If you grow calendula, don’t forget to continue the harvest of the flower heads, every few days during the peak season, to make calendula oil. You do not need to dehydrate the blooms completely, but just let them dry for a couple of days indoors. I use the dehydrator to keep them in place and covered, but I don’t turn it on. You could use the dehydrator to completely dry them and store them until you want to infuse them in oil if you prefer.
After they are wilted and some of the moisture has come out of them, pack them pretty tight in a jar with olive oil, cover and place in a cupboard for 4 to 6 weeks, or longer. If you are in a hurry for your calendula infused oil, you can heat the oil and flowers in a double boiler, over a low heat on the stove, for a few hours. Since I have a lot of flowers this year, I made a strong infusion of calendula on the stove and then used that infused oil to fill a jar with more calendula to further infuse in the cupboard. I’m in a slight hurry, as I am out of salve.
Then you can use this healing oil to make a skin salve or cream with tallow or beeswax…
I found this website, Castanea, to have the best information on calendula as an edible and medicinal flower to grow in your garden.
Calendula grows well in containers and you could just keep a pot of sunshine on your patio to make enough calendula oil for yourself. You can also buy calendula blossoms from Mountain Rose Herbs.
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