Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Calendula Salve - How Tuesday

A friend sent me an email with a simple calendula salve recipe .  Her instructions were:

“Macerate your whole flower tops in good quality EVOO. Just stuff a jar with flowers and then fill will oil to cover you plant material. Place for 6-8 weeks in a sunny window. Strain out your plant material and add some beeswax about 1-4 Tbls. to your strained oil. Gently heat to melt the beeswax and pour into containers. Easy simple calendula salve. Good for wrinkles too!
Thistledown Farm”

Now I know this is not the kind of detail I give on the blog so I worked out the details for you.

I made my calendula oil by harvesting the flower heads of my plants a few at a time. I started with about 5 of 6 flowers and poured 8 ounces of almond oil over top in a mason jar.  

As weeks passed I added more flowers.  I chose those of the best quality that were at the peak of pretty.

 I harvested them in the morning before the oils were evaporated from the petals.  

Some were yellow and some were orange as you can see it gives the oil a rusty color.

Once I was happy with the quality of the oil (about 8 to 10 weeks, I think.) 

I strained it and placed it in the top of my double boiler.

I then grated about 6 ounces of bees wax.  Well I should be honest I cut up about 3 ounces and grated about 3 ounces, because I knew I would need at least 3 ounces to make the salve.  

Then I could add the grated wax a bit at a time to get the perfect consistency.  Once the beeswax was melted I let the mixture cool to see if it would create the solid that I wanted.  

I found it to be the hardness i wanted without being a brick, so I remelted it, added just a bit more wax and poured it into containers.

I use this salve for myself.  It is great for my rosacea and for my Zodiac Box for Leo.

Here is the final recipe:

Dozens of fresh calendula flowers free of bugs and blemishes

8 oz. almond or olive oil

4 ounces beeswax

Steep the flowers (all at once or over time) in the oil for 4 to 8 weeks.  Once the oil is well infused with the flowers, strain it to remove the flower particulates.  Grate the beeswax.  Place the oil in the top of a double boiler and simmer (do not boil) of the heated water adding the grated beeswax and stirring until it is melted.  Use about 4 to 6 ounces of beeswax per 8 ounces of oil.  Once the wax is all melted remove the boiler top form the water and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  check the mixture for consistency and texture.  Be aware salves are subject to humidity and other environmental conditions so you will need to adjust the amount of beeswax accordingly.  If you are satisfied with the texture return the double boiler to the water and allow it to remelt, then while warm pour into containers. All to cool completely before putting a cover on the containers.

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