Calendula Flower Power!

calendula flowerA native to the Mediterranean area, calendula (Calendula officinalis), is also called Marybud, pot calendula, Gold-Bloom, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Holligold, Marigold, and Zergul. The plant has a yellow or orange flower.

The name calendula comes from the word calendar because calendula blooms every new moon. The name “marigold” refers to the mother of Jesus. Don’t confuse calendula with the marigolds from your garden. Those are probably either African marigold or French marigold, a totally different species.

For those who like the technical facts, calendula contains these medicinal ingredients: calendulin, narcissin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, lupeol, isoquercitrin, amyrin, rutin, volatile oils and sterols. Polysaccharides with properties that stimulate immunity are also found in the flowers.

The calendula flower benefits us both inside and outside the body. Internally, calendula helps with GI tract problems. It protects the lining of the intestines and stomach by limiting the effects of the bacteria associated with gastritis, peptic ulcers, and stomach cancer, and by inhibiting the causes of swelling and inflammation. It will thus sooth stomach ulcers and inflammation as well as fight fever, boils, abscesses, and recurrent vomiting.

Because of the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, found in calendula’s orange petals, it is also effective externally. These two qualities make calendula a popular treatment for many bodily infections. Calendula tea used as an eye wash does wonders for those suffering from chronic conjunctivitis (pink eye). It is also effective in treating ear infections. The ointment will both soothe an inflammation and will reduce the inflammation by attacking the bacteria causing the area to swell. It is also effective in treating other inflammations such as acne, burns, insect bites, hemorrhoids, eczema, vaginal itching caused by menopausal tissue changes, diaper rash, scalds, and sunburn.

By using this herb on infections healing is more pain-free, better, and faster when calendula is used. Cosmetic creams containing calendula decrease the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate skin. Gargling with calendula water or tea has helped ease the pain of a sore throat.

In addition, calendula is used to treat capillary engorgement, chronic ulcers, varicose veins, and congestion. Calendula flowers are edible, and may be added to salads cereals, rice, and soups to add flavor and color. The pedals can also be dried for use in teas as mentioned above.

Calendula comes in creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes. Making calendula tea: pour about a cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of calendula flowers and let sit for 15 minutes. You may drink a cup three times per day. Making calendula tincture: soak a cup of flowers in .5 quarts of rectified alcohol for 5 to 6 weeks. Five to fifteen drops of this may be taken per dose with water or tea with a three dose maximum per day. Making calendula salve: boil one ounce of dried flowers or leaves in one ounce of lard. This is for external application.

Calendula is a very safe herb but a few cautions are in order. Be especially sure wounds are clean before applying calendula. If you have ragweed allergy, be cautious as some have also experienced allergic reactions to calendula. The alcohol in the calendula tincture will burn the raw tissue of wounds. It would be better to use a different form of the herb.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 14th at 10:02 am and is filed under Bulk Herbs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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