For the past week there’s been a little glass jar sitting on our bathroom window sill filled with golden and bright calendula petals. My boyfriend knows me all too well to start asking “what’s this jar of yellow stuff for”…he knows when it’s ready I’ll tell him all about it. However if he was of the enquiring mind I’d explain how I’m macerating some oil with calendula so that when I next make some hand balms for him to use when he’s been out in the garden, they’ll have a new and exciting ingredient in them.
I bought the calendula petals from a local herbalists and they’re just so sunshiny and golden yellow.
The petals are steeping (or macerating) in a blend of sweet almond and jojoba oil, and the warmth of the sun shining through the window helps the properties of the plant infuse through into the carrier oils…. (the window sill gets so hot that I have to take a lot of products off there in the Summer months or they go all funky)….After macerating the petals in oil for a fortnight, I’ll strain them through some fine muslin (cheesecloth), and then pour that same oil over a fresh batch of dry petals before leaving them for another couple of weeks…this means the oil gets a big double boost of calendula goodness.
Calendula is really good for hand balms as it’s nice and soothing on dry, chapped skin and helps to heal any small cuts and grazes (and after a day pottering and pulling about in the garden we both come in with gnarly looking old hands and fingers)…so I thought it would be a good addition to my Queen bee hand balm….
It’s also meant to be good in leg rubs if you suffer from varicose veins or achy legs and I’m now getting to that age when aches and pains, stiff knees and creaky old ankles are part and parcel of daily life.
In the past I’ve made a lovely infused oil with rosemary,thyme and lavender leaves* from the garden as a winter skin oil…I added it to some beeswax and coconut oil and it smelt wonderful, really uplifting and definitely bye bye dry knees and elbows.
*rather than use the flower heads I’ve dried some lavender leaves in the airing cupboard as it’s not so easy to buy those rather than the lavender flowers….