Saturday, September 15, 2012

Homemade Marigold Salve

When I plant my vegetable garden in the spring I always plant marigolds as a kind of sacrificial plant.  They are excellent to attract harmful insects away from my veggies.  Now that the planting season is over and my vegetables are pretty much done producing I have big beautiful bunches of marigolds.  I hate for them to go to waste and there’s no need to let them.

Marigolds have been used medicinally for centuries . . . both internally and topically. 

It’s an easy process to make a soothing salve for your skin to help heal wounds, soothe burns and soften dry, chapped skin.

Homemade Marigold Salve

Two handfuls of marigold flowers
1 cup oil (such as olive oil)
2 Ounces Bees Wax

In addition to the ingredients, you will need a fine material (cheese cloth or a knee-high stocking) to strain the steeped marigolds from the oil and small container(s) with lid(s).

Gently wash the marigolds in cold water and then place the marigolds in a small saucepan with the oil.  Heat oil on low until flowers begin to wilt.  Remove from heat source and cover.  Allow to steep in the oil for 12 hours or so.

Reheat the marigold oil mixture over low heat.  While the oil is warming, place cheese cloth over a funnel (I use stocking stretched over a canning funnel) and set over a bowl or jar.

Once the oil is warm, strain through your material the gather it up and squeeze as much of the oil out as you can.  Discard flowers.

Slowly melt wax over a double boiler.  The water should be at a simmer, not a boil, to make sure the wax doesn’t get too hot.  If it gets too hot it will destroy the healing properties extracted from the marigolds.

The wax used to coat cheese is made from beeswax. Save this wax and use it for preparations such as this.  Just make sure to remove any cheese residue to avoid any possible contamination.

When the wax has melted, add the marigold oil slowly, mixing continuously.

Pour the mixture into clean containers, cover tightly and store in a cool location.


  1. Thank you for this recipe. I'd never thought of using babybel cheese cases as the wax. It gives it such a nice colour

  2. Please do not take my comment the wrong way (I bring it up only because I care), however, are you absolutely certain that you have the right "marigold"? In many herbals what THEY mean by "marigolds", and what we Americans think of as "marigolds" are completely different plants. What Americans call "marigold"--and what you have illustrated here and used in your garden--is known by the botanical name of Tagetes spp., which was named after the Etruscan god Tages who is reputed to have first taught mankind the art of divination. The European "marigold"--which we Americans call "calendula"--is what has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, both internally and external. Also, according to their website, the wax-coating of that cheese is not beeswax, but a byproduct of the petrol industry. From the mini babble website: "The wax that we use for the coating of this product is made up of an appropriate mix of paraffin wax and micro crystalline."

    1. Regarding medicinal uses for targetes: