The best book ever
Calendula blooms (image courtesy of Wikipedia)
I was once gifted the most magical of books, the bible for do-it-yourselfers, "Country Wisdom and Know-How" by the editors of Storey Books (Thanks Mom!!). It is simply amazing and tells you how to do everything. Most of the articles and information in this book were published when the Flower Children of the sixties decided to leave the cities and live off the land. Peace and love and grow your own vegetables. *Contented sigh*
Well anyway, this book has a large section on natural remedies and health products. I decided to try my hand at one, the Soothing Calendula Skin Salve. It says it can be used to soothe and heal mild burns, bruises, cuts, and rashes. For any of you who bike, think of it as a remedy for saddle sores. I have also read a nearly identical recipe that recommends this for diaper rash (but please, do your own research). So, here's the recipe: (it can be doubled to make larger amounts)
Soothing Calendula Skin Salve
1/2 cup of calendula infused oil (see bottom recipe)
2 tbsp of grated beeswax
4-6 drops of lavender essential oil
2 drops of vitamin E
1) Combine infused oil and beeswax in the top of a double boiler. Heat until melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
2)Add essential oil and vitamin E. Stir thoroughly and pour into containers and allow to cool and harden. If you want a a softer salve, add more oil during the cooking process, for firmer, more beeswax.
Cautions: Don't use calendula if you have hay fever or are pregnant. Always use in moderation. I am not an herbologist or anything, so use at your own risk. :)
To make Calendula infused oil, you need:
2 parts extra virgin olive oil
1 part dried calendula blossoms (I just grew a bunch in my garden last summer and saved all the blooms)
1)Combine oil and blossoms in the top of a double boiler and let simmer for 1 hour.
2)Strain cooled mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth. Store in a cool, dark location, where it will keep for 3-6 months.
Well, once you have finished all that, you can sit back and smirk in self-satisfaction, with your new cure for those elephant-skin elbows. And you can pretend that you are the family apothecary or something.
(These recipes are modified from "Country Wisdom and Know How: Everything you need to know to live off the land." From the editors of Storey Books)