Simple Coconut Oil Salve

Are you new to making your own herbal remedies? This salve is for you! It is the easiest recipe out there and I’ve included step-by-step instructions with pictures.

If you don’t know what a salve is, think of a chap stick consistency. It is oil that often is mixed with beeswax to make it solid. I’ve made salves with different herb-infused oils for cuts, bruises, stings, bug bites and chest colds. Sometimes I will also add essential oils for scent or for their medicinal qualities.

Today, though, I’m keeping it super simple. So simple, in fact, that you don’t even need beeswax! I’ve used coconut oil, instead, which is solid at room temperature and is wonderful for your skin. The coconut oil is moisturizing, anti-fungal, antiviral and antibiotic. I’ve infused it with calendula, which soothes irritated skin. Some of this salve will be kept as is for rashes and other skin irritations, but some of it will be an ingredient in the homemade diaper cream I’m creating.

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups virgin coconut oil (organic, if you can get it)
  • 1 cup calendula petals/blossoms (or other herbs, such as lavender, rose petals, comfrey, etc.)
  • a canning jar, with lid
  • a saucepan with a dish rag in the bottom
  • a bowl with a tea towel (or a clean, old t-shirt would work)

What to do:

  1. Over very low heat, melt the coconut oil in a sauce pan (it doesn’t take much, so don’t leave it unattended!). Remove it from the heat as soon as the oil is clear and liquid.
  2. Put the calendula in the jar and pour the melted coconut oil on top. Put on the lid.
  3. In a clean saucepan, put a dish rag in the bottom and set the jar on it. Add water to the pan until it’s 3/4 of the way up the jar.
  4. On low to medium low heat, warm the pan, but don’t let the water simmer. Leave it for several hours (2 to 6, depending on how strong you want the infusion).
  5. Once the oil is done, drape the tea towel in and over the edges of the bowl and pour the oil and herbs in.
  6. Pull up the edges of the tea towel and squeeze all of the oil out of the herbs.
  7. Pour the oil into a clean jar or small tins and let cool. With the white plate under it, you can really see that gorgeous golden color that the calendula gives the oil. It is ready to use once it is solid, again!

Keep your infused oil away from light and heat to help maintain the medicinal properties of the calendula. You can apply it to any skin irritation or injury as often as you want. For solid oil, keep it cool- coconut oil melts at warmer temps.

33 thoughts on “Simple Coconut Oil Salve

    • You do! We planted just one plant last year and I couldn’t keep up with all of those beautiful blossoms! It is so easy to grow and you can do so much with it. 🙂

    • So could you infuse it with anything? I’ve always wanted to do a rosemary/ mint something? I had a shampoo that was rosemary and mint one time and it was AMAZING. Just wondering if you had tried it with anything else? I can’t wait to grow some herbs this year – I will definitely have to plant some calendula!

      • Absolutely! You can infuse the oil with any herbs you want. Comfrey for bruises, plantain for stings and bites, lavender for scent and healing… whatever you want. Rosemary and mint would smell delicious and the rosemary is full of antioxidants that would be great for your skin. I’ll be doing a post soon on my favorite herbs to grow and calendula is one of them. Rosemary and mint are on that list, too!

    • With additional herbs, absolutely! Neosporin is intended to prevent infection with antibiotics, so I have made a salve using herbs with antibiotic properties, such as St. John’s Wort, Golden Seal and a drop of Tea Tree Oil or Lavender Essential oil (I use lavender, since it also soothes burns). I also included the calendula for it’s soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the question!

      • Thanks, Justyn! My husband requested that I buy neopsorin when I went out today and I just couldn’t do it 🙂 I figured coconut oil would be helpful for healing cuts etc., but I wasn’t sure what (if anything) to infuse it with. Thanks so much for the info!

        • You’re so welcome! I also have a salve with just comfrey to help heal wounds quickly, but you do want to be sure that there isn’t any bacteria in the wound before using comfrey. People have been known to trap debris and bacteria in cuts and cause abscesses. Once I’m sure a wound is clean, though, we use comfrey salve on it. 🙂

    • Absolutely! I have read that the best way to do it is to dry them first (just spread them out in a dry place for a few days or put them in a dehydrator) so that they don’t add water content to the oil. Fresh herbs/petals can add water that will mold, but once they are dried, they won’t do that. 🙂

  1. I do too , I love it! It’s been a year since I switch to homecooking everything and good sun protection and etc.
    I want to learn how to make my own sodas, I got gingerale soda down pat and root beer.

    • I’ve been wanting to make gingerale and root beer!! Do you have recipes you could share??? I have a really strong craving for root beer every once in awhile and would love to be able to make a healthy version. 😉

  2. Thank you I went to pick some today out of my yard and they are drying on the table, going to make this salve this weekend! 🙂 Love this website!

  3. carlita says:

    hi my son has hfmd for the 1st time and i was wondering if i can just add an essential oil to the coconut oil and make a salve that way. If so do you have any recommendations for essential oils to help ease the pain while getting rid of the virus. thanks.

  4. Marcia Lowe says:

    I ordered all the ingredients to make the magnesium lotion (with beeswax) and now can’t find your recipe. Could you tell me how to find it again. Also wondered if I could use sesame oil or would I be better using coconut oil. I have both. I love your website. Thanks so much.

    • Absolutely!! I make a “vapor rub” using eucalyptus and a few other essential oils. Just be sure to only add the essential oils to oil that isn’t hot. For example, if you want to combine the two methods, just infuse the herbs into the oil, strain, then add the essential oils when the oil is cool enough not to burn your inner wrist. If you add them to really hot oil, it will make them less potent, especially the more delicate oils. 🙂 Have fun!!

  5. Laura says:

    Have you ever heard of an allergy to calendula? I ordered your magnesium lotion a couple weeks ago and my husband has been loving how it helps him sleep better and at several of my children have used it with no problem. But I put some on my 4 year old’s back and belly last night at bedtime and he complained that it made him itchy. This morning he has an allergic sort of rash, but in more places than I put the lotion like on his legs, too, so it could be something else entirely. Any thoughts? We have very few allergies in our family. I’m think Benedryl would be what the doctor would recommend, but if its not really bothering him, is it okay to just let it clear up on its own?

  6. My oldest son reacts to sunscreen so we use it sparingly but a few weeks ago, he used some on his arms and face (Badger brand). The next day he broke out in little eruptions all over his elbows and on his cheeks. They are flesh colored and not itchy but unsightly nonetheless. This calendula balm works magic on the rash and it disappears within a week after using it every day. Thank you for this recipe! I used it over a year ago and I’m making another big batch now.

    • I’m so glad to hear that it helps, Vanessa!! I haven’t tried this yet, but I have been researching carrot seed oil as a natural sunscreen. You might want to look into it as a possibility for some sunburn protection for him that might not cause a reaction. 🙂

  7. Fabulous share of information. Much appreciated as I write this my child is ill and I am making broth for him and the salve is on the stove. I have used both calendula and lavender in mine. Gorgeous share I thank you very much.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Hello, I’ve read your blog on HFMD and it brought me here. I have organic raw coconut oil, peppermint oil, calendula oil, and lemon balm capsules on hand. I would like to make a salve from these ingredients if possible but don’t know how many drops of each essential oil to add to the coconut oil. Would it be ok to break open the capsules of lemon balm and add the powder to the salve? If so how many capsules should I use? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Suzanne Livermore says:

    I am caring for my 92 yr old mom in my home. I have made both arnica salve for her aches and pains as well as calendula salve. With both I used coconut oil to infuse in my crockpot, then added beeswax as a stabilizer and added healer. I want to add silver to my next batch of calendula salve to use on her shins. She has scabs that do not weep…but are always there due to poor circulation. Any suggestions?
    Also…thanks for the tip on using dried petals so as not to get mold in the salve. My first calendula salve spoiled.

    • You might try comfrey salve for the scabs, alternating with manuka honey. Bilberry (eaten or taken as a supplement) is good for circulation and is a nutritious food. We like to add bilberry powder to our smoothies for a health boost and a beautiful color. 🙂

      • Suzanne Livermore says:

        I went ahead and made my Calendula salve using Coconut oil, infused with calendula petals. I then added local beeswax and then stirred in colloidal silver( 2 droppers full.) The whole batch made 2 cups. I noticed the silver did not all combine as some sunk to the bottom whilst cooling…but it is working like a dream! I will stick to local honey as I have 2 bee keepers in my family. I will look into Bilberry,I have never heard of it.
        Thanks for your reply.

  10. Kayla says:

    I have had eczema since I was 6months old. I have tried tons of things. A friend of mine bought calendula ointment. I tried it and it helped. I wanted to make my own after seeing how easy it seemed. They didn’t have the dried flowers at my health food market but had a cream that was the same brand as my friend’s ointment. After using it a couple of times my skin became very inflamed, red, and itchy. I’m hoping that it’s just what ever is in the cream. Have you heard of people being allergic to Calendula?
    Also when you leave the oil to infuse do you leave the heat on for hour or just until its warm?

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