Sunday, June 26, 2011

Calendula and Chamomile Balms

Our edible garden items have always done better than our non-edible ones.  This may be because we cosset our fruits and vegetables, knowing that we'll have a tasty reward in the end.  Flowers are pretty to look at, but they seem to need a lot of coaxing to just look pretty.

Consequently, we've limited our plantings to flowers that can actually be used for things.  The only ones we planted were calendula and chamomile.  Both have edible petals and can be used to make personal care items.  And, as we've found out, making balms is really easy!

The longest part of the process is creating an oil infusion.  It's still simple, though.  You just lop off some blossoms, put them in a canning jar, add olive oil, cover with fabric and a canning lid, and place in the sun for two weeks.  We did this with both chamomile and calendula blossoms.

After the oil has been infused, the fun begins.  To make a balm, you need the oil, some muslin or cheesecloth, a small saucepan, beeswax, a jar to put the balm in.  I got these nice, wide-mouthed 1/2 pint jars at Walmart.  The beeswax was ordered off Amazon.

First, place your muslin or cheesecloth over the saucepan and pour your oil and blossoms in.  This picture is of the chamomile mush that was left over. 

Next, add a chunk of beeswax.  I used half an ounce for the chamomile and got a soft salve.  I used a full ounce for the calendula and got a harder balm that's still soft enough to spread.

Melt the beeswax over low heat.  I just swirled the pot occasionally to help it along.  It only took a few minutes to melt completely.  If you want to add some essential oils, put them in after the beeswax is melted and you've removed the pot from the heat.  Add them, then swirl the pot a few times to mix it up.

Pour the contents into your desired holder.  I used the canning jar, but you can use tins or whatever you have handy.  If you use glass, you probably want to make sure it's warmed up before you pour hot liquid into it.

After about 20 minutes or so, it hardens up nicely and is ready to go! 

I left the chamomile plain because it smelled so sweet with the honey-scented beeswax.  I added a few drops of lavender oil to the calendula balm, though.  Calendula has a kind of medicinal scent, like common marigolds.

Both flowers are good for treating rashes.  Calendula is also good for bug bites; perfect for summer!


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. My daughter has had a plethora of bug bites in this gardening season, and this balm looks like just the thing to soothe them. May God bless you and your dear ones.

  2. You're welcome and I hope it helps. Blessings to you too!