Sunday, October 24, 2010

Herbal Infused Oils - Calendula

Calendula is used externally for its antiseptic and healing properties in treating skin conditions like, infection, cuts, scrapes, burns and chapped or chafed skin and lips. Infusing olive oil with Calendula flowers is a great way to add healing properties to salves, lip balm and lotions. I ordered my dried calendula and cold pressed olive oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.

I measured 2oz of dried Calendula flower by weight on my scale and 16.25oz of olive oil by weight. Basically you loosely fill a jar 1/2 full with calendula and then add olive oil making sure to remove all air bubbles. Keep adding olive oil until it fills jar just below rim. Add the olive oil and calendula flowers to a double broiler on very low heat. Don't let the oil get too hot. Just warm to touch. I turned the heat off and on from time to time to make sure the oil did not get too hot. Let it heat for 90 minutes. Pour flowers and oil into a clean dry jar and let it sit, covered for a few hours. 
After the infused oil has sat for a few hours it is time to strain into a cheesecloth lined strainer that is positioned over a clean dry bowl.  Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze the dickens out of it.
Put your fresh Calendula infused oil in a clean dry jar and label.

Another method for infusing oils is to fill a jar 1/2 full. Fill with olive oil and then set out in the warm sun for 2 weeks.  After two weeks, strain and add a new batch of dried herbs and set in sun for two more weeks. Strain then bottle.  You can see why I choose the double boiler method. Now you can use your new Calendula infused oil in my Coconut oil lotion recipe, Lindsey's Perfect Body Butter or a salve.