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Calendula Harvest Makes a Great Gardener's Hand Salve

1:07 PM

A lot of people plant Calendula or Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) in their veggie gardens to keep the pests away.  It definitely has a potent, but not unpleasant scent to it and has both astringent and antibacterial properties. These healing properties make it a perfect candidate for drying and using as a healing "gardener's salve" to put on hands that have been digging in the garden without gloves, or have perhaps been a little overzealous in a blackberry patch.

First, harvest your Calendula. Pick the flowers only and lay them out flat on a screen or a tray covered in paper toweling.  Allow them to dry for 2 to 3 weeks.

When the flowers are dry, put them in a mason jar and cover them completely with a good-quality olive oil.  Let this sit for at least 6 weeks to infuse.

Strain out the oil and discard the flower petals.  Now you have a nice batch of Calendula infused oil, which can be used on it's own for "gardener's hands" or as a massage oil.
It can also be made into:
Calendula Gardener's Goo Hand Salve
1 mason jar full of Calendula infused oil 
about 1 cup beeswax (per pint of oil)

I keep beeswax around for making my own candles, and for making salves. I got about 10 lbs from a apiary that was selling their bulk wax online a few years ago and it has been FANTASTIC for these purposes.  Just do a google search for bulk or raw beeswax and you should be able to find some fairly easily.

It looks like this in the box: 

SO!  Put your beeswax in the top portion of a double-boiler (I have a small double-boiler that I use specifically for this purpose) and boil on high until the wax is completely melted. 

I LOVE the smell of melting beeswax!

almost there...

Then add the oil to the wax in the double boiler and stir with a chopstick until evenly combined.

Once your salve is evenly combined, and completely melted, pour it into the Mason jar (s) and seal.  Let it cool and it'll solidify into a salve! 

Enjoy!  Your hands will thank you!

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