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Monday, April 15


Calendula officinalis, better known as pot marigold, has many exciting uses but should not be confused with african marigold (tagetes erecta) more commonly found in our gardens.  Calendula flowers have incredible powers in healing skin problems such as rashes, acne, dryness, insect bites, bruises, eczema, diaper rash, herpes sores, burns, and athletes foot.  It can be used to make an antiseptic wash, promote the healing of wounds, stimulate collagen, and reduce stretch marks.   Use it as a mouth rinse for inflamed or infected gums or eye rinse for scratched or irritated eyes.  Check out how to make your own calendula oil, salve or balm here.

Taken internally, in tea or tincture form, calendula is excellent for indigestion, reduces swollen glands, offers relief from gall bladder problems, and helps heal gastric and duodenal ulcers.  Some like to mix the tea, tincture, oil, or a teaspoon of dried and powdered flowers into pet food to relieve their animal friend of dry skin, flea irritation, or simply to promote a shiny coat.

Calendula's name comes from latin, meaning "little calendar" as the ancient Romans saw the blooms arriving on the first of the month.  An excellent companion plant for your garden, calendula acts as an insect repellant.  You can use the fresh flowers to garnish your salad or colour your custard.  The flower can be used as a fabric dye, a lovely yellow colour resulting with an alum mordant.  Or, use the flowers to highlight fair hair.  These annual flowers are easy to grow and sprout from seed with little coaxing.  They look, smell and taste wonderful.

The Roots of Healing : A Woman's book of Herbs by Deb Soule (1995).  

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