Calendula, the Pot Marigold

Marigolds

Pot Marigold or Calendula officinalis
Pot marigold is a short-lived, perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy
family and is often grown as an annual. They are commonly used as
ornamentals and sometimes for medicinal preparations.
The pot marigold grows to be approximately 30 inches tall with
branched sprawling or erect stems. The leaves are oblong and lancelike,
approximately 2 to 7 inches long and hairy on both sides. The
margins can be smooth, wavy, or even weakly toothed.
The flowers are yellow or orange with a 2- to 3-inch flowerhead, two
rows of hairy bracts and a single or double ring of ray florets around
the central disc florets. Flowers appear year-round when the weather
is suitable.
The fruit is a thorny archene.


Edible Use
Pot marigold flowers are edible. They are used in salads and as a garnish in some dishes. The leaves are also edible, but bitter and unpalatable.


Medicinal Use
Skin Diseases, Cuts, and Irritations
Pot marigold leaves and flowers are soothing to the skin, and used
to treat all kinds of skin problems from acne to sunburn and
rashes. The leaves make a healing poultice for minor cuts,
scratches, and skin irritations.

Place the bruised leaves directly on the skin. The leaves soothe inflamed skin and help it heal.
Use the flowers to make a healing salve for skin irritations. The leaves and flowers have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects.

To treat fungus infections and bacterial skin infections, including
ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and cradle cap, use
Calendula Extract applied to the effective area several times daily.


Stomach and Intestinal Diseases
Use calendula combined with comfrey root for all kinds of stomach and intestinal problems including duodenal ulcers, intestinal colitis, and gastroenteritis. The decoction made from equal parts calendula and comfrey root.


Immune System and Lymphatic System
Calendula stimulates the functioning of the immune system and the lymphatic system. Additionally, the astringent and antiseptic properties help the body fight off infections and viruses. Calendula also reduces congestion and swelling in the lymph glands.

Liver, Gallbladder, and Whole-Body Detoxification
Calendula helps remove toxins from the body and helps cleanse the liver and gallbladder. It is a good treatment for diseases affecting these organs. The detoxification properties also have a positive effect on the skin and help clear up chronic skin problems such as eczema and acne caused by the bodies efforts to rid itself of toxins. For detoxification, use a Calendula Extract.


Recipes
Soothing Calendula Salve
Ingredients: 1/2 cup olive oil,

1/3 cup solid coconut oil

3 tablespoons dried calendula flowers

1 1/2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers

3 ounces beeswax.


In a small pan, melt the olive oil and the coconut oil together. Add the flower petals and allow the mixture to steep for onehour. Strain out the flower petals, if desired, or you can leave them in. Return the pan to the heat and add the beeswax, stirring. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as the wax is melted. Allow the salve to cool completely before use. Apply
gently to irritated or inflamed skin.


Calendula Extract
Take 1-pint calendula flowers, loosely packed and 1-pint 80 proof vodka or other drinking alcohol of 80 proof or higher.


Place the flowers in a pint jar with a tight fitting lid. Fill the jar with alcohol so that the flowers are completely covered.

Allow the extract to steep in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks. Shake daily. Strain out the flowers and store the extract tightly covered in a cool, dark place. Use within 3 years.


Calendula and Comfrey Root Decoction
You’ll need

1 tablespoon calendula flowers,

1 tablespoon comfrey root, crushed and chopped fine or ground

1-quart water.

Bring the water and herbs to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover the decoction and allow it to steep for 45 minutes. Strain out the herbs. Store the decoction in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or up to one month in the freezer.

Take 1 cup of the decoction, twice daily, for stomach and intestinal distress.


Skin Healing Oil or Salve
This salve is an all-purpose salve for healing skin irritations, minor burns, sunburn, cuts, wounds, insect bites, eczema, diaper rash, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.

This combination of herbs is soothing and anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antifungal, analgesic and promotes rapid wound healing and tissue growth.
This combination also helps minimize scarring, so it is a good choice for facial wounds and other wounds in exposed areas.
Olive oil, almond oil, and other carrier oils can be used for this salve, but I prefer coconut oil. On a cool day or under refrigeration coconut oil is solid. Store it in the refrigerator and use it as a cooling salve for irritations and sunburn.
Skin Healing Oil
You’ll need 1 cup coconut oil

olive oil or other carrier oil

¼ cup calendula flowers dried

¼ cup St. John’s Wort, dried


1/8 cup chamomile dried

20 drops lavender essential oil

  1. Fill a clean quart jar with the herbs and add the carrier oil. Cover the jar tightly and shake to combine. The jar will not be full, but the herbs will swell over time.
  2. Shake the jar daily and add oil if needed to keep the herbs covered.
  3. Infuse the oil in a warm, sunny spot such as a windowsill for two to four weeks.
  4. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer to remove the herbs.
  5. Add the lavender essential oil and shake to combine.

    The oil can be used as is or it can be made into a salve. If you use coconut oil and refrigerate the oil, it will have a salve texture without adding the beeswax.
    Skin Healing Salve Ingredients:
  6. 1 cup prepared skin healing oil (recipe above) and 1-ounce beeswax, shaved or grated
  7. In the top of a double boiler, heat the prepared oil and beeswax slowly until the wax melts. Remove from the heat.
  8. Pour the salve into small tins or glass jars. Label and date the jars.
  9. Store the salve in a cool, dark place. I prefer to refrigerate it for long term use.

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