Calendula Salve

Thursday, May 21, 2020

I absolutely love this photo of Calendula blossoms infusing in olive oil. One of the reasons it's special to me is that I planted, tended, talked to, watered, and snipped every one of those blossoms. All season long, every day, me and my little wooden bowl and scissors went the few steps out my back door into my small garden and removed these little treasures to my drying rack.

Growing your own herbs is a great way to get acquainted with them! I had four Calendula plants growing in a half barrel and they did extremely well - absolutely prolific.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) has long been used topically to soothe and mend cuts, burns, bites, sprains, bruises, rashes, sunburns and abrasions. It's for this purpose that I chose to infuse this gold bounty in olive oil and make a salve from it.

If you need to purchase your calendula oil for this recipe there's no shame in that, but the price of it will inspire you to add calendula to your own herb garden for next time! If you have dried calendula blossoms on hand and would like to infuse your own, take a look at Making Herbal Oil Infusions.

Ingredients For Calendula Salve

4 ounces by weight of calendula oil (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 ounce by weight of beeswax (about 2 tablespoons)
20-80 drops essential oils (optional)


First, set out the containers you plan on filling. I like these small tins but I've used glass containers and recycled tins as well.

Gently warm the infused oil using a double boiler. If you don't have one you can easily just place a stainless steel bowl over a pot that has a couple inches of simmering water in it.

It doesn't take the oil long to warm up at all, just a minute or so. Then add in the beeswax and stir until thoroughly mixed and melted. Add in the essential oils if using them and stir again.

Carefully pour the hot salve into the tins or jars. Completely cool before using. Don't forget to add a label!

Tip: Using less beeswax will produce a creamier salve and using more will make it more solid. Sometimes people test salve consistency before filling their containers by putting a small amount on a spoon and putting it in the fridge for about 15 minutes (I am one of those people). In any case, if you make a batch that's too hard or too soft, you can always warm it again and add more oil or beeswax. 

I'm very happy with how this batch turned out. I did use the spoon test mentioned in the tip and decided to add a tiny bit extra oil to the mix before pouring out. Also, I had decided I was not going to add any essential oils this time but hubby requested I try adding some Vetiver. I had to use a lot to get a very subtle aroma but we both love it.

It's very satisfying making my own herbal oils and salves all the way from harvest to label. And that brings me to the fun finale of this project... what do I name it?! Vetiver has that lovely earthy aroma and with spring gardening, bug bites, scrapes and other boo-boos around the corner I think I'll call it...


Herbal Academy. (n.d.) Calendula monograph. Retrieved from