Calendula, it’s Good for the Skin

Calendula - Bronzed Beauty

Calendula - Bronzed Beauty

Calendula (Calendula Officinalis), also known by the common names of Marigold, Pot Marigold, and Golds has been in existence since ancient times. Calendula originated in the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia and has spread its popularity around the globe because of its tolerance to many growing conditions. The Romans grew it in their gardens to help spread joy. The Egyptians grew it for its ability to help heal wounds and skin conditions. Other civilizations utilized its color for decoration and its properties for spiritual or religious ceremonies.

Calendula has been harvested for food and cooking for centuries. The flower petals are a common ingredient in soups and stews, and have been used to provide color to butter, cheese and other dishes. The flowers are also traditional ingredients in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes.

Calendula tea provides many health benefits and has a variety of medicinal properties attributed to it. Calendula has many effective compounds with antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It can be used both internally and externally. We use ours externally in skin serums, massage oils, salves and baby products. Calendula is good for treating inflammation as well as healing wounds and scars. It is beneficial for relieving muscle spasms and as a anti viral and anti microbial agent.

Calendula is very easy to grow, it prefers cooler weather with full sun or partial shade exposure. It is readily easy to start from seed and reseeds freely in the garden. Technically, Calendula is an annual but I have had plants last two or more years in my garden. It usually grows approximately 18 inches tall and has yellow or orange flowers. Calendula is a cool season plant so depending upon your location, it is possible to grow this lovely flower the better part of the winter. Make sure to keep the seed heads trimmed to keep the plant blooming. Use the flowers and petals in ointments, salves and salads while the leaves can be used in cooking such as soups and salads.

Calendula Salve

This salve is easy to make. Keep it on hand to treat rashes,

burns, wounds and other skin ailments.

1/4 cup dried calendula petals or flower heads

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 cup beeswax

In a small jar, combine the calendula and olive oil. Place in a pan with water inside and a small towel or other spacer between the bottom of the pan and the bottom of the jar so that it sits just fine. Heat on low until the oil is warm for about 10 minutes. Cover the mixture and set aside for at least 1 hour. The longer it sits, the better. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth lined strainer back into the jar, add the beeswax and return the jar to the water bath. Heat on low, stirring gently until the beeswax is melted. Again, the oil should not be hot. Pour the mixture into clean containers and let sit uncovered until completely cooled.