Calendula, "Mother of the Skin"
Calendula officinalis, also known among herbalist as “Mother of the Skin”, offers amazing skin therapy as well as many other medicinal and culinary values.
Calendula is from the daisy family Asteraceae, and is known as Pot Marigold. Calendula (officinalis) should not be mistake for the garden plant marigold (Tagetes species) The name Calendula comes from the Latin word Calendae, which means first day of the month, as in its native climate the plant is said to bloom every month of the year.
Calendula has also been nicknamed “Reflections of the Sun”, in which Calendula displays bright deep orange and yellow colored flowers, which close up at night, and open during the day.
Calendula is very easy to grow and is not too picky on soil conditions. Just about any sunny location will due. Though Calendula is considered to be an annual, it does re-seed very easily. Once this flowering herb begins to bloom, you will find yourself constantly cutting flowering heads all season long.
Calendula will flower all summer making it a great plant for adding color to the garden. Constant “dead heading”, which is cutting of the flower blooms will encourage and stimulate new growth and constant flowering. When you harvest Calendula simply spread the cut flowers out to dry. This works best in dark dry areas. Once the flowers have dried you can store them in jars and use as needed.
Calendula most recognized for its amazing skin benefits
Calendula has many health benefits but is most recognized for its effectiveness for treating skin problems such as wounds, burns, and insect bites as well as eczema, shingles, and skin ulcers. This herb is found in many natural skin care products such as handmade soaps, creams, lotions, salves, and oils, and is known to promote cell repair, and offers antiseptic, anti inflammatory, and anti fungal properties making it suitable for just about all skin conditions.
Calendula in handmade soaps
Calendula Infused Oil
Here is just one simple way you can use the Calendula harvested from your garden for natural skin care, and that is to make an infused oil. An infused oil is not an essential oil, but is a carrier oil that is infused to one or more herbs with a vegetable oil such as olive oil. Once this infusion is complete the oil will now carry the therapeutic properties of the plant.
How to make Calendula infused oil
To make a Calendula infused oil you will need a glass jar with a lid, some dried calendula flowers, and olive oil. Place the Calendula flowers in the jar to about halfway, and then pour olive oil in until the oil is just above the flowers. Tightly close the lid on jar and then place in a sunny warm spot for about 2-4 weeks. A windowsill that receives a good portion of sun is recommended. You will know when your oil is completely infused as it begins to turn a dark orange or yellowish color. Once your oil is ready you then need to strain the flowers out.
Use and storage of Calendula infused oil
This Calendula infused oil can be used for soothing chapped skin, and relieve swelling and inflammation caused by bruise or muscle sprain, diaper rash, acne, bug bites, and preventing or reducing the formation of scar tissue to name a few. Infused oils such as this can have up to a year or better shelf life when stored from heat and light and are tightly capped.
Calendula is a must have herb for the garden. Not only will you enjoy it’s beautiful flowers all season long but can enjoy and benefit from the many medicinal and culinary properties it offers as well.
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Calendula which has been given the nickname amongst herbalist, "Mother of The Skin", offers anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti fungal properties, which make it suitable for just about all skin conditions.
© 2011 rpalulis
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