CALENDULA

Calendula officinalis 

Part/s Used:  Flower
Energetics:  mildly warming, sweet, bitter, spicy, mildly salty
Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-viral, bitter tonic, demulcent, astringent, cholagogue, emollient, vulnerary.
Constituents:  Flavonoids, saponins, volatile oil, salicylic acid, mucilage, resin

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture: 1:3 or 1:4                 Dry (ratio & % alcohol):  1:5 70 %
Drops: 10-60                           Times a day: 3x
Tea:  Hot and cold infusions    Ounces: 8-12                    Times a day: 3-4

Habitat:

Calendula is a widely cultivated herbaceous self-seeding annual. Beautiful bright yellow, gold and orange flowers open in the morning when the sun rises and closes as the sun sets. Calendula is one of the most versatile herbs to grow in the garden. Easily grown in average, moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Dead head the plants regularly to maintain even blossom production.

Medicinal Uses:

Calendula is an excellent anti-microbial agent ideal for many types of skin conditions and wounds. An excellent vulnerary both internally and externally, promoting cell repair and growth. It has long been used for cuts, stings, bruises, bites, sprains, sunburns. A great herb to infuse in oils and salves for your herbal first aid kit.

Calendula is considered an immune modulate, balancing the immune system. Gentle immune stimulating actions that enhance the bodies defense from incoming microbes. A gentle lymphatic that can be used short or long-term support. 

Calendula is an effective anti-viral that can help treat cold and flu, swollen glands, viral herpes, shingles, and speeds up healing from chicken pox and measles. A hot Calendula infusion acts as a diaphoretic, moving energy outward by stimulating circulation and promoting sweating. This action helps kill the infectious pathogen and reduces fever as well as removing toxins from the body.

Calendula is an anti-fungal herb that can be used both internally and externally to treat fungal infections (athletes’ foot, ring worm, jock itch, yeast infections.Candida overgrowth. Calendulas anti-microbial action is also helpful in the case of eye infections such as pink eye/conjunctivitis.

The fresh flowers are delicious and can be added to salads, sandwiches, cocktails. The dried flowers can be used in soups and broths. Drink the golden petals in tea and include them in your cordials and smoothies. 

Harvesting:

The more you pick, the more they grow! Harvest Calendula by popping the flower heads right off the stem when they are about halfway open. Spread them out on a well-ventilated surface (cloth, screen, mesh) or use a dehydrator. Allow to fully dry and store in a glass jar with airtight lid out of direct sunlight. 

Beauty:

Use tea as a hair rinse for blonds (lightens and strengthens), facial steam, baths or an infused oil for that you can use in salves, creams, and aftershaves. Breast wash while nursing. 

Contraindications:

Calyx of the flower can cause inflammation of throat if consumed. 

 

Sources:
Medicinal Herbs by Rosemary Gladstar
Northwest School for Botanical Studies by Christa Sinadinos