Calendula Cream (adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s “Rosemary’s Perfect Cream”)
Ingredients for basic lotion
* A water (i.e. pure distilled water, floral hydrosols, tincture or herbal infusions)
* An oil (i.e. olive, sweet almond, apricot, grapeseed, jojoba, coconut)
* An emulsifier (I’ve always used beeswax)
* Natural preservatives (i.e. , vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed), optional
* Natural additives (essential oils), optional
Ingredients we are using here:
1 cup calendula infused oil (see recipe bellow for how to make this ingredient)
¾ ounce of beeswax
⅔- to 1 cup of distilled water
There are two ways to make an infused oil (an ingredient you make first that goes into the cream). One is called the solar-infused method (also called the cold-infusion) which is created by infusing fresh calendula flowers in oil in the a warm, sunny spot. For the purpose of this blog post I’m sharing the recipe for the double boiler method because this method uses dried calendula blossoms which are available at many natural food stores and Herb shops in the Winter.
1. Heat a double boiler over low heat. Fill the double boiler about ¾ cup of dried Calendula flowers. Then pour room-temperature olive oil or sweet almond oil (approx. 1 ⅓ cup oil) over the herbs, making sure to completely cover the herbs by 1 inch. Olive oil will make a more oily lotion. If you want a smooth or less greasy texture go with sweet almond oil.
2. Bring to a slow simmer and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. You could also put the Calendula and oil into a crockpot overnight on a low setting to infuse the herbs if you have the time.
3. Strain the infused oil through cheesecloth or muslin, making sure to squeeze oil out all the medicinal oil. Now you have your infused oil for the next steps in making calendula lotion.
4. Next combine distilled water, essential oil and vitamins in a glass measuring cup. Here we are just using distilled water so we will just measure it out in the measuring cup.
5. In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oil and beeswax (here we are using calendula infused almond oil) until the beeswax melts.
6. Pour the oils into a blender and let cool to room temperature. The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid and cream colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it so it doesn't get too hard. When cooled, turn blender on the highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle pour the water mixture into the center vortex; note: make sure the water mixture is room temperature before blending with the oils.
7. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes, and the cream looks thick and white like butter cream frosting, turn off the blender. You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a fork, but don't over beat! The cream will thicken as it sets.
8. Pour into cream or lotion jars. Store in the refrigerator (it will be thicker when you first pull it out of the refrigerator it will thin out as it warms to room temperature) or any dark, cool place.
Notes: Here are the basic ingredients for lotion making you could also add. I just simplified my recipe to make it accessible.
A water (i.e. pure distilled water, floral hydrosols, tincture or herbal infusions)
An oil (i.e. olive, sweet almond, apricot, grapeseed, jojoba, coconut)
An emulsifier (I’ve always used beeswax)
Natural preservatives (i.e. , vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed), optional
Natural additives (essential oils), optional