Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making Calendula Extract

I have several marigold "calendula" plants growing around my house.  Generally I gather the seeds when they dry out and save them for next year, share them, or sew them to expand the bed.  This year I took the front bed over for vegetables, therefore, the plants I have growing are in areas around the steps, and foundation.  They were getting a little out of control and needed pulling.  As I was doing this, I thought there had to be a use for the flowers.  I already buy calendula salve for cuts and burns, so why not see what I can make out of the flowers. 

The first uses that I found were to make tea out of the flowers.  That idea doesn't appeal to me, right now anyway. I may experiment with it in the future.   I also came this link for making a salve and an another for making calendula extract.  The salve can be made at a later time with the extract so I chose the extract method. Luckily I have vodka on hand.  I don't normally, however, I had purchased it to make vanilla extract and hadn't gotten around to starting it yet.  With all the canning I have been doing lately, other projects are being put on hold. 
Place flowers in a glass jar.  Making sure there are no bugs on them.

Smash flowers to compact them.

Pour enough vodka to cover the flowers. 
I had to add more vodka as the flowers expanded a little when it was added.  Place in front of a window where it can receive light for one month.  Turn and shake the jar every once in awhile.  The directions indicate after a month you can strain off the liquid and the extract is ready to use.  It indicates the extract will keep for a long time.  I will keep you updated on the process.  Now to find a sunny location!

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