Since I started planting lots more herbs and flowers in my garden to attract the bees, I have been getting a lot more interested in what else you can do with them (see bottom of page for some of my earlier posts). When my friend Steph told me that she makes an antiseptic cream using calendula flowers from her garden, I just had to give it a try.
Calendula flowers have bee used by many ancient cultures for their healing powers and natural abilities to soothe dry and irritated skin. Calendula is purported to help quickly sooth and heal minor scrapes, cuts, and abrasions. It has also been used to help heal inflammation, acne, rosacea, bruises, chapped or dry skin, burns, athlete’s foot, bee stings, diaper rash, and even yeast infections. It even helps minimize and reduce scarring and stretch marks because it stimulates production of collagen at the site of wounds.
Scoop out the contents of a small jar of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly into a small basin. I just scooped out enough to fill two little containers I had saved and put it into a ramekin. Set the basin into a saucepan about half full of water and heat.
Add the petals of 5-6 calendula flowers. Warm gently for about 1-2 hours. The resulting cream should then be sieved and poured into pots.
This cream will last for years.
Calendula petals can also be infused to make a lightly disinfectant astringent lotion for an oily skin.
1 handful of calendula petals
1 cup boiling water
Drop the petals into the boiling water and steep until the water is only warm to the touch. Crush and strain the petals out of the liquid and apply the wash generously to a freshly scrubbed, rinsed and dried face. Allow the calendula liquid to dry on the face. Repeat as often as required.
This infusion doesn’t keep for long as it contains no preservative.
Other uses for herbs and flowers:
Using Edible Flowers to add Fun and Flavour
Preserving Edible Flowers
Lavender and Lemon Cheesecake
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Crispy Zucchini Flowers with Herbed Ricotta
Lavender and Other Flavoured Sugars