Monday, March 30, 2009

Calendula Nappy Balm Recipe

Today I got a visit from two amazing women who work at Newtown's The Watershed, in Sydney.
It's a community resource centre dedicated to educating about sustainability. Apparently it's won all sorts of awards and all. Annie, the facilitator, and Megan, the coordinator, asked me to come and help out at their next workshop on natural baby care (scroll down the list of workshops to see this). Also known as the Nappy Workshop, as a lot of time is spent on this subject!

We decided to make Calendula Nappy Balm in the workshop. This sounds fancy but is the easiest, yet most rewarding cream to make, as there are so many uses. Rashes, pimples, dry skin, sunburn, cuts and grazes... I use it as a night cream for my face and hands.

I've got a recipe in my book which calls for macerating calendula petals in olive oil for three weeks before making the oil into a solid salve with beeswax. However for the workshop we wanted to be able to make the whole recipe then and there. So here is my simple recipe for on-the-spot, self-solidifying calendula ointment.

For as much calendula balm as your whole extended family can use, you need:

Half a kilo of coconut oil (look for organic, cold-pressed oil)
Calendula petals (3 cups fresh, 1.5 cups dry)

Heat the coconut oil in a stainless steel saucepan until it melts.
Add the calendula petals and, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or chopsticks, heat them on low for about half an hour. Be careful not to burn them.
Strain oil through a piece of muslin and store in clean jars. The balm will solidify on cooling.

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