“Calendula, also known as pot marigold, an easy-to-grow annual herb thrives in full sun to light shade. Its lovely flowers will add joy to any garden from spring to fall.
Calendula petals are known for their antiseptic and antibacterial wound healing properties, as well as for soothing and softening the skin. Calendula is in the same family as Arnica and, like Arnica, displays many of the same wound-healing properties.
Since ancient times Calendula has been used externally to treat dry, damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, diaper irritations burns, and varicose veins. In ancient Rome, Calendula was grown for its beauty and its ability to treat scorpion bites. Centuries later, Calendula petals were used during the Civil War to help stop bleeding and help heal injured soldiers’ wounds.
Though typically used externally, Calendula petals can be eaten and are said to stimulate bile, and reduce inflamed or ulcerated conditions. In England the petals are often cooked with spinach.
There are several methods to harness the properties of Calendula petals. A Calendula compress is an excellent way to soothe varicose veins, burns, bruises, and injuries. Crushed petals rubbed into bee stings and bug bites help relieve pain. And Calendula Oil—olive oil infused with the oil from calendula petals—can be applied to external sores and bruises, or used for a soothing massage. Tinctures—petals infused with alcohol—taken internally can help aid digestion and remedy ulcerated conditions.
Calendula’s beauty, long growing season, and many uses, make it one of our most highly valued herbs.”
By Erika Hollen for the November 2009 issue of Natural Awakenings