Thursday, September 27, 2012


Calendula officinalis flowers in the morning
Fall has fallen here in West Virginia as evidenced by dry lips from a chilly bike ride to work and a growing pile of sweaters in my office. Calendula flowers are still opening up to the late day warmth, and dried ones will release their stored sunshine into salves, lotions, and, especially, lip balms.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Calendula's warmth can be enhanced by a burst of initial heat from an aromatic mint that will then bring the lips a breath of cool freshness beneath the insulating oils. Spearmint or lemon balm will do but peppermint (Mentha piperita) packs the biggest menthol punch.


A lip balm tube dispenser kit

- dried calendula flowers - half a handful
- dried peppermint - half a handful
- almond oil - 4 oz (1/2 cup)
- bee's wax - 1.6 oz (ratio 1 part bee's wax to 2.5 parts oil)
- vitamin E - 10 drops
- peppermint essential oil - 5 drops
- small jars or lip balm tubes and dispenser

Oil infusion of calendula and peppermint
1) Crumble the dried calendula and peppermint into a small pot with pouring spout and cover with a little more than 4 ounces of oil since some will be lost with straining;
2) Heat uncovered on hotplate set to low or in a 110 degree oven for 3-5 hours;
3) Strain the herbs from the oil and return 4 ounces of oil to the pot;
4) Add the bee's wax and heat on low until melted. Use a little less bee's wax for softer winter balms, a little more for harder summer balms;
5) Stir in vitamin E and peppermint essential oil;
6) Pour into jars or tubes and allow to cool and harden before adding tops;
7) Label with name, date, and ingredients before sharing the love.

Lip Love courtesy of Sensorium Herbals