Autumn is the time to harvest our bounty from all the fun we had gardening. :) One of my favorite harvests is my calendula (marigolds), the scent alone is so strong and the flowerheads are so brightly colored and full. Each year I make enough calendula salve to last us through the year and I'd like to share it with you. Callendula has an amazing ability to heal such as booboos, abrasions, cuts and burns.
Pick about 4 cups of clean full flowerheads mid morning after the dew has dried. Make sure they are nice and dry, or the moisture will cause your salve to spoil.
In a large jar, put in the dry flowerheads and cover them with olive oil and about 1/4 cup of vodka (as a natural preservative). Put the lid on tight and set in a sunny windowsill or outside for 2-4 weeks. Every day shake the jar for a full minute. The liquid will turn a beautiful golden color as the calendula properties are drawn out and infused with the oil..
After a few weeks, open the lid and strain the liquid through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into double boiler. Bring the liquid to a low simmer over med low heat and add 2T beeswax. Stir until melted together. Let cool slightly and then pour into small sterilized pots or into jars.
Keep refrigerated (it will last up to a year if you do) and use everytime you need to help heal a cut or booboo. :)