Calendula — beautiful flower and healing herb health
Calendula (Calendula officinalis), has several aliases, like pot calendula, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, and Zergul. It has an orange or yellow flower and is native to the Mediterranean area.
Calendula got its name because it blooms every new moon. The name «marigold» refers to the Virgin Mary, and the flower is often used in Catholic events that honor her. With a name like marigold, some probably think they can use the annual flowers from their garden. That is probably either French marigold or African marigold and is a totally different species.
For those who like the technical facts, calendula contains these medicinal ingredients: calendulin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, isoquercitrin, narcissin, rutin, amyrin, lupeol, sterols, and volatile oils. The flowers also contain complex polysaccharides with properties that stimulate immunity.
Calendula can be taken internally or externally. Internally, calendula is especially used for gastrointestinal disorders. It protects the lining of the stomach and intestines by inhibiting the causes of swelling and inflammation, and by limiting the effects of the bacteria associated with gastritis, peptic ulcers, and stomach cancer. Taken orally calendula has been used to sooth stomach ulcers and inflammation. Some report it to be effective in fighting fever, boils, abscesses, and recurrent vomiting.
External uses are related to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of calendula’s orange petals. These two traits have made this flower a popular treatment for a host of bodily infections. Some feel it is as effective in treating ear infections as some leading prescription drugs. Try using calendula tea to wash eyes suffering from chronic conjunctivitis (pink eye). As an ointment, it will both soothe the inflammation and reduce it by attacking the bacteria causing the swelling. It is also effective in treating other inflammations. These include hemorrhoids, vaginal itching caused by menopausal tissue changes, insect bites, diaper rash, acne, burns, scalds, eczema, and sunburn.
By using this herb on infections, healing is more pain-free, better, and faster. Cosmetic creams use calendula to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate skin. Gargling with calendula water or tea may ease the pain of a sore throat.
Calendula is also recommended for use in treating varicose veins, chronic ulcers, capillary engorgement, and congestion. Calendula flowers are edible, and may be added to salads or cooked foods. They can also be dried for use in teas. Calendula adds flavor and color to cereals, rice, and soups.
Calendula may be purchased or prepared as creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes. To make calendula tea, simply pour about a cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of calendula flowers and let sit for 15 minutes. Calendula tea may be taken 3 times per day. Calendula tincture, which can be taken with water or tea, can be taken 3 times a day (in doses of 1-2 ml). To make calendula tincture, soak a cup of flowers in .5 quarts of rectified alcohol for 5 to 6 weeks. A tincture dose is 5 to 15 drops. To create a calendula salve for external application, boil 1 oz of dried flowers or leaves with 1 oz lard.
Calendula is a very safe herb. The only known reactions are in people with ragweed allergy. Do not use tincture on wounds as the alcohol base will burn the raw tissue. Be sure wounds are cleaned before applying calendula.
Though this article has covered many of the benefits of whole Calendula flowers, more are detailed on our website at More Than Alive. Visit us today and learn how bulk herbs can make a profound impact on your total body health.
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