Herbal oils and liniments generally need to sit for 6-7 weeks, but since it's been so warm lately, I only had to wait 4. I had this
recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs picked out for the calendula oil, since it's good for many summer ailments, such as rashes, bug bites, sore muscles, and in general any skin problems you might run into this time of year. It also smells lovely and will cure dry skin any time of year. I'm going to post pictures of the balm-making process, but you should really check out Mountain Rose Herbs' site as well since they were so kind as to post the recipe.
It's fairly simple to make and I had everything but the cheesecloth lying around already.
To decant the herbs, just cut an appropriately sized piece of cheesecloth. Mine were a bit too small, so if you're using the pictures for reference, keep that in mind. Pour your oil or liniment into the cheesecloth after you've positioned it above a clean jar or bowl, and squeeze out all the excess.
You've waited this long, why waste any? It's the same for both the infused oil and the liniment.
|A close up of the calendula flowers. Aren't they pretty?|
Next, balm time!
Put together a double boiler--my choice bowl was in the wash, so I had to use a metal one. Be careful if you do this, as they get really hot. You probably knew that already.
Melt all your ingredients except for the lavender essential oil: the calendula infused oil, beeswax, and shea butter. I find it helpful to grate the beeswax.
|Melted oils and wax|
After it's completely melted, remove it from heat and stir in your lavender essential oil, about 20 drops. If it smells awesome, you're doing it right. To finish up, pour into a tin or small jar and let sit until hardened. You should have a lovely, healing balm afterwards.
|The finished product!|
As for the liniment, I like to store it in a spray bottle, but you can do whatever is convenient. The spray bottle is nice because you can apply the right amount and rub it in quickly. It works very well when your muscles are just worn out completely. I carry both these things in my backpack when I'm hiking in the summer and they are wonderful aids.