Calendula has been my garden’s most successful producer. It’s so hardy! I’ve been picking many blossoms each day and yet more and more keep blooming.
Not only is Calendula great for producing a beautiful orange or yellow colour when dying but it’s also a great choice for herbal remedies- particularly when it comes to healing skin. Herbal Roots Zine has an informative and kid friendly month dedicated to Calendula here.
“(Calendula) contains large amounts of iodine, manganese and carotene, all of which promote the regeneration of skin cells.
The main actions are: anti inflammatory, antispasmodic, lymphatic, astringent, vulnerary, emmenagogue, antimicrobial, cholagogue, anti fungal and detoxifying. In simpler terms, she is used to treat varicose veins, bleeding wounds and other wounds, sores, cuts, scrapes, burns and bruising of the skin, measles, chickenpox, diaper rash, cradle cap, skin pain and irritation, bee and wasp stings, insect bites, chapped lips, dry skin, acne, earaches, sore and inflamed eyes, fevers, ulcers, cramps and bronchitis. PHEW! That’s quite a long list!”
There are many things you can do with your fresh picked Calendula. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
I’ve been collecting the flower heads and freezing them in a ziplock bag ready to be used to make a poultice anytime it’s needed. To make a poultice, you need only mash a few flowers with a bit of water with a mortar and pestle. Perfect for when you have cuts or scrapes.
I was inspired long ago by Lisa to make a simple oil infusion with the Calendula I grew. I simply picked the flower heads and put them in a jar lightly packed. I then covered the blossoms with grapeseed oil until they were completely submerged. Swirl or stir to remove air bubbles and let it steep for a couple weeks in a cool dark place. Occasionally I swirled the oil and after a couple weeks it became cloudy and ready to strain. To store it I put it back in a cool dark place. You can use jojoba, almond, olive oil.. This oil is great for bug bites, mild burns, cutes, scrapes, chapped lips, diaper rash….
We liked to add colour to our salads with Calendula flower petals! We’re hoping to try some in muffins soon too. More on Calendula later….