Traditionally said to lift the spirits and encourage cheerfulness, calendula or marigold is one of the most popular and versatile medicinal herbs in current use. It is widely available in commercial calendula ointments and creams, and is also used internally for digestive and gynecological problems or as a cleansing remedy in skin and rheumatic disorders. The tea or tincture in water can be swished and swallowed in order to help heal oral lesions, soar throat or gastric ulcer. For treating trauma, combine Calendula with St. John's Wort.
Do not confuse with preparations made from French marigold (Tagetes patula).
Drink 1 cup (1–2 tsp herb per cup boiling water) 3 times daily for inflammatory digestive disorders like gastritis, esophagitis, or colitis. Makes a suitable douche for vaginal thrush or as a mouthwash for gum disease. In tea, the flowers are generally combined with other ingredients such as mellein and marshmallow, treating hoarseness of voice or upper respiratory infections.
SUCCUS OF FRESH FLOWERS
Calendula succus is a low-alcohol extract that delivers the same antiseptic activity as calendula tincture, but is kinder to open wounds, surgical cuts, abrasions and sutures. Use of the succus is especially indicated as an antiseptic and healing wash following gynecological procedures or surgery.
CREAM / OINTMENT
Use for minor cuts and scrapes, and any inflamed or dry skin: eczema, chapped hands, chilblains, sore nipples in breastfeeding, acne, minor burns and scalds, sunburn, etc. It is also helpful for fungal infections such as ringworm, thrush, and athlete’s foot.
Make an infused herbal oil of the dried flowers. Use as an ointment as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial application for treating cuts, old burns, abraisons, hemorrhoids or broken capillaries, sunburn, chapped skin, or diaper rash; add up to 20% lavender oil for sunburn.
Take 40 drops–1 tsp (2–5ml) 3 times a day for menstrual problems, (irregular, heavy, or painful periods).
Prefers well-drained soil in a sunny site, but will tolerate partial shade. Sow seeds in autumn or spring, and thin or transplant seedlings when large enough to handle. Can also be grown in containers. It flowers throughout the summer and self-seeds enthusiastically, so gather flowers regularly to avoid excessive seeding.
Collect flowers in summer. Harvested at their peak in the afternoon and used fresh or dried.
- Calendula officinalis
- Flowerheads, essential oil
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