How to Make Calendula Salve

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If you love making natural products, you will love learning how to make calendula salve. Versatile and soothing calendula ointments are a natural remedy. Used for years to treat minor skin irritations, I add raw beeswax to add more valuable attributes to this homemade salve. In this guide, I will show you step by step how you can create your own homemade calendula balm.

Metal tin of homemade calendula salve made using beeswax.

As a beekeeper, I appreciate the many uses for beeswax. When making salves and balms, I feel that using raw wax adds additional healing properties to my creations.

Simple Calendula Salve Recipe

What is a Salve? Salves are one of the easiest diy products to make at home. Though the words are often used interchangeably: a salve is less greasy than an ointment and a balm is firmer than a salve.

Call it whatever you want. This recipe is suited for skin care and is quite shelf stable. Because it contains little water, it will stay in a semi-solid state for a long time without spoiling.

Listed ingredients needed to make homemade calendula salve recipe, dried flowers, infused oil, beeswax and olive oil.

Ingredients Needed

  • calendula flowers – infused calendula oil
  • raw beeswax
  • nourishing oils – i.e. olive oil
  • optional essential oils

Calendula Flowers

Calendula (Calendula officinalis- “pot marigold”) is one of the easiest herbs to grow-and one of the herbs that bees like too! Most gardeners have no idea about the medicinal qualities of this special flower.

It is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-microbial, and astringent. This makes is a good ingredient to include in various skin soothing balms and salves. Parts of the flower head are actually edible and full of anti-oxidants. 

For this recipe, we will be using dried calendula flowers to make an infused- oil. (Stay tuned)

Raw Beeswax

The moisturizing properties makes beeswax perfect for skin care. It is easy to melt and work with and help seal in skin moisture.

Combined with infused calendula oil – we can achieve a perfect consistency for our salve. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to enjoy working with beeswax.

It is available in pellets, bars or chunks. You can purchase clean wax that is ready to go. If you purchase raw beeswax locally, make sure to clean the beeswax before getting started.

Vegan Alternative to Beeswax

If you are vegan and do not eat honey and do not wish to use beeswax, simply swap out the beeswax and substitute carnauba wax.

Essential Oils (Optional)

This recipe for calendula salve stands well on it’s own. However, if you choose to add a few drop of an essential oil – that’s okay too. (Lavender, Tea Tree and Rosemary are good choices.)

Equipment

In addition to a few everyday essentials (measuring cups, spoons, stirrers), you need:

  • access to a crockpot
  • a small double boiler
  • small containers

How to Make Calendula Oil

Before we can make our calendula salve using beeswax, we need some infused oil. When making infused oil, it is best to use organic herbs known to be free of pesticides.

There are 2 methods for making the infused calendula oil. Harness the power of the sun – this is the slow method or use a heat source.

Slow Method

  1. If you are not in a hurry, place a cup of dried calendula flowers in a glass jar. Fill the jar with enough olive oil to cover the flowers. Put a lid on the jar and sit it in a bright sunny windowsill – but not in direct sunlight.
  2. Each day – gently shake the jar enough to mix the contents.  In 4-6 weeks, you have infused calendula oil.
Infusing dried calendula blossom with oil in a lined crockpot image.

Faster Crock Pot Method

The faster method is to use a heat source such as a crock pot (this is what I do). I also use and recommend a crock pot plastic liner for easy clean up.

Place a layer of dried calendula flowers in the bottom and add just enough olive oil to cover the flowers. Leave the crockpot on low for 24 hours, and you have some beautiful aromatic infused calendula oil. 

Straining infused calendula oil to remove petals image.

Remove the oil and strain (through a sieve or cheesecloth) to remove all flower petals. This process is very similar to my recipe for plantain salve.

Now the oil can be stored on the counter – (or in the refrigerator) for several months.  Adding a little vitamin E oil will prolong storage (optional).

Step by Step

1. I am assuming (you know that is not good) that you have your infused calendula oil ready to use. Now we will make the salve.

Begin by melting the beeswax in a double boiler setup. This means a large pot of water on the bottom – holding a smaller pot inside it. This is the safest way to melt beeswax. I begin with the beeswax because it is a bit slower to melt.

2. Once the wax is liquid, pour in the infused calendula oil. The oil is cooler than the wax so you will notice it start to thicken some of the wax. Don’t panic, this is okay and it will soon be all melted again. Stir gently to combine.

3. Remove the mixture from heat. This is the time to add an essential oils or additives that you desire. Then, pour your calendula salve into smaller containers.

4. If you wish to spread a few flowers on top – just as the wax starts to skim over – that is fine. You do not have to do this. Leave it undisturbed until the salve has cooled completely. Then, add a lid or top.

Storage

Your homemade calendula salve should last for several months. Perhaps even longer if you add a few drops of Vitamin E oil to the recipe. If it begin to smell rancid – it is time for a new batch. A comfortable room temperature place in the pantry is fine.

How to Use

Calendula salve is perfect for scrapes, rashes and minor skin irritations. It is not for use on deep wounds. When in doubt always consult your physician as anyone can be allergic to anything. 

Clean the affected area and gently apply a light coat of herbal calendula salve 2 times a day as needed. It is very soothing to dry skin.

More Ideas

Of course, this is not the only easy salve to make – try Herbal Dandelion Salve to sooth aches and pains. And as yet another treatment for minor burns – this Honey Aloe Burn Salve is great.

What about those stuffy noses around cold and flu season? This all natural Beeswax Vapor Rub recipe might be just the thing.

And, if you want to have fewer petroleum products on your skin – why not try this natural petroleum jelly recipe (without the petroleum please!).

Everyone loves making beeswax lip balm. It is very inexpensive and you can use many different essential oils and flavors too.

And, for a really luxurious skin soother, try making this whipped body butter. It is wonderful and pretty too!

Homemade products are so much fun to make and most are quite easy too. Enjoy your Beeswax Calendula Salve and consider what other masterpieces you can create.

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Metal tin of homemade calendula salve made using beeswax image.

Calendula Salve Recipe

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
Make your own healing salve with that contains calendula oil and beeswax. Healthy skins begins with healthy products. It's easy to make your own homemade salves.
5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Supplies
 

Instructions
 

  • Infusing Calendula Oil: Let's begin by making our own infused calendula oil. If you buy some ready-made, you can skip this part.
    Place enough dried calendula flowers in the bottom of a crockpot to cover the bottom in a single layer. Add enough olive oil to just cover the flowers.
    Let steep on low for 24 hour. Now use a strainer or equivalent to strain the leaves out of the oil mixture.
    Putting dried calendula flowers in crockpot with oil.
  • Making the salve:
    Melt your beeswax in a double boiler or similar set up. This is the safest way to melt beeswax. 
    Beeswax has a low melting temp but the process can be a bit slow.  Give it time to melt.
    Bar of beeswax melting in a pot image.
  • Adding oil:
    It is time to add the infused calendula oil that we made earlier.  Lower the heat setting to simmer because you do not want your infused oil to be subjected to higher temperatures than are necessary.
    You will need 1 oz (net wt) infused calendula oil for this recipe.  Slowly add the infused oil to the beeswax mixture. Because the oil is cooler than the wax, you will notice the wax beginning to harden. 
    That’s okay, just keep stirring and everything will reliquefy.
    Pouring infused calendula oil into melted beeswax image.
  • Pour into containers:
    Once all ingredients are combined and melted, remove from heat.  Pour into small containers of your choice.  You can use tins or glass jars. 
    If you are using glass, temper them first (heat with hot water from the faucet.)  This prevents glass breakage due to pouring the hot mixture into a cold glass.
    Pour melted wax and oil into a container image.
  • Add flowers and cool:
    Once the surface of the calendula salve has started to set, you can sprinkle a few dried flower petals on top for looks.
    Set your containers aside in a safe location and allow them to cool overnight or at least 6 hours.  Then your homemade herbal calendula salve will be set and ready to use.
    Jar of fresh calendula salve with flower petals on top image.
  • Label:
    Don’t forget to label the container.  Otherwise, you may be like me and find yourself thinking… now what was this?
    Bright label for tin of homemade calendula salve image.

Notes

Notes:
Use caution when melting beeswax – using a double boiler (even a small one dedicated to crafting) is best.
Keep your temperatures as low as possible don’t overheat the wax or oil.
This recipe makes one small tin but you can increase the recipe easily.
Learn more about bees and using products from the hive!Join me on Pinterest – @carolinahoneyb