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.

Blooming Calendula

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:

Freezing

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.

Calendula

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….

Calendula infused oil

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….

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15 Responses to Calendula

  1. Thanks for sharing this Annie.

    One of the teachers in TO grew calendula with her class and then they made a salve for sharing at Christmas. I thought it was such a wonderful idea and I hope to do the same sort of thing with my class.

    It’s so great to see what you’ve done and get an even better appreciation for the flower since I clearly haven’t done all of my homework yet:)

    Love and light to you guys… I imagine it’s at least as rainy there as here right now!

  2. Last month Mica got stung by a bee (his first time) while climbing through our very overgrown garden. It was on his inner forearm.

    We used the boo-boo buddy, but he didn’t want me to put the salve I had on it, so I went into the garden and picked a bunch of calendula petals, mashed them a bit, and gave them to hold on the sting, which he gladly did. :)

    It was such a seamless, intuitive moment. I love nature! Get stung by a bee in the garden, turn around and pick some petals to help soothe you.

    xo,
    Stacy

  3. Jacinda says:

    Great idea about freezing the flowers. We mostly have the flowers all year round but nice to have a back up plan.

  4. Erin says:

    I am loving seeing all of the abundant calendula growing around me in the community gardens here…not so much of my own did as well. I may have just enough if the sun comes back to harvest for this. I have yet to make an infusion like this…it will be fun! Your photos are gorgeous, all of that sunny color captured so well :-)

    We love to embelish salad with it too. It can be added to herb butters or cream cheese spreads for brilliant orange bursts too!

  5. Annie says:

    L- Nice and sunny this morning. Not really blogging weather but Cam’s down in the shop with Leif working away while Lily’s out riding her bike!

    Stacy, it’s amazing how nature provides such perfect remedies. Plantain is one of our favourites to use for bug bites and stings because it’s practically everywhere you look here! A wonderful moment to share with your child. It gives them connection, knowledge and healing in one!

    Jacinda- You have flowers year round? You are very lucky!

    Thanks, Erin. I admit a big reason I love them is for the colour they bring to the garden as well as in bouquets picketed for the table. They are so beautiful!

  6. Lynn says:

    What a great idea. I’m encouraged to see how well they grow here. I’m going to try it next year! (I’ve also heard of putting an infusion in a spray bottle to spritz on cuts and bites.)
    Beautiful pics too!

  7. Wendy says:

    Great info–thanks for sharing. I grew my first calendulas this year, and am hoping to get enough blossoms before it freezes to try some of your ideas!

  8. Bonnie says:

    I made some calendula oil this summer with flowers from my garden as well. But I read I had to completely dry the flowers first because any moisture in the flowers would cause mold to grow in the oil…???
    Anyway, I’ve used it numerous times these past couple of months with great results.
    I love it when my garden provides more than just food to eat, but medicine as well!

  9. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for sharing this Annie! I’m wanting to take a course that’s offered occasionally here about all the local herbs and flowers that grow and the properties they have for healing. I’d love to start growing some of them in my own garden. And they’re so pretty too!

  10. Rosina says:

    You know we usually have tons of calendula but this year they didn’t come well for me otherwise I would have loved to try making this :) We actually made cookies this summer loaded with dandelion blossoms. They were quite. We’ll have to wait until next year now though to try calendula :)

  11. Annie says:

    Bonnie- I don’t have a great place to dry them completely but I did pick them when they weren’t wet and let them sit on a towel (flipping them a couple times) before putting them in the oil. I should add that to my post!

    I’m already so looking forward to next year’s harvest!

  12. Dawn Suzette says:

    I never thought to freeze them… awesome. These are on my grow list next year for sure. I had them in Cali… loved having them around.
    Your photos are beautiful as always :)

  13. Zane says:

    I found you via flickr. . . and I’m so glad I did. Thank you for all these great suggestions for calendula. I didn’t realize it was so easy to do this at home!

  14. Ella says:

    ok so you make it sound so easy. perhaps it’s not too late if only i can gather enough flower heads free for the taking around my hood.
    i also love your idea of freezing them. cheers!

  15. Annie says:

    Zane- that’s funny, I came across your blog a while back and have been quietly reading from my reader.

    Ella- definitely easy and worth doing. The oil can be used in a number ways once it’s infused. I’ve been meaning to blog about the hair rinses I’ve been making too. One of them has calendula infused in it too.

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