- 1 or 2 cups of dried calendula flowers
- 1/3 oz beeswax
- 2 soft gels of vitamin E to preserve the salve
- Carrier oil of your choice (Almond, olive, apricot or sesame oil are all common selections.)
- 1 jar for infusing the oil
- 1 4 oz jar or tin for the salve
Some people like to add essential oils like lavender or tea tree to their salves. I prefer to keep mine fragrance-free.
First, infuse the oil. This is my favorite method for infusing oil because it's so simple:
1. Loosely fill a clean, dry jar with the dried herbs. I like calendula. If you're making a diaper balm you could also add dried plantain leaf and/or dried chickweed. But just calendula is good, too.
2. Cover the herbs with the oil, filling the jar to the top.
3. Store in an airtight container in indirect light for one week. I place a bowl or dish underneath the oil in case some of it seeps out.
4. After one week's time, strain out the herbs using a fine mesh strainer.
(Someone in the comments experienced a bit of grittiness in her salve the first time through. We thought perhaps it was related to fine particles making their way through the fine mesh strainer. This has not happened to me, but you may want to strain the oil through a cotton cloth just to be extra safe, if you so desire. Another commenter believed it was from using beeswax pastilles instead of grated beeswax, but again, I have not personally experienced this and I do use pastilles, so I'm not sure.)
You now have your herb-infused oil.
You can use this method to make all kinds of herb-infused oils. You could make rose or lavender oils for body or massage. You could make rosemary or basil infused oils for cooking. There are lots of possibilities!
Now that you have your oil, we're ready to make the salve. Some people like to have a designated wooden spoon for use only with beeswax because it can be hard to clean off. I've found that as long as I use a metal spoon, clean up isn't too difficult.
1. Warm 3 oz of the oil in a pot on the stove over low heat. (I save the rest of the oil to use as an after-bath oil for my baby.)
2. Add in the 1/3 oz of beeswax.
3. When the beeswax is fully melted, puncture your vitamin E soft gels and squeeze the oil into your mixture. This will preserve your salve for about 2 years. This would also be the time to add any essential oils, if that's your preference.
4. Pour the mixture into a clean 4 oz jar or tin.