Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wholesome Wednesdays: Calendula

This is my first year to plant Calendula, and they seem to be germinating happily. Calendula does not like heat and can tolerate cooler temps so it gets planted in the fall for my climate. I hope to get enough that i can harvest and dry some flowers to grind as coloring for my soaps and decorate my homestead with more pretty dried flowers.

Calendula seeds

I add a few drops of calendula oil to all my soaps. It's a pretty yellow color and has soothing properties that are good for the skin. I'm sure the amount i put in my soap recipes isn't near enough to have any super impact, but i like to try and put little bits of as many soothing things as i can in my creations. Calendula is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and it promotes the healing of wounds. Apply calendula oil to any burns or scrapes you may have and rub it into sore muscles. Mix it with some shea butter or olive oil to make a salve to use on chapped lips or any skin abrasion.

The flowers can also be steeped into a tea which can be used as a mouthwash or throat gargle - great for soothing infections and sore throats. The tea can even be soothing to hemorrhoids.

Calendula is also edible. You can add it to salads or scrambled eggs for a pretty saffron color. This year i planted a pot with pansies, nasturtiums, spinach and calendula for a pretty and edible mixture.

Take some precautions when using calendula: Do not apply any fat-based ointments, including calendula salve, to wounds that are oozing or weeping; use watery preparations only, such as calendula tea, and allow the area to air dry completely between applications.

Calendula seeds
Pocket is a great little garden helper.

What is your favorite use for calendula?

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