Whipped Calendula Cream

Growing up I always had my mum on had with calendula cream to fix, soothe and heal cuts, scrapes and burns. I often climbed in trees and had the tendency to fall out them too, or trip over my own feet. Same for chairs, I’d sit on them and all of a sudden I’d be on the floor. I fondly remember holidays with my mum, brother & uncles in France where we even created a calendula song. Calendula has been ingrained in my family for so long, that I’m actually a bit surprised I’m the first to make this magic potion.

My journey of growing this super power plant began back in 2018, when I first started growing vegetables. I can’t remember why I decided to have calendula and nasturtium among my vegetables and little did I know that both would completely over grow the space. Even so, they’s been in my garden ever since and finding out that that are more colours, shapes and sizes than just the “standard orange” Calendula Officinalis made it all the more fun to grow this little ray of sunshine. Calendula has been known throughout history as a gentle but powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, which is great for using on burns, cuts, grazes, scars and even eczema. Use it as a moisturizer for hands, elbows, cuticles and even your face!

This recipe is a bit of a patience game as you’re infusing your carrier oil for at least 3 weeks (I’m not one to be known for patience). After that though it’s all pretty quick going. I only recently made my batch of cream and honestly, it could not have been easier to do. Just combine all ingredients, melt, cool, mix, pour.

With the addition of so many more Calendula flowers this year (2023), I’ve already managed to harvest twice, dehydrate them and have them ready in a jar for when the season comes to an end. I have some wild plans for this little cream. My goal is to make it completely homegrown and keep using my neighbours beeswax. His bees come to my garden to pollinate my plants and I love how full circle this can be! My plan is to make my own carrier oil with sunflower seeds, and my own “shea” butter by using the hazelnuts from my new hedge. This will obviously take a long time to get to, but I truly think its a worthy cause.

The recipe ingredients listed are based on 1 cup of infused almond oil. I was able to fill 20 little tins of 20ml with this after whipping.

*please note that even though this recipe can be found under “edible flowers”, the cream is not edible.

Ingredients

**for infusing the oil**
Calendula flowers 🌼
completely dried
Carrier oil, Sweet Almond
you can use any kind of organic, natural oil. I'd go for not strongly scented varieties like almond, sunflower, extra virgin olive, avocado etc
**for the whipped Calendula cream**
1 cup infused Calendula oil
250ml
30g Beeswax
I used local wax shavings rather than pellets, organic. If using pellets, use 3-4tbsp
2tbsp Shea Butter
optional, organic
Essential oils
optional, for added fragrance

Directions

**for infusing the oil**

1. Harvest you calendula flowers, first thing in the morning is usually best as the resin will be at its highest in concentration. Cut your flowers below the thick green base of the bloom, this sticky bit hold the most healing resins, more than just the petals do.
2. Dehydrate your flowers completely, not doing this process invites mould to grow, which can be dangerous.
3. Fill a clean glass container at least ¾ full of dried calendula flower heads, or about half full of loose dry petals.
4. Pour your chosen oil over the dried calendula flowers, until the container is full and/or until the flowers are completely submerged. Close the lid on the container, and store it in a sunny, warm location to enhance infusion. A bright windowsill or even your greenhouse is a good choice!
5. Allow the oil and flowers to infuse for at least three weeks, or up to a couple of months.
6. Once the infusing period is done (personally think, the longer the better), it’s time to strain the flowers from the oil. I used a fine sieve but cheesecloth is a good one too. Strain into a clean similar sized container where you can store your infused oil in until further use. Make sure to squeeze out every last drop of oil to drain all that golden goodness.
7. Store the finished calendula oil in a cool, dry location. Check your carrier oil label for its shelf life. This can be extended by placing it in the fridge.

**for the whipped Calendula cream**

Prep your set up, have your tins/jars on a flat surface, ready for filling. Boil a kettle to speed up the melting process (rather than waiting for the water to boil in the pan), this will also give you more control to not overheat the oil.

1. Combine 1 cup of your infused oil with the beeswax & shea butter (if using) into a bowl or jug.
2. Create an au-bain-marie, also known as a water bath or double boiler, by filling a pan with softly boiling water that will touch the underside of your bowl/jug with ingredients. Slowly melt your solid ingredients whilst stirring into the infused oil. Avoid overheating the calendula oil and therefore reduce much of its healing powers!
3. Once all is melted and mixed through, take off the heat and let cool. It will start to solidify after about 1-2 hours (room temp).
– 3a. If you don’t want it whipped, this is the stage where you pour the melted mix into your tins or jars. It will set and solidify in that instead.
4. After that partial solidification stage it’s time to start whipping. Make sure it’s in a deep container (bowl/jug) to avoid getting it splattered everywhere 😆 Whip for about 10 minutes or until you’re happy with the consistency (I used an electric whisk for ease). It should be light and fluffy, whipping will make the colour lighter than the oil as well.
5. Pour into your prepared tins or jars, let cool and sit for a little before closing, you don’t want any condensation to be trapped. Whipped Calendula Cream won’t set to a solid, it is meant to be soft and spreadable.

Try it and let me know what you think! 🌼