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Medicinal Herbs Series: Calendula officinalis

February 17, 2013
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Calendula officinalis in the IC Permaculture Garden

Today, we meet Calendula officinalis, which is a soothing, healing antiseptic serving as an excellent skin healer. Other common names for Calendula include: Marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold Bloom, Holligold, Marygold, and Pot Marigold. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or every new moon. The term “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, and marigolds are used in Catholic events honoring the Virgin Mary. Calendula is an annual plant, native to northern Mediterranean countries.

The flowers of Calendula can be harvested for their medicinal properties starting in Spring and into the Fall. When you harvest from the IC Permaculture Garden, please do so selectively, so as not to harm the plant and ensure that we have more than enough for everyone.

Calendula can be used medicinally to soothe inflammation and help rejuvenate the skin.  You may use this herb  to disinfect minor wounds and treat infections on the skin.  Calendula stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. Calendula can be taken internally as a cleansing herb to detox the body, specifically for ailments of the liver and gallballer.

Infuse leaves of Calendula in a tea to aid digestion and promote bile production in the liver. Use calendula in ointments on leg ulcers, varicose veins, bedsores, and bruises, as a wound is healed.  Calendula can be taken in the form of a tincture, as it can be gargled for mouth sores, inflammations of the mouth, nose and throats.

Calendula seeds profusely in the fall, and you are always welcome to take a handful of seeds home for your own garden!

Sources:

Mountain Rose Herbs 

The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing & Using Herbs by Lesley Bremness

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