Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Calendula

Calendula 2

Medicinal Herb Post #3 written May 28, 2018

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) other names it’s known for are pot marigold or English marigold.

I love this bright, happy little flower. It’s name in Latin means “calender”, which references its ability to bloom every day of the year (weather permitting). My calendula blooms from March through November until it gets too cold. Another cool thing I learned about the name officinalis is that it means that any particular plant with it in its name came from the officina or traditional storeroom of the old monasteries where medicine was kept. They have been tried and true herbs used specifically for their medicine for hundreds of years. Calendula is an annual (short lived perennial in warm climates) that reseeds itself easily and can be invasive. However it is not difficult to manage.

Calendula is a fabulous anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary (accelerates healing), astringent and anti-fungal herb. It’s great for sore throats, mouth sores, dental infections, stomach and intestinal ulcers (when used with comfrey), skin wounds and fungal infections. Calendula can be used as an eye wash for conjunctivitis. It has also been known to help stop bleeding, clear the lymphatic system when used with cleavers and echinacea and helps to cleanse the liver by increasing production of bile. It can also be useful when used topically and taken internally for breast cysts. It can be soothing to women who have undergone mastectomies. Gynologically it can be used for reducing fibroids and ovarian cysts. It is very useful in a sitz bath after child birth. It’s a serious super star herb!

I like to harvest the flowers when they are open but not drooping, leave those to go to seed so you have more next year. Some of the things I do with it are:

Herbal tea for stomach/intestinal sores/ulcers and candida overgrowth (also good for mouth sores) equal parts calendula, marshmallow, comfrey and licorice. 2 tsp 2x a day.

I make a skin salve that accelerates healing like nothing else. You’ll want to use equal parts of at least the first 5 herbs: calendula, comfrey leaf and root, plantain, yarrow, marshmallow, mullien, chickweed, lobelia, St. John’s Wort. I place them in a jar and cover with olive oil and a lid or you can place them in a pot over the stove top. If you’re solar infusing put the jars in a sunny place for 4 weeks and shake daily ( I prefer this method). If using the stove top method heat the oil and herbs on the lowest heat for an hour. Be careful not to burn the herbs. Strain and place oil in pot. For every cup of infused oil you have you’ll want to add 1/4 cup beeswax until melted. Test it to make sure it is the consistancy you want. More wax will make it harder. Pour into jars and add vitamin e to help the salve penetrate through all the dermis layers. Add essential oils (I like lavender and tea tree) to help preserve the salve. Store in fridge.

Calendula is very safe with no contraindications, although there are some herbalist that think it’s a good idea to stay away from using it internally during pregnancy because it can help normalize menstrual cycles and relieve cramps.

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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