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23 Mar 2008

Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis), also known as pot marigold, is an asset to every home. The common deep orange-flowered plant is easy to grow, edible and useful for it's various medicinal properties. It was prized by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians and the early European herbalists.

The flowers are safe and nontoxic to eat and have often been called the "poor man's saffron", as they add a wonderful golden color to food. The petals also add wonderful color to salads and have a tangy, spicy taste.

Medicinally calendulas have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, and are infused in oils to make balms, salves, lotions and creams to be used topically for cuts, abrasions, nappy rash, sprains, stings, chapped lips and skin infections. Taken internally as a tea it helps heal inflamed and infected mucous membranes and bladder infections. Calendula tea can also be used as a mouthwash for gum infections and a gargle for sore throats. Fresh juice extracted from the flowers and leaves is said to remove warts.

Most health shops carry the various calendula products but it is great fun to make your own. The tea is made simply by infusing a tablespoon of dried calendula flowers in hot water for a few minutes and a simple massage/baby/general purpose oil can be made by adding the flowers to extra virgin olive oil, bottling and leaving in a dark place for a week, strain and re-bottle. The flowers boiled in water make a wonderful dye for fabrics as well.

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Healing Oil
From SpiritualSky

5ml/1tsp calendula oil
5ml/1tsp St John's Wort oil
2 drops lavender essential oil.

Mix the ingredients together and store in a dark glass bottle for up to six months.


Calendula Cleansing Milk
From Care2 Green Living
Inspired by Better Basics for the Home, by Annie B. Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

4 tbsps avocado oil
1 tbsp fresh calendula flowers or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tbsps aloe vera gel
25 drops grapefruit seed extract

In a double boiler over very low heat, heat the oil and calendula flowers together for 30 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain out the flowers and discard them. Stir the aloe vera and the grapefruit seed extract into the cooled oil, mixing well to combine.
To Use: Scoop some of the milk onto your fingers and massage gently into skin. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.


Less Stress Tea
Relieves stress, relaxes low back and neck areas.

1 part chamomile
1 part mint
1 part calendula flowers

Cover the herbs with boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, sugar or sweetener if required and drink.


Calendula Vinaigrette
From FredericksburgHerbFarm

6 yellow pear tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh calendula petals
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
freshly ground white pepper and salt
1 cup olive oil

Quarter tomatoes and sprinkle petals on top. Combine remaining ingredients except olive oil and puree in blender. Now slowly add olive oil with blender running. Pour mixture over tomatoes and petals. Cover and marinate at room temperature several hours before adding to your favorite tossed salad.


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14 comments:

Matthew S. Urdan said...

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Lucky Lady said...

I REALLY LIKE YOUR BLOG,I READ IT EVERY DAY TO SEE WHAT NEW THINGS I CAN LEARN

Health, Fitness, Science said...

Hi Jackie, I love visiting your blog because we both have the same passion in health blogging... I like your ideas and tips... Thanks for sharing again

Matthew S. Urdan said...

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Princess Haiku said...

Calendula is one of my favorite herbs. I have also heard that it brightens light hair when added as a rinse.

Do you know of a good herb for migraines?

Jackie said...

Princess Haiku, there are a few herbs that help but my favorite is feverfew as I personally know of people that it helped. They just grew it in a pot or their garden and munched a few leaves daily.

Princess Haiku said...

Thanks Jackie.. will look for a plant.

Health, Fitness, Science said...

Never heard of cendula before... Thanks for this info... Everyday I try to blog hopp and I always have to drop by your site...

Shannon said...

great blog :)

Naomi said...

I've heard of calendula before Jackie but didn't know what it was used for. Thanks for another great informative post. I always learn something new when I visit here.

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Denise said...

Calendula is one of my favorite plants, both as a flower and as a useful herb. Great recipes listed!

Susan & Scott Anderson said...

I always plant calendula in the garden so I can make a fresh batch of calendula oil and salves. Great post!

STACI said...

Ever since I read an article in The Whole Dog Journal about calendula, I've been wanting to try it for my dog's hot spots. Of course, because it was in a dog magazine, the article didn't really say much about how humans could use it. Thanks for the info and the recipes! Now if I can just find a health food store that has it.