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Growing and Drying Calendula for Homemade Flower Tea

Since I started studying and teaching medieval medicine a couple of years ago, I’ve been determined to grow my own calendula. It is a wondrous little plant, full of so many good things that are healing inside and outside the body.

It is particularly high in flavinoids which work as anti-oxidants in the body, and is highly effective in treating skin and eye conditions. If you’re making homemade lotions, be sure to fold in dried calendula petals to make the cream especially nourishing. It is anti-septic and anti-inflammatory making it wonderful as a mouthwash and gargle for soothing painful gums and throats.

My favorite way to use it is as a tea since it is such a boon to digestion and soothing to any internal issues. I add the dried calendula petals to a mixture of green tea leaves, dried hibiscus flowers, and dried lavender buds to make a calming, fragrant, and delicious Flower Tea.

I’ve got ripper of a calendula patch growing now, with so many blossoms I’m gathering bowls full every couple of days. Thankfully calendula is very easy to grow and doesn’t seem susceptible to any of the insects that often devour my other flowers.

If you would like to make your own Flower Tea, follow these simple steps:

One: Gather.

Wait until the blossoms are fully open, then gather them into a clean bowl before they start to wilt. (If you wait until the day after a good rain or watering to gather them, you won’t need to wash them.)

Two: Dry.

My part of the world is very dry and warm so I just scatter the calendula heads in a flat bottomed bowl and let them dry naturally for 3-4 days. If you have flies or a lot of dust, just cover the bowl loosely with cheesecloth to keep the blossoms clean.

Three: Separate.

You’ll know the petals are ready to separate when they feel crinkly to the touch, like tissue paper. Simply pull the petals off the flower head – the drier they are, the more easily they come off.

Four: Sift.

Fluff up the petals in a shallow bowl, allowing any lingering bits of fluff, leaf or dust to fall to the bottom.

Five: Store

Store dried calendula petals in a clean glass or pottery jar with a tight-fitting lid. If you use glass (I like to because the petals are such a gorgeous color), be sure to store the jar in a dark place to prevent fading.

Six: Mix

Select the ingredients you like best for your Flower Tea. I use equal parts calendula petals and hibiscus petals, and two parts green or black tea leaves with just a pinch of lavender buds because they’re so strong. If you add too much lavender you feel like you’re drinking perfume instead of tea. Shudder.

Seven: Brew

Place your mix into a teapot or pottery jug and cover with just boiled water (bring to boil then let sit a minute until it stops bubbling). I like my tea strong so I let it brew for about ten minutes, then strain. Add real maple syrup or honey if you like it sweet, or drink it straight since the hibiscus adds some natural sweetness.

DSCN8709-2

Do you have a favorite tea blend?

Flower Tea Recipe
Makes one pot

Ingredients:

1 tsp dried calendula petals
1 tsp dried hibiscus petals
1 Tbsp organic black, white, red or green tea leaves
1/4 tsp dried lavender buds
Boiling water
real maple syrup to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in teapot and cover with hot water.
  2. Let steep 5-10 minutes according to your preferred strength.
  3. Strain, sweeten to taste, and serve.

 




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Liz Posmyk - What a wonderful, wonderful post!

Krista - Thank you, @lizposmyk:disqus πŸ™‚ It’s been so fun to do this project from start to finish. πŸ™‚ And the tea really is delicious. πŸ™‚

Homemade Flower Tea - […] By Rambling Tart […]

sarah www.thehedonista.com - Beautiful. I really love that shot with the spoon. Calendula is the same as Marigold, right? I grow them to put in my salads too!

Mike - Krista, thank you for the tea recipe! I’ve not experimented with teas in general, no less flower tea, to this extent but I do love Chamomile tea so much and have drank it off/on for years now. Your photography made my jaw drop! Gorgeous! Enjoyed your post πŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Sarah. πŸ™‚ I love that old spoon too. I found it in a friends’ antique shop. πŸ™‚ Regarding calendulas and marigolds, this is what I learned: “Although Calendula is commonly called “Pot Marigold”, they are not in the same genus as the common marigold, Tagetes. (They are part of the same family, Asteraceae.)” πŸ™‚

Krista - You’re so welcome, Mike! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you like the photos – the containers were just what I had handy and I was so pleased how pretty they looked holding the calendula blossoms. πŸ™‚ I love chamomile tea too – have it every morning. πŸ™‚

Joanne (eats well with others) - Such a great post! I feel like I learned so much!

Breanne @ This Vintage Moment - Oh my heavens, so much beauty!! I love the idea of mixing my own tea but haven’t had the foggiest idea how to go about doing that. Love this!

Krista - I’m so glad, @joanneeatswellwithothers:disqus πŸ™‚ It’s so much fun making things, isn’t it?

Krista - I’m delighted that you like it, @breannemosher:disqus πŸ™‚ I just started experimenting, figuring out what flavors I like and don’t like and it’s been so fun. Licorice Mint is another favorite. πŸ™‚

Hotly Spiced - What a lovely idea. And I love your blue bowl. I have a naturopath who loves calendula and keeps telling me how good it is for me. I had no idea I could grow my own and make my own tea! Great post, thanks xx

Krista - What great timing, Hotly Spiced! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad your naturopath is a calendula fan too. I hope you’re able to get heaps of it. πŸ™‚

GourmetGetaway - What a great story! The flowers are just so pretty, I would grow them simply for the blooms! It was never occurred to me to make my own tea even though I have lemon grass growing which I really enjoy drinking.

Krista - Aren’t they gorgeous, @GourmetGetaway:disqus ? I had no idea what the blooms would be like until they opened up. I just love how calming the calendula tea is. Lemongrass would be delicious. πŸ™‚

Tandy Sinclair - so clever! I never have thought about drying my flowers for tea πŸ™‚

Krista - They work brilliantly, @tandysinclair:disqus , and taste so very, very good. πŸ™‚

katyabroad - Tea never fails to cheer the spirit, but this flower tea makes me smile just looking at those bright, sunshiny photos!

mlleparadis - gorgeous blues and oranges here! you’re making me thirsty for a cuppa! are you growing those calendula in little bales of hay, or that just a mulch mat?

http://mlleparadis.blogspot.com

Krista - I’m so glad they’re cheering to you too, @katyabroad:disqus πŸ™‚ They made me smile on a very dreary day. πŸ™‚

Krista - It’s just mulch, paradis, a thick carpet of straw to keep the heat out and the water in. πŸ™‚

Maureen Shaw - You are very clever. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted calendula tea but I’d love to.

Krista - Oh thank you, @disqus_v9uRgGTGfe:disqus πŸ™‚ It was definitely fun to do and the final product was delish. πŸ™‚

El - How beautiful. There’s nothing better than fresh tea!

Krista - Thank you, El. πŸ™‚ It is such a delicious drink, isn’t it?

Glamorous Glutton - These look wonderful, such a fabulous colour. I wonder if we can get dried calendula here. Your tea looks wonderful. GG

Krista - Thank you, Glamorous Glutton! I think you should be able to order it online. πŸ™‚

Autumn in Queensland and Port Wine Beef Stew - […] cool weather plants are flourishing – hollyhocks, marigolds, calendula – and although the herbs are trying to flower and go to sleep for the winter, I nip the blossoms […]

Kitchen Butterfly - How gorgeous are your blue plates – they make a beautiful backdrop for the gorgeous yellow flowers. And making your own tea blend is delightful. I’d lovvvvveee to taste it.

Hugs xxx

Winter Flowers and Spelt Crepes with Whipped Goat’s Cheese » Rambling Tart - […] these oh-so-cheery calendula flowers brightening up these dark winter days we’ve been […]

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