Calendula

Calendula officinalis

Calendula_officinalis_and_sky

Calendula’s name is derived from Latin Calendae, meaning, “the first day of the month” – this flower can be found blooming somewhere in the world during every calender month. This Daisy family flower offers several beneficial uses – including the use of a highlight enhancing hair rinse for those with sunny, blonde hair!

Our Calendula flower is a very calming flower – and is also found to be softening, dissolving, and decongesting. The taste of the flower is somewhat bitter, with sweet and salty pungency. It’s a potentially cooling flower, and considered dry.

The primary functions of the Calendula flower is it’s ability to clear out toxic heat patterns through detoxification and decongestion – reducing infections, inflammations and swellings.

Calendula works with both acute and chronic bacterial, fungal and viral infections – herpes, staphylococcus, hepatitis, lymphangitis, laryngitis, conjunctivitis, otitis, mastitis, and influenza. When taken internally, little caution needs to be practiced (unless during pregnancy, Calendula is a uterine stimulant) so it can be safely used long-term, paired with a more moistening assistant formula herb, to help treat these chronic and life-changing ailments.

Because of Calendula’s powerful anti-inflammatory quality, the flower can make a wonderful, simple salve for topical treatment of many skin eruptions – both dry and wet – and skin ailments named eczema, acne, canker sores, rash and boils. It is important to note that due to Calendula’s quick tissue repairing qualities, one must thoroughly clean out any dirty or septic wounds before using Calendula to treat the wounds.

Calendula can work to heal infective and inflammatory ailments of the mouth such as candidiasis, thrush, periodontitis, gingivitis, stomatitis. Oil pulling with Calendula flower infused oil every day, first thing in the morning, may help alleviate these ailments along with an internal formula.

Calendula also works to stimulate the immune system functioning, reduce lymphatic fluid congestion, and reduce bloodstream lipids – found in hyperlipidemia. Calendula promotes this by vitalizing the Blood, balancing hormonal actions, promoting bile flow, harmonized digestion and liver decongestion. Calendula can also play a healing role in irregular menstruation – and can be used to promote labor and enhance the birthing process.

We also find Calendula has the ability to dissolve tumors and cysts, particularly tumors and cysts found in the intestines, and those found in female reproductive organs and breast tissues.

Some of the chemical constituents of Calendula include triterpenoid saponins, flavonoids (including kaempferol, quercitin, isorhamnetin), carotenoids, bitters, phytosterols, resin, mucilage, polysaccharides, essential oil, trace minerals, palmitic/malic/salicylic acids, potassium chloride and sulphate, calcium sulphate.

For a simple infusion of Calendula flowers, a medicinal dose is within the 8-14g range. For every one tablespoon of herb, use one cup of (filtered!) water to let flowers infuse in. Combine just-boiled water with chosen amount of herbs in a heat-resistant Mason jar, put the lid on the jar, and let infuse for twenty minutes. One can infuse for much longer, if desired.

For tincture use, we have two distinctions for two different uses. A lower alcohol extraction enhances the flavonoid power and is best for Blood nourishment, menstruation regulation, digestive harmony, liver decongesting and fever reduction. One would find a tincture at 1:3 strength in 25% EtOH.

A higher alcohol extraction, however, is needed to fight powerful microbial infections. One needs to find a 1:3 strength in 90% EtOH for proper strength. This high extraction enhances the antimicrobial resins of the flower. Both tinctures require a 2-4ml (2-4 droppers-full) dose for medicinal value.

Calendula Flower Infused Oil

Courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

 

Calendula Flower Skin Salve

From Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs – A Beginner’s Guide

1 cup of Calendula flower infused oil

¼ cup grated beeswax

4-6 drops Lavender essential oil

1 pinch of Turmeric root powder, for color

Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and melt together. Pour into a designated jar or tin and let set until hardened. Use more oil for a looser salve, use more beeswax for a harder salve. This recipe should create a consistency right in-between soft and hard.

CALENDULA CAUTIONS!

Avoid during pregnancy, for Calendula is a uterine stimulant. Can be used to help ease labor and delivery when the pregnancy’s coming to completion!

The Energetics of Western Herbs Vol. 2, Peter Holmes, Fourth Edition, 2006

The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Brigitte Mars, A.H.G., 2007

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