The Beauty and Benefits of Calendula
Calendula to comfort your heart and soothe your spirit
Do you have a calendula plant in your garden?
The bright cheerful calendula, or marigold, is cultivated in the kitchen garden for making teas, broths and medicines .
Calendula is making a comeback in the modern first-aid kit as a salve, and as old-fashioned beauty care.
I just love calendula for its sunny golden beauty.
Calendula tinctures, ointments, and washes are commonly used to speed the healing of burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as the minor infections they cause. In Australia we know about sunburn - I always have an ointment containing calendula in my first-aid kit.
This recipe for Calendula Herbal Salve is distributed on a leaflet from my local 'organic health shop'.
- Chopped Calendula Leaves and Petals
- 1 TBLsp of Lanolin.
- 1/2 cup of pure Almond/Olive Oil.
- 1/8 cup of Beeswax
How to Make Calendula Salve
- In a double water boiler, put 1 Tablespoon of Lanolin. When melted, add 1/2 cup of pure Almond/Olive Oil. When combined, add 1/8 cup of Beeswax, melt thoroughly
- When melted and mixed, add chopped Calendula Leaves and Petals to the mixture. Take off heat and leave to sit overnight
- The next day, place over double boiler again, and melt gently. Pour into prepared jar, and leave to harden
- In addition to treating minor cuts and abrasions, the salve is great for chapped lips and nappy (diaper) rash.
A Basket of Beautiful Calendula
Too hard? Purchase Calendula Salve
If you're pressed for time as I am, calendula salve and ointment can be bought ready made from your Health Shop or via Amazon..
Recipe : Potato Soup with Calendula
- 1 kilo - 2lbs - of peeled cubed potatoes
- 2 knobs of butter
- 1 diced onion
- 2 cups of chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups of milk
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup of chopped basil
- 1/4 cup of whole calendula petals
- 4 tablespoons yoghurt
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a soup pot and add onions.
- Cover and cook until the onions are tender.
- Add potatoes and cook 4 minutes. Add milk and chicken stock.
- Cook over low heat about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Blend in food processor and puree until smooth.
- Stir in the fresh basil, distribute into 4 separate bowls, and top with yoghurt and calendula petals.
Recipe : Carrot Soup with Calendula
Knob of butter
1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup Granny Smith apple, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cumnin
Kilo of carrots, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh calendula petals
- In a large stockpot, melt butter over a medium low heat. Add onion and garlic, toss till translucent. Add apple and spices, stir through. Add carrots and stir through for roughly 5 minutes over a low heat.
- Add stock, cover and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, until smooth. Return to pot and stir in milk. Cook over a medium low heat for 5 minutes. (Don't let it come to a boil). Stir in petals just before serving.
Recipe : Scrambled Eggs with Calendula
- 1/2 dozen eggs
- 2 knobs of butter
- cup milk
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup grated cheese
- 6 calendula flowers - use petals only - remove petals and chop
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Combine the eggs with everything except the Calendula petals.
- Melt butter in frying pan and scramble the eggs. Stir in the Calendula petals at the last minute.
- Divide the eggs and heap on toast, focaccia or English Muffin slices. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.
Calendula Herbal Tea
Infuse 1 heaping tablespoon of dried flowers per cup of hot water. Drink 2 to 4 cups each day, or soak a clean cloth in the tea and apply locally.
Calendula in History
Calendula, the Common Marigold, is a lovely and instantly recognisable plant with its pale-green leaves and golden orange flowers. It's called after the ancient Roman calends which were the first days of every month and the start of the new moon cycle. (Presumably they were called this because they are in bloom at the start of most months of the year).
In Italy, the idea of the calends is kept in the name by which calendula is often called, the fiore d'ogni mese, the flower of every month.
In earlier times Persians and Greeks used it as a food garnish, mostly in soups and stews, while in Europe, it was used to colour butter and cheese. In India, the bright calendula is used to decorate Temple Altars.
In Australia, we use it as a garnish for food, for medicinal purposes, and blooming in our gardens just for the sheer beauty of it.
Calendula in Herbal Medicine
We have always turned to plants, fungus, shells and aromatic substances for treatment of ailments since prehistoric times.
Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial effects
Oral forms of calendula have been used historically to treat stomach irritation and ulcers. Calendula tea for example, or broth, has some antispasmodic properties so it relieves muscle tightness.
Folk medicine, or 'grandmothers' medicine' has advised women to use calendula for relief from muscle spasms and cramps.
The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual - A good beginner's guide
A good, basic handbook/manual for herbalists.
Natural home remedies with perspectives on the art of herbal medicine's application.
Recipes for folk extractions including plenty of recommendations for usage, with instructions on how to extract herbs, make tinctures, and apply them properly.
Magnificent Marigolds (Calendulas)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Organic Body Care Recipes - A clear overview
A manual for anyone serious about throwing out store bought, chemical filled cosmetics.
It's a clear overview of herbs and spices, oils and flowers such as strawberries, baking soda and papayas to use in your own products.
Easy to follow recipes for body, face, and hair care plus a complete ingredient dictionary, and alternatives for hard to find ingredients.
Extensive and well organized, the author walks you through step by step and makes the process enjoyable and educational.
Includes a list of resources for further reading and online suppliers.
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How about you?
Do you use herbal products for health and/or beauty?
© 2008 Susanna Duffy