Easy DIY Holiday Gifts ~ Calendula & Rose Sugar Body Scrub
In the summer here at Dharma's Garden, we revel in the seemingly never-ending blossoms of the gorgeous calendula flower. Her bright yellow and orange blossoms are such a visual delight that she shares with us all summer long and well into the autumn, long past the fading blossoms of larkspur, lilies, and yarrow. Children love to pop off the calendula flowers to collect on our nature walks through the garden, gently pulling off the yellow and orange petals for a splash of color delight in their morning tea. What we don't use for fresh tea in the summer we set to drying in our dehydrator, or place in coconut oil or olive oil to infuse. (Since you're here, please Help Us Save Dharma's Garden!)
This leaves us with a gorgeous splash of color waiting for us in the early winter when we prepare sugar body scrubs for holiday gifts with the calendula-infused oils. Besides her vibrant color, calendula offers healing qualities when used in a salve for rashes, scrapes, and wounds. Infusing oils with calendula blossoms gives you a healing balm base that you can add to any number of homemade products, including body scrubs, lip balms, body butters, or hand salves. How to infuse calendula in oils: (Note: this process of infusion takes 4 to 6 weeks, but you could speed it up with a heated method described here).
If picking fresh calendula blossoms, be sure to keep the whole bud intact. The medicinal properties are traditionally known to be held mostly in the sticky green bud at the base of the flower, so be sure to keep the bud intact. I leave the petals on the buds that I put in oil to infuse. But I also pull off a jar or two's worth of petals to dry separately (this will be included in the recipe below too) that I don't infuse.
When using fresh calendula blossoms, you must let them dry completely before putting them in oil; otherwise you risk molds or bacteria growing on the blossoms!
Spread the blossoms out on a screen and let the fresh calendula blossoms dry in a dark, indoor space for a couple weeks, or dry them more quickly in your dehydrator on a LOW setting for 12 to 24 hours.
If you don't have fresh calendula blossoms, then purchase them from your favorite local apothecary. We love Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary and you can get your calendula blossoms right there. Bonus, they're already dried!
Fill a glass jar with your dried calendula blossoms, leaving about 2 or 3 inches of space at the top of the jar.
Pour the coconut oil (heat