Working With Herbs & Crystals (PLUS How to Make Your Own Calendula Salve)
by yujianghao on Sep 05, 2023
Working With Herbs & Crystals (PLUS How to Make Your Own Calendula Salve)
Working with herbs & crystals is an incredible way to make some magic, find balance, and support your spiritual work.
The uses and correspondences presented here may act as a guide for energetic or magical workings, but using herbs and herbal medicines should never be attempted without appropriate knowledge and guidance from a licensed or certified herbalist or other qualified medical professionals.
Any time you’re working with herbs it’s important that you make safety a top priority. Many herbs are perfectly safe when used according to the recommendations of a trained professional, but can become dangerous when used improperly. Additionally, you should not handle herbs that you may be allergic to.
Some of my favorite crystal & herb pairings for making magic include:
- BOUNDARIES: Cedar Leaf + Petrified Wood
- CALMING: Chamomile Flower + Lepidolite
- CLEANSING: Yarrow Flower + Selenite
- COMPASSION: Jasmine Flower + Rhodochrosite
- CONFIDENCE: Heather Flower + Pyrite
CREATIVITY: Rosemary Leaf + Carnelian
- FOCUS: Peppermint Leaf + Golden Tiger’s Eye
- HEALING: Echinacea Root + Green Nephrite Jade
- INTUITION: Mugwort Leaf + Labradorite
- JOY: Calendula Flower + Citrine
- LOVE: Rose Petal + Rose Quartz
- MAGIC: Patchouli Leaf + Rainbow Moonstone
- MEDITATION: Blue Lotus Flower + Amethyst
- PEACE: Passionflower + Blue Lace Agate
- PROSPERITY: Cinnamon Stick (Bark) + Green Aventurine
- PROTECTION: Elderberry Flower + Black Tourmaline
- RELAXATION: Valerian Root + Peach Moonstone
- WISDOM: Bay Leaf + Rainbow Fluorite
One simple way I like to get working with herbs & crystals is by placing them together in an offering bowl on my altar or in my sacred space.
A small amount of the herb placed in a dish makes a nice place to nestle a small stone. I add the herbs to the dish with the intention to call in the energy or magic I am creating. I then place the stone into the dish on top of the herbs which anchors in the energy and intention. One great thing about this practice is the way that the crystal and the herb work together to call in your intention and set the energy in the space. The crystal amplifies the magical qualities and energy of the herb while the herb, in turn, charges the crystal with its energy.
I also enjoy making magic with my herbs in other ways. Each year, I grow Calendula in my garden (it’s one of my favorite herbs). I love all of the pollinators it attracts, and the way the bright blossoms add color and joy to my garden, but most of all I love creating soothing Calendula salve with the flowers. I use this salve all winter long to soothe my dry hands once the weather turns cold here in Wisconsin. Not only does it nourish my skin, but it brings me so much joy…helping me tap into the warmth of summer days, even in the depths of winter.
I start by harvesting some Calendula flowers, leaving about 4-6” of stem on each flower. Calendula has a very long bloom period, so you can continue harvesting new blossoms as they open (I try to only harvest about ? of the total blossoms at any given time to leave plenty for the pollinators). It’s important to harvest the plants with respect and intention. If you don’t have fresh Calendula flowers, you can purchase whole dried Calendula flowers to use instead.
I hang the flowers upside down from their stems in small bunches. The drying process usually takes around 2 full weeks for the flowers to dry completely. I use a compact herb drying rack with lots of little clips so I can fit tons of different herbs on it all at once and it doesn’t take up too much space in my pantry.
You’ll need around 30-50 blossoms total for this salve. If you don’t have that many at once, you can harvest and dry them in stages until you have the correct amount. You can store these in an airtight jar while you’re waiting for more. When storing your Calendula blossoms in a jar, snip off the stems just below the calyx (the little green leafy part on the back of the flower blossom), so that the flowers stay intact. Also, the calyx of Calendula flowers is where a lot of the herb’s natural resins are located, and you’ll definitely want this to create your salve.
Next, you’ll need to make some Calendula infused oil to use in your salve. I like using a high-quality, extra virgin Olive oil for this, but you can use any body-safe oil of your choice. Tightly pack your dried blossoms into a small glass container (a 1-cup size is perfect). Then, pour your chosen oil over the blossoms until the container is about ½ full. The blossoms will compress a bit under the weight of the oil, so this is a good opportunity to pack in a few more blossoms so that the container is really full of Calendula flowers.
Then add more oil until the container is full to the top. Be sure all of the flowers are covered (you may need to press some of the blossoms down into the oil using
Let your Calendula oil infuse in the indirect sunlight for 1-3 weeks. I’ve found a windowsill works best because it can still get plenty of indirect sunlight, and you can keep the temperature of the oil a bit cooler indoors (which helps keep the oil from going rancid). Check the oil periodically to be sure all of the flowers are still beneath the surface of the oil.
Once the oil has been properly infused, you’ll need to separate the blossoms from the oil. To do this, line a clean glass container with a large piece of cheesecloth.
Pour the infused oil into the cheesecloth so that the new container catches the oil and the cheesecloth contains all of the blossoms. Gather the ends of the cloth into a bunch (so that all of the Calendula blossoms are inside of it like a little pouch) and squeeze the cloth into the glass container to extract all of the oil from the blossoms. Wring the cloth and squeeze it as tightly as you can to collect as much oil as possible. Reserve the remaining blossoms inside of the cloth to use later when filling your salve containers.
Now it’s time to start preparing your salve. Set up a double boiler over medium heat. Simmer some water in the bottom pan. Once the water is simmering, add about 4 Tablespoons of beeswax pastilles and about 2 Tablespoons of shaved or chopped cocoa butter to the top pan. Lightly simmer and stir the contents carefully until the beeswax and cocoa butter have melted together. Turn off the heat on the double boiler and prepare your salve containers by opening them up and carefully using kitchen tongs to dip them into the hot water to sterilize them. Then place the sterilized containers on a clean kitchen towel. They will be hot so be careful and use the tongs to do this.
clean fingers or a utensil). Now cover the container with a tight-fitting lid.
Now it’s time to fill the salve containers. By this time your beeswax and cocoa butter mixture should have cooled just slightly (but it should still be liquid). Carefully stir in your Calendula-infused oil (about 1 cup). Then gently spoon or pour some of this mixture into your first container, leaving about ¼” to ?” headspace at the top of the container. Carefully separate out one of the Calendula blossoms from those reserved in the cheesecloth. Fan out the petals until it has regained its shape, and place the blossom in the center of the container you’ve just filled.
You may need to press the flower beneath the solution if it doesn’t sink on its own. This is purely aesthetic, so if you don’t want the flower in the salve, you can skip this step, but I think it’s nice to have some of the herb present in the container. You may need to top off the container with a bit more of the liquid salve solution so that the container is full.
Continue following all of the remaining salve containers in the same way. The liquid will begin to solidify as it cools. After about 60 to 90 minutes, when the containers are cool enough to safely handle, you may gently wiggle one or two to check whether or not the salve has set properly. If there is any movement within the container, you should leave all of the containers to continue cooling for another hour and then check again. When there is no movement of the contents, and the color has changed slightly, the salve has set properly. As an additional test, you may gently press the top of the salve to be sure it has set through. Once the salve seems sufficiently set, you can affix the lids onto each of the containers.
Label each salve with the name, date, and ingredients of what is in the tin and store them in a cool, dark place. You may use the salve on dry hands (after you test on a small area to be sure you won’t have any reaction to the ingredients).
To bring a little crystal energy into this herbal creation, you can set a Citrine crystal atop each sealed tin and allow the salve to charge up with crystal energy overnight.
Citrine and Calendula are great companions and call in the energy of joy and happiness, so this adds a little extra magic to the process.