Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Calendula 2008 Herb of the year

The weather has turned a little chilly with the lows tonight in the 30's. That means the electric heat has come on and already my skin and lips are dry feeling the results of dry heat, low humidity, and hotter and longer baths. One of my favorite herbs, so easy to grow, and with so many uses is Calendula (calendula officinalis). No wonder it has been chosen as "The Herb of the Year" for 2008. Be sure to include this pretty herb in next years herb garden. In my zone (7A) calendula is treated as an annual. Harvest the petals, dry, and save to make a great skin cream for the winter. Calendula salve is easy to make.

I take my dried petals, (1/2 cup) place in a mason jar, and cover with 6 ounces olive oil. Place a cap on top and be sure to keep the petals covered with the oil. Allow to sit in a warm window for at least a week. (If you are in a hurry, you can put in a crock pot on low heat overnight.)

Strain out the flowers and add to the compost pile. This makes an infused oil.

To make the salve, warm the calendula infused olive oil, add 1 oz melted beeswax and pour into small jars or tins. Allow to harden overnight.

Rub over chapped hands and lips as often as necessary. I also find that calendula salve is good as a cuticle cream.

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