dried the calendula flowers in our dehydrator. Wet flowers would cause the oil to go rancid!
I then put it in a jar and covered with olive oil.
And then I let it hang out in the yogurt maker for a few days.
Strained and pressed – the finished oil!
I doubt it was just the oil, but as soon as we started using it, the rash dissipated. Definitely looking forward to making more oils in the future. Sage, anyone?