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Secret Garden’s Featured Herb: Calendula

Secret Garden’s Featured Herb: Calendula

From time to time we will be featuring different herbs from the Secret Garden Herb Garden on our blog to spread the word about amazing herbs and how to incorporate them into your life.  

Thank you to our guest blogger, Kelly Stanley from our Secret Garden Herb Garden!

CalendulaCOMMON NAME
Calendula
Other: marigold, pot marigold

BOTANICAL NAME
Calendula officinalis
Plant Family: Asteraceae

OVERVIEW
Grown here in North America, Calendula is a well-known medicinal herb and uplifting ornamental garden plant that has been used therapeutically, ceremonially, and as a dye and food plant for centuries. Most commonly known as for its topical use as a tea or infused oil for wounds and skin trauma, the bright orange or yellow flower contains many important constituents and can be taken internally for a variety of ailments.

Our dairy farmers have been using Calendula poultices on the cows as a remedy for conjunctivitis.

Our infused Calendula oil is used to make a wonderful salve when mixed with our own bees wax. Calendula, Comfrey, & Arnica salves are available at our craft shop. Perfect remedy for those dry winter hands!

BOTANY:
Annual herb with daisy-like features, having bright orange or yellow terminal flower heads and pale green leaves. Calendula is now naturalized in much of the world and is commonly grown in gardens. Calendula is said to be in bloom on the “calends” of every month, hence the name. The “calends”, or in Latin “kalendae” referred to the first days of each month of the Roman calendar and signified the start of the new moon cycle.

FUN FACTS:
Calendula was used in ancient times in India. According to Ayurvedic healing principles it is energetically cooling and has a bitter and pungent taste. It was employed as vulnerary, antispasmodic, alterative and used on minor wounds, as an eyewash, to soothe bee stings, and for digestive disturbances.

And, in traditional Chinese medicine, calendula (called Jin Zhan Ju) is considered energetically neutral and drying and is used to support healthy skin. Calendula is employed to move stagnant blood therefore increasing circulation to the skin.

Traditionally, in Native American cultures, it has been employed to assuage ailments including occasional upset stomach.

According to herbalist Paul Bergner, calendula is an herb used for minor wounds that helps by bringing circulation to the area in distress. It can be used similarly to Arnica yet it is a much more mild plant that can be used on open wounds.

USES:
Dried flower as a tea, tincture, or infused oil.
The fresh plant can be prepared as a tea or tincture.
The fresh flowers are edible.

PRECAUTIONS:
Specific: Those with allergies to other members of the Asteraceae family (such as feverfew, chamomile, or Echinacea species) should use caution with calendula, as allergic cross-reactivity to Asteraceae plants is common.

General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

 

For more information, or to place an order contact Kelly at kelly@camphillkimberton.org.

 

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