CALENDULA … Beautiful and Medicinal

“It’s thrilling to see Calendula flowers start to bloom. They burst into an imprint of the Sun in each little flower. Last year when I first planted the seeds in my garden, it seemed like they took forever to grow and start to bloom. But this year, they grew back and popped up like jack-in-the-box. In a different patch I started new seeds, and while they are coming up, they have not started to create flower buds yet.

Calendula officinalis is also known as “pot marigold” for its superb golden color. It is a time honored medicinal herb and is awesome for baby products, skin care and the gut.

It becomes an oil for the skin by a process of maceration. This is done by taking the flower tops, allowing them to dry a bit and then filling a glass jar with the flowers and then adding a fixed oil, like olive or jojoba, and allowing it to steep for many weeks while sitting in the Sun. The plants medicinal extracts are produced in this way and allows the active constituents of the flowers to activate the fixed oil. Not all fixed oils are equal, so keep to stable ones, avoiding oils that can turn rancid easily. One pleasant exchange is the yellow orange color of the flowers can enhance the color of the finished product, which is lovely.

As a macerated oil Calendula has been used for inflammation, spasms, and as a vulnerary among other things. Its’ active ingredients are healing and makes it perfect for these situations. It is so gentle and also considered to be astringent. One of my favorite ways to use it is with Poke Root – Phytolacca americana infused in Olive Oil. They both help to support the lymphatic system. If using for this quality, add a few essential oils that are supportive of the Lymphatic System, such as Geranium, Lavender, Plai, Juniper Berry or Bay Laurel to name a few. However, for skin think of using for bruises, eczema, cuts and bruising and oils that will support those qualities. Quite gentle for baby’s care, it is excellent, and no essential oils are needed because it will be effective for the therapeutic conditions that a wee one might experience.

And yes, Calendula flowers can be used internally, made as a tincture, or as a tea infusion for gut issues, but are also delicious and colorful in a salad.

In India Calendula is considered to be a Sacred flower and that makes sense to me when you see a field full of flowers with their bright colors of orange and yellow and that they are constantly blooming filling the space with a burst of Sunshine.” ~ Cha Roberts – AromaEducators

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Photo credit & copyright: Cha Roberts

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