Calendula Flowers – Edible and Medicinal
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a beautiful annual plant that has edible and medicinal flowers that brings wonderful color to any garden. The flowers smell like honey and their flavor is a mild peppery taste. The petals are chewy when dried so they are usually chopped up to use in recipes.
The parts of the plant used are the flower heads or flower petals. If using calendula as a garnish you can use the whole flower but if using for recipes in the kitchen it is best to remove the petals from the flower base as it is bitter in taste.
Try adding calendula petals to summer dishes such as salads and soups, herb butters, cheese and rice dishes. You can also use calendula to replace the more costly saffron in some dishes. You can extract the color from the petals by cooking them in milk and adding the milk to your recipe.
Calendula flowers are yellow and orange and bring a cheerful quality to your garden and your cooking but even better they are a very strong antiseptic for the skin. Calendula is good for your skin internally or externally and can be made into a tea and used for skin compresses, aids digestion and as a gargle.
Usually you will find calendula in a salve or ointment form to rub right onto the skin. Calendula ointment is easy to make in a small crock pot with olive oil or almond oil and a bit of beeswax to harden it into a salve. One pot full will make enough salve for the whole year. Calendula is great on wounds as it improves blood circulation so it helps heal skin ulcers, helps bruising and reduces scarring. Calendula is an herb that you should get acquainted with and grow in your garden for both cooking and skin care. >>Candace
Calendula and Comfrey Salve
Place 1 ounce of dried calendula petals and 1 ounce dried comfrey root into a small crock pot; add enough olive oil (or almond oil) to cover 2-3 inches over the herbs. Set on lowest temperature and cook 2-6 hours. Strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and place strained oil back into crock pot and add approximately 1/4 cup beeswax to one cup of oil. Stir in the beeswax until it is melted. Test by placing a dab in a spoon and placing in the refrigerator for a few minutes to see if salve is hard enough. Add 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (or honey) or a few drops of tincture of benzoin to this oil mixture as a preservative. If oil mixture is hard enough, pour into salve jars that have been sterilized and if not, add a tiny bit more beeswax. This recipe makes quite a few jars of salve so have quite a few jars available to fill or some bigger jars if you want bigger sizes.