Calendula

Calendula

Calendula officinalis

A native to the Mediterranean and Iran, the use and cultivation of Calendula seems to be worldwide, and dates back thousands of years.  In India, Indians place a wreath of Calendula to crown their beloved deities.  Ancient Egyptians considered this plant a rejuvenating herb.  Calendula flowers were a staple in the kitchens of Ancient Greece. And in the American Civil war, Calendula flowers were used by battlefield doctors to treat open wounds. The word Calendula derived from Calends, the first day of the month in the Ancient Roman calendar.  The people of Ancient Rome observed that this brilliantly orange plant seemed to bloom the first day of each new moon cycle, so they gave this flower the name Calendula. 

Any plant that provides continuous blooms, vibrant color and medicinal value should be held in high regard.  Once established, it's the plant that keeps on giving, all summer long.  Pluck the flower tops from the plant, and let the medicine making begin.  Make a poultice and apply to help heal bruises and cuts. An oil infused with Calendula can help decrease the visibility of scars.  Add the flowers to tea during times of illness and internal inflammation.  The flower petals can brighten a dinner salad, or color rice.  A packet of Calendula seeds can be purchased at your local nursery for less than five dollars.  Affordable and abundant medicine!

Calendula officinalis

Family: Asteraceae

Parts Used: Flowers

Medicinal Actions: Anti-microbial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, analgesic,

Medicinal Uses:  Bowel diseases, gastritis, internal and external inflammation, heals wounds, moistening.

Culinary Uses: Petals can be eaten in salads, and used as a coloring agent in broth and rice.  Calendula wine

Medicinal Preparation: Tea, tincture, salve, ointment, cream, and baths

Cautions: Asteraceae Family allergy

Tips for Growing Calendula:

Calendula is easy to propagate from seed, and is a self-seeding annual.

Sow fresh seeds in April or May, when soil temperature reaches 60 degrees

Plant in full sun, well drained soil

Calendula is a very hardy plant that can survive a light frost and snow

Blooms all summer long

Simple Calendula Oil Infusion

Materials needed:

Oil (Olive Oil, Grapeseed, Jojoba)

Dried Calendula Flowers

Mason Jar

Strainer/Muslin Cloth

Instructions:

1. Fill mason jar 1/2 full with dried Calendula Flowers

2. Pour oil over plant material until fully immersed

3. Seal jar and place in a sunny windowsill or countertop

4. After 3-4 weeks, strain, removing as much plant material as possible.