Calendula Soothing Salve

Posted by Hardip Kalsi on

Every year my summer garden bursts into cheerful color with the presence of Marigold flowers. Also known as the Calendula flower, this sunny champion is the highlight of many of our products here at 1212 Gateway, and with good reason.  

I shall begin by singing the praises of this plant in the garden for its beautiful showy flowers that come in various colors, shapes and sizes that helps to attract pollinators to your garden. Calendula flowers have been used at least since the 7th Century for their digestive and healing properties. They stand out in wound care as one of the oldest and most gentle additives to salves, poultices, and soaps throughout Europe, African and Asia. This is likely due to the fact that calendula flowers contain important compounds that have been shown to curb inflammation in the body, speeding up would healing time. They have since been applied in baby products, anti-acne products, as well as lip and sun care products.

With this wealth of benefits, I not only use it in our formulations for 1212 Gateway, but I also always keep dried calendula petals on hand for apothecary formulations with both ancient and modern elements all year round! In this recipe, I will be using our Calendula Herbal Infusion that we began infusing about a month ago. After straining and pressing the oil infusion, I will be using it in this all-purpose soothing salve that I always have on hand. Please click HERE to see our Herbal Infusion Blog and HERE for the short video. 

For this salve, I chose ingredients that are safe for your skin from head to toe (skipping the eyes, of course!), as well as being suitable for most people. If you happen to be sensitive to any specific ingredients (such as nut oils and butters), please use the substitution list for ingredients with similar properties. I will also make substitution suggestions in case you don’t have the exact ingredients featured in this recipe. Let’s get formulating!

What you will need:

Tools and Equipment:

  • A pot for boiling water
  • 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup (or a heat-safe one that nests comfortably in your pot)
  • Silicone spatula
  • Aluminum tins or glass jars for your salve with at least 4 oz (or 120 g) capacity


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the Vitamin E into a heat safe Pyrex measuring cup and melt using the double boiler method**. Stir occasionally to speed up the process.
  2. Once fully melted, remove the measuring cup from the double boiler and wipe off water droplets from the outside of the container.
  3. Allow to cool for about 2 minutes on the counter. Add the vitamin E to the melted mixture and stir until combined. 
  4. Very carefully, pour into a heat safe aluminum tin or glass jar.
  5. Leave the tin or jar completely undisturbed and uncapped overnight. 
  6. Cap the salve, and store in a cool, dark cupboard.

How to use your Calendula Soothing Salve:

Use this all-purpose salve anytime and anywhere you need some soothing care. We purposefully used gentle and inert ingredients so that it could be applied to rough spots, bug bites, chapped lips, cracked heels, and even used as a gardener’s salve. This original recipe as it is written is even safe enough to be used on your puppy’s paws! 

** A double boiler method is simply having a larger pot with water in it to boil the water, and a smaller (preferably taller) heat-safe container with your ingredients in it, to place into the water. This method is used when you want to heat butters and waxes to melt them without heat-damage. Because the boiling point of water is 100 °C (212 °F), the temperature of your fats will not heat up too quickly, or to too high a temperature, preserving the healthy properties of the materials you choose. 

Pro Tips:

  1. Herbal oil infusions often contain small particles of plant material. This is completely normal and gives your home-made infusions character.
  2. This salve is so versatile and can be infused with other herbal essential oils if you wish. If you do so, use oils that have a scent that is compatible with the light savory aroma of calendula infused oils. My favorites are rosemary, lavender and chamomile essential oils. Make sure you use the salve for the right application and the right parts of the body if you do decide to add other essential oils, as they are highly concentrated materials!
  3. When working with high amounts of butters in a formula, especially shea, mango, and kokum butters, you want to cool the mixture down as quickly as possible. This is because a slow cool-down, particularly in warmer weather can lead to the final product being grainy. Don’t be alarmed if this does occur- the little “grains” are simply fat particles clumping together. To fix this, simply re-melt the mixture and re-pour and refrigerate once a little set to speed up cooling. This should sort out the issue.
  4. Raw unrefined shea butter has a nutty aroma that may not be suitable for all. If you don’t enjoy this aroma, use refined shea butter and you’ll never go back to anything else!
Facebook Twitter Pinterest