Herbal Medicine is about living in harmony with Mother Nature and appreciating that our wholistic health is intrinsically connected to living by her laws. Laws that include drinking clean water, eating natural foods, following our circadian rhythm(1), moving our bodies frequently, and wherever possible using nature to heal our ailments. This blog, Herbal Medicine Part 3, looks at the healing properties of Calendula, one of nature’s potent remedies for a myriad of ailments.
Calendula (more commonly known as ‘marigolds’, and belonging to the daisy family) is an astringent, antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial.
It can be used to treat:
- All manner of skin conditions ~ including inflamed skin, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, nappy rash, bed sores, sunburn, minor burns.
- Eye irritations ~ including allergies, pink-eye, dry or itchy eyes.
- Oral health issues ~ including the bacteria that causes gingivitis and cavities, and also,
- Cold-sores, chilblains, varicose and spider veins, leg ulcers, menstrual problems, and sluggish liver.
It can be applied externally as a cream, oil, lotion or compress; or taken internally as a tincture, tea, or the fresh petals can be sprinkled over meals (giving you not just the health benefits, but the added bonus of turning your meal into a visual delight).
Two superb calendula remedies you can make at home are ~ calendula oil and calendula tea. They are simple, safe, and you will have fun playing the herbal alchemist.
All you need is organic olive oil and organic, dried(2) calendula flowers.
- Put dried calendula flowers in a clean glass jar.
- Completely cover the flowers with olive oil, and then add an extra two centimetres (one inch) as the flowers will expand in the oil.
- Stir. Seal the jar. And put the jar on a sunny windowsill.
- Shake it once or twice per day for 4-6 weeks.
- Strain off the oil with a cheesecloth. And voila ~ potent calendula oil that can be used directly on the skin to sooth, heal, compress, massage, or as a base for other potions and lotions you may wish to concoct (if you really got into the herbal alchemist role).
Tea with dried flowers: place one tablespoon of dried calendula flowers in a teapot. Cover with boiling water (for 2-3 cups) and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
Tea with fresh flowers: fill a teapot with fresh flowers. Cover with boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Drinking the tea is excellent for digestion, PMS, yeast imbalances (which can cause mood swings, lethargy and inflammation) and sluggish liver.
- The tea can also be used topically as a compress and applied to sunburn, wounds, bites, stings, cuts and sore muscles.
- It can be used as a gargle for oral health or for a sore throat.
- It alleviates nappy rash ~ just soak a cotton wool ball in the tea and apply to the rash.
For the above mentioned eye irritations, strain the tea well, and rinse the eyes several times per day.
- Or make a double strength tea and add it to your bath for sunburn, dry skin, or just to make your skin delightfully, silky smooth.
Caution: Calendula should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an allergy to daisies.
Please note: I do not offer the above as instruction, only as information. Always check with your doctor or health practitioner for any ailment you may have.
Wishing you abundant good health, fun playing alchemy, and magick in every day. ~ GreenWitch Tea
Health is the proper relationship between microcosm, which is man, and the macrocosm, which is the universe. Disease is a disruption of this relationship. ~ Dr Yeshe Donden