Calendula, with its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties is a gentle herb that soothes cuts, burns, rashes and other abrasions. Recent studies also suggest an antifungal aspect that may be helpful with candida.
It can be taken internally as a tea or tincture, substituted for dandelion petals in cookies and quick breads and sprinkled over salads. It can also be found as an offering adorning the statues of many Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
The dried petals can be used as a dye and to create infused oil for salve and cream making.
Tell your doctor if surgery is planned as some combinations of medicines and calendula can cause drowsiness. If you have an allergy to plants in the ragweed family, test first, use with care and check with your doctor. It is also known to assist in regulating menstrual cycles and flow. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid calendula as it can stimulate menstruation.
Above you can see them sitting on paper towel but Jean also has some nifty drying racks made from recycled window screens that do a lovely job of circulating air. They sit nicely over the dishes and jars on top cupboard shelves, in the dark and away from her ever bustling kitchen.
As the flowers dry their colour will darken. Once fully dry, the petals are separated and they can then be used for salves, ointments and teas.
Once the oil is steeped it can be used to moisturize dry and chapped skin, lessen swelling of inflammed areas, combat diaper rash and assist in the healing of insect bites, acne, and bed sores. Skin challenges such as psoriasis and eczema can also benefit from calendula oil as can athlete’s foot and jock itch.
So whether you are colouring butter, infusing vinegar to combat sunburn, adding calendula oil to lip balms and soap or just enjoying a cuppa, this versatile plant is a great place to start learning about all the good things that live around us.
Calendula is a self seeding annual and will do fine in a garden pot on the porch or balcony.
Oh! and it is also safe for most animals with similar conditions.
As in all things, please use your own wisdom and consult a health professional as needed for you, yours and your furry/feathered others.