Wednesday, September 8, 2010

* Ode To Calendula *

"The Earth Laughs In Flowers" 
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Calendula flowers are easy to grow, versatile to use and a gorgeous ray of sunshine in the garden!

With Autumn beginning to emerge upon us *feelin' that nip in the air* I was motivated to collect and store these summer filled flowers to enjoy throughout the winter.

Off to the garden we went!  The girls enjoyed filling their baskets with the beautiful flower heads...

 I wanted to make simple cream from what I had on hand and not a lot of fuss.
Here is what I came up with (with some advice)

1 cup calendula petals
1 cup organic cold pressed coconut oil

Simmer them together on VERY low heat (1 or 2 on the stove) for a couple of hours.

Strain through a cheese cloth and pour into a glass cream jar.

You can then tie up your cheese cloth (with petals still inside) and use it for a luxurious bath.

These two ingredients make quite the dynamic duo ~  calendula brightens the skin (and man do we need that in winter!) and also carries powerful healing, anti aging gifts for the skin!

Coconut oil works as a wonderful, antioxidant-filled moisturizer. I once asked a woman I know (who began St.Francis Herb Farm)  what her secret was ~ her skin was incredible ~ she told me it was coconut oil!

I look forward to treating my face with this sunshine infused cream all throughout those dry, cold months!
I also wanted to make a calendula infused oil ~  a healing balm for chapped skin, wounds, burns,  cracked nipples, bruises, insect stings,  diaper rash, and eczema!

Again my goal was to keep it simple and simple this was.

Luna filled up a jar with our calendula flower heads and poured grape seed oil in until it reached the top.

Then we left it on a windowsill that is graced by sunlight and now will let that sunshine work it's magic!

In a month or so we will bottle this oil to be used it as the need arises ~ perhaps a gift for a new mama...

So many ways to enjoy calendula ~ fresh petals sprinkled on salads and sweets or dried and placed in a shaker for year round, in food for a saffron inspired flare, added to bath salts, blended with cornstarch for a silky baby powder, drying and stringing whole for decoration (apparently they hold their color and shape!) or to just plain admiring their beauty!

These plants love to be planted ~ they are prolific in the garden, re-seeding themselves and offering their lavish sunset blooms from spring to late fall.

What are some of your favorite ways to use flowers from your garden?

with love
~Shanti ~


  1. I've been dying to make some calendula salve. Thanks for making it look less intimidating! I will definitely be planting these flowers for next year.

  2. This is a beautiful post and I learned so much! I love the photo of the flowers in the jar too. Gorgeous.

  3. I make a strong tea of them (just cover with boiling water and let it steep til it's that gorgeous golden color!) and I use it in place of shampoo on the twins hair! They have desperate eczema and the slightest bit of anything with frangrance, color, or the always nasty sodium lauryl sulfate just send their skin into fits for days. It doesn't lather of course, and some people can't get past the psychological need for bubbles to feel clean, but it really does work amazingly well!

  4. Middling and I love wildcrafting yarrow from the fields and woods. Great for tea and healing salves. And now I have my own beeswax to add as an ingredient :-)

    Beautiful photos, Shanti! I can't wait to re-establish our poor neglected gardens.

  5. Oh those are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  6. mmmm...I love this project!!! I am so trying this...even the word itself...calendula....just rolls of the tongue and sounds so beautiful...

  7. i love calendula!!! it really is amazing! i can't wait to try your recipe with coconut oil.


  8. Oh...we recently made Calendula Oil as well...but that cream looks awesome. I'll have to get some coconut oil because we still have TONS of flowers. Yay for Calendula.

  9. Thanks for posting! I LOVE this! I had no idea it was so easy! Yay!

  10. Calendula has always been one of my favorite flowers. We did not plant anywhere enough for this year (but I learned my lesson and sure won't let that happen again)..
    You have inspired me, next year I hope to have some of those jars full of golden beauty sitting on my windowsill!

  11. If I was the kind of herbalist who changed her name to "become" more like her chosen plant, my name would be Calendula.
    nuff said. :)


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