Calendula (Calendula Arvensis) is also called field marigold. Another species (Calendula Officinalis) is called pot marigold, but they are not true marigolds. They are two of twelve related species that are actually members of the daisy family of Asteraceae.
Calendula has been used since ancient times for healing wounds and for soothing the pain and inflammation caused by minor burns, sunburn and insect bites. It is also recommended by alternative medicine practitioners for treating very dry skin, cuts, scrapes, diaper rash, stretch marks and relieving itching caused by eczema and psoriasis.
Fill a pint-size wide-mouth Ball canning jar half full with fresh calendula flowers. Fill to about 1/2 inch from the top with a cold-pressed organic carrier oil such as almond oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil. Cover with the lid and place in a very sunny window or outdoors in a very sunny spot for about 1 to 2 weeks, or until the oil turns a very deep golden yellow color. Cover a stainless steel strainer with cheesecloth and pour the oil through it and strain it. In a double boiler, mix the oil with 3/4 cup grated beeswax. Heat gently and slowly until the beeswax is melted. Add 20 or more drops of your favorite essential oil. Pour into a clean pint-size wide-mouth Ball canning jar and cool. Cover with a lid and store in a dark, cool place. It should keep for about a year.
Do not use calendula if you have any allergies to plants such as ragweed, as severe reactions may develop.
Pick fresh calendula blossoms during the hottest summer months around noontime. They must be thoroughly dry. Moist blossoms will create mold in the oil.
Use only stainless steel or glass pans. Non-stick cookware, aluminum or cast iron pans will taint the oil.
Beeswax must be melted in a double boiler over low heat, as it is very flammable and will ignite if left unattended.
Don’t substitute paraffin for beeswax. Paraffin is made from petroleum.