let's make something with the herb of the month
You just tried to make my Triple Black Vegan Cake. It took you a month to gather all the hard-to-find ingredients because you had to go to Mt. Kilimanjaro to buy organic black beluga lentils, and that in itself was a 17 hour flight there and back. Then, you had to stay up all night grinding the lentils into flour, which woke up your angry neighbors because the Vitamix was obnoxiously loud. When the cake was finally ready to eat, your Wendy’s Eating Husband hated it, and you thought it was just OK because you’re still getting used to the unsweetened life. After all that, you had to go to counseling to work through forgiving me for ruining your life, all for an allergy friendly, blood sugar friendly cake.
Well, you won’t need therapy after making calendula infused olive oil, because it is so easy to make. The ingredients are simple: dried calendula flowers, olive oil, and vitamin E. Even the Wendy’s Eating Husband wouldn’t complain about making this one, because he can’t stand long, drawn-out archerfriendly projects (isn’t it obvious that he likes the drive-thru?).
First things first, you need a crock-pot. I used the little one Mama Crow gave me in college when I got Interstitial Cystitis (IC). It was to help me make special IC friendly food. Oh, I forgot to tell you about Mama Crow. That’s my mom, and that’ll be her name around here, just like the other special names we have for people (WEH, WEBIL, CLD). Tuck Mama Crow somewhere in your brain for now, because I’ll write more about her in another post. We must get back to business before you get all huffy with impatience.
I make calendula infused olive oil via the digestion method. Dried calendula flowers fill a half pint canning jar. The dried flowers are fully covered in cold pressed, organic extra virgin olive oil. The jar is sealed with a toxic, BPA containing lid, and placed in a crock-pot water bath for two days (yes, those metal canning lids are not so healthy-hippie after all). Some people say that 10 days is the ideal time to make medicated oil in a water bath. I do a shortened version for 2 days, and the medicated oil always works wonderfully for me regardless. Let’s let go of perfection and call it good.
When the time is up, the calendula is strained out of the oil, and vitamin E is added to preserve it. The oil should be stored in the fridge to prevent it from going rancid. Now that you have calendula infused olive oil, you can do a million things with it!
Calendula infused olive oil can be used as:
- a skin moisturizer for anybody but especially for babies
- a topical agent for eczema
- a topical agent for burns
- a topical agent for diaper rash
- a topical agent for healing scars
- a topical anti-inflammatory agent
- a substitute for olive oil in homemade salad dressings for an extra gut healing boost
- a base for homemade herbal salve (ointment)
- a base for homemade herbal chapstick
- a base for homemade herbal face cream or herbal body lotion
- a base for homemade herbal conditioner
- a base for a facial cleanser via the oil cleansing method
Calendula Infused Olive Oil
Recipe for about 1 half pint canning jar of medicated oil
What You Need:
- dried calendula flowers (enough to fill one half pint glass canning jar)
- cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 vitamin E capsules
- 2 half pint glass canning jars with metal canning lid (1 for making it and 1 for storing it)
- a crock-pot that has a warm setting
- stainless steel strainer
- cheese cloth
- bowl for straining the oil
- Fill half pint jar about 80% with dried calendula flowers.
- Pour olive oil on flowers until they are completely covered with olive oil, and then some.
- Seal jar with metal canning lid.
- Place jar in crock-pot. Add enough water to surround the jar in about a 1 inch water bath.
- Turn crock-pot on warm, and note the time.
- Periodically check the temperature of the water bath, ensuring it stays around 100°F. If the temperature goes a little too high, add ice.
- After 48 hours, turn off crock-pot and remove jar from the water bath. The metal lid might be hot and you may need to use a pot holder.
- Set up a stainless steel strainer to rest over a bowl. Place cheesecloth inside the strainer, making a double filter. Pour the flower and oil mixture through this set-up. What gets in the bowl is your calendula infused olive oil.
- Transfer calendula infused olive oil to a clean half pint canning jar. Add 1-2 vitamin E capsules. If oil is not used right away, place a metal canning lid on it, and store it in the refrigerator.
- To make more than what 1 half pint glass canning jar can make, double, triple, or quadruple the recipe above. You can have more than one jar in the crock-pot at a time, as long as it all fits in there.
- One half pint glass canning jar will lose about 25 mL of olive oil in the process, since both the calendula flowers and the cheese cloth absorb the oil.