Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is a wonder herb that produces a beautiful flower that exudes sunshine and joy. To harvest this highly resinous flower, pick it at its peak on a warm summer day. When making medicine with calendula, it’s almost always dried first. Drying calendula for oils decreases the water content, making a more stable oil, and it also concentrates the resins in the plant. When making a tincture of calendula, a higher-proof alcohol will extract more of the resins. Calendula will grow readily in your garden, often self-seeding after the first year of planting. By snipping the flowers regularly, you promote its growth.
Calendula has an affinity to encourage connective tissue to regenerate, therefore it can be made into oils and salves and used for a variety of skin conditions including:
- Varicose veins
- Broken capillaries
- Chicken Pox
- Fungal infections like athlete’s foot
- Internally it can be used to treat swollen lymph glands and soothe ulcers
- You can also spread the fresh petals over your salads for added color and beauty
This is a must have herb for any budding herbalist (pun intended). Shortly I will be posting a how-to for making calendula-infused oils and salves, which are like nature’s Neosporin! Smooth on some calendula salve and your skin problems will be solved in no time!