Calendula, also known as pot marigold, has a rich history in medicinal use dating back to the middle ages with documentation back to the early 12th century. The oldest treatments were for stomach ailments.
Calendula is not the same as annual marigolds that are grown in flower gardens, but it is a common plant, officially known as (Calendula officinalis).
The petals are the part of the plant that is used. Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals. Calendula appears to fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.
Calendula is often used for the following:
(usually as tea, though some people use fresh calendula on salads):
- upset stomach
- menstrual cramps
- sore throat and mouth (can be used as tea or as a gargle)
- varicose veins
- blood circulation
- heart problems
- neck and back pain
- nerve pain
- reduce pain and swelling (inflammation)
- treat poorly healing wounds
- leg ulcers
- bed sores
- nosebleeds (inside the nose)
- varicose veins
- diaper rash
- burns from cancer treatments
- ear infection (as drops)
- rectal inflammation
- faster healing wounds
- dry and/or infirm skin
Where to Get It
You can buy tea quality Calendula here
Calendula taken orally can interact with other medication, so be sure to check with your doctor before beginning herbal therapies. Due to it’s tendency to stimulate menstrual periods, this herb should not orally be taken by pregnant women.
There are several ways to prepare calendula. As a tea, calendula should steep 10 to 15 minutes to pull out sufficient medicinal qualities, but it can sit for longer without harming it.
This means if you are blending it with green tea, you will need to add the green tea after the initial steeping of the calendula or it will “stew” and get a weird taste/texture. So, just wait until about 4 or 5 minutes before your herbal mixture is done and then add your green tea.
Calendula is a lovely plant that makes for an attractive tea or tincture.
Our friends at 5 Orange Potatoes did a beautiful photo documentary of a Calendula tincture, which is pictured here. You can see more details here: http://www.5orangepotatoes.com/blog/2009/08/16/calendula-officinalis-pot-marigold-or-poets-marigold/
As with any herb or home remedy, always consult a physician (err on the side of caution my friends whenever in doubt).
The Nerdy Housewife made a super cool ebook with Calendula recipes in it too, that can be found here and it’s free!