Calendula is one of those herbs, that once you have it growing, it will continue to pop up and spread around your garden indefinitely. What I love about calendulas is that they flower prolifically during the winter, and their beautiful orange blooms brighten up the dullest days.
I often add calendula petals to salads to add a pop of interest and colour.
My main use of calendula is for its healing or vulnerary properties. It makes an amazing oil for nourishing the skin and keeping it healthy, and as an ointment for helping to heal wounds, rashes (including nappy rash), minor burns, eczema, and even minor skin cancers. It is mildly antiseptic and antimicrobial, and can be used both topically and internally for treating acne.
Calendula can be used internally as a tea or tincture (alcoholic extract), particularly for healing the digestive tract from mouth, stomach or duodenal ulcers, and leaky gut. It also enhances liver function, helping the body cleanse itself of toxins, stimulate bowel function, and relieve ‘liverish’ symptoms.
Used internally and externally to support circulation, calendula is beneficial for veins, arteries and capillaries, including helping to relieve haemorrhoids.
To make use of your own calendula flowers, pick them when they are fully open and leave to dry in a warm place e.g. the hot water cupboard, a dehydrator, or a slightly warm oven. The dried petals can be used to make a tea or infusion (1 – 4 g per cup boiling water, up to 3 times daily), or an infused oil.
Anti-aging Skin Serum
Infuse dried calendula petals into sweet almond or apricot kernel oil in a warm place for 4 – 6 weeks. The oil should extract the beautiful orange colour along with the healing properties of the flowers.
Strain and squeeze out through a muslin cloth, and discard the spent petals (I put them into the compost). Mix 22 drops lavender essential oil, 16 drops rosemary essential oil, and 12 drops sandalwood essential oil with 100 ml calendula infused oil.
Use liberally on your face morning and night instead of your usual moisturiser, or 2 – 3 drops with your usual moisturiser. Rub into your hands, feet and nails, or wherever your skin is dry or irritated.
The Anti-aging Skin Serum has been my sole moisturiser for the last 10 or more years, and I swear by it. I never have any problems with my skin and I think it’s slowed down the usual signs of ageing.
If you’d like to grow your own calendula flowers, come and see me and I can give you some seeds or baby plants to get you started. Contact me here.