Sunday, October 20, 2013


      Calendula officinalis is a beautiful garden addition.  It is sometimes called pot marigold but this not to be confused with the many marigold annuals sold each year.  The flowers are used fresh or dried and are one of the best herbs for treating local skin problems.  They can be used where there is inflammation on the skin whether it is due to infection or physical damage.  They can be used on wounds, bruises or strains.  they also benefit slow-healing wounds and skin ulcers,  And they can treat minor burns and scalds where treatment may be with a lotion, a poultice or compress. Because of their affinity for the skin I use them in making my lip balm and cleansing grains.  I recently made a batch of salve for a friend.  She has a scar from surgery and wanted something healing to apply.  It is luscious.  It is great on dry chapped skin, as a cuticle treatment or as part of a first aid kit.  This salve is now part of my offerings.
     Internally calendula can aid digestive inflammation or ulcers. They can be used in the relief of gallbladder complaints and many vague digestive complaints called indigestion.  Calendula is anti-fungal and can be used internally and externally to combat such infections. I would brew calendula as a tea for internal use.
      Calendula can be applied externally to improve lymphatic drainage from wounds and is bacteriostatic meaning that it will not kill bacteria but prevent the extension of infection. It works well with people who are "bone weary."
     Calendula is a great addition to soups in the winter as they warm and protect against wind and chill. Petals can be sprinkled on top of salads to add color as well as health benefits. The possibilities are endless.

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