This recipe for a Natural Calendula Antiseptic Cream uses more natural ingredients than the simple Calendula Cream recipe made with Vaseline petroleum jelly that I described in an earlier post. You can make little jars for kids so that they can put “Owie Cream” on their cuts and scrapes or to tuck into your day pack if you are heading out into the Great Outdoors or travelling. It would make a great gift for the travellers or hikers in your life.
Calendula flowers have bee used by many ancient cultures for their healing powers and natural abilities to soothe dry and irritated skin. Calendula is purported to help quickly sooth and heal minor scrapes, cuts, and abrasions. It has also been used to help heal inflammation, acne, rosacea, bruises, chapped or dry skin, burns, athlete’s foot, bee stings, diaper rash, and even yeast infections. It even helps minimize and reduce scarring and stretch marks because it stimulates production of collagen at the site of wounds.
Drying the calendula flowers:
Harvest the calendula flower heads and bring them inside. Set up an area out of direct sunlight to dry them and spread the flower heads out on paper towels, newspaper or even a tea towel. Although you could use a dehydrator, they are easy to dry naturally so I wouldn’t bother unless you were in a hurry. Turn the flowers over from time to time. They shrink as they dry, so you can bunch them up to leave room for fresh flowers as you pick them.
The flowers must be completely dry before you store them – if they are not then they will go mouldy pretty quickly. The petals should be very dry and crispy to touch. Although you can store them whole, I found that the green part of the flower head takes much longer to dry. It was easier to wait until the petals seemed dry and then, if they were, I could pull them out really easily. If you try to ‘pluck’ them at the beginning it is much more difficult and time consuming. Leave the ‘plucked’ petals for another day or so just to make sure as it is better safe than sorry. Then you can store them in an airtight container in a dark cupboard for when you want to use them.
Infusing the dried calendula petals into oil:
For this recipe you need to steep your dried petals into an oil of your choice – I used almond oil. Using dried petals is important because any moisture could bring bacteria into your mix. Put a good amount of dried petals into a glass jar and cover them with oil. Sit the jar in a sunny window and leave it to steep for a few days (shaking it occasionally) – 2 days in sunlight does the job but you can leave it for a couple of weeks if you want to get a strong brew. After steeping, strain the petals through cheese cloth and squeeze out all the last drops of oil. You can then keep the infused oil to use in creams, salves and balms.
Natural Calendula Antiseptic Cream Recipe
1/2 cup calendula-infused oil (see above)
1/4 cup beeswax
1/4 cup shea butter
1/2 tsp tea tree essential oil
1/2 tsp lavender essential oil
30 drops lemon essential oil
1/4 tsp vitamin E oil (you can pierce a capsule and squeeze the oil out)
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler (or pyrex jug sitting in about an inch of water) , stirring often, and then add the calendula-infused oil.
Remove from heat and stir in the tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemon oil, and vitamin E oil.
Pour the mixture into containers and allow to cool and harden before use.
If stored in a cool dark place, this cream should keep for at least 6 months.
Use a small amount on wounds and infected areas.