Herbal Lore: Calendula
To say this cheerful, daisy-like flower is one of the most important plants in the herb garden is really not an exaggeration.
Calendula has a long history of use as medicine, food, cosmetics, and fabric dye. It’s also a valuable companion plant in the garden, but I kindof like having it around just because it makes me smile…. 😉
Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Soothing, healing, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Excellent for all skin types. Especially good for sensitive skin, dehydrated / dry skin, chapped / inflamed skin, wounds and burns.
A staple in Old English gardens and pantries, Calendula (sometimes called “Marigold”) was believed to keep you healthy during the Wintertime and its flowers often used in soups.
According to English herbalist John Gerard, author of “The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes” (1597), “no broth is well made without dried Marigolds”.
(Calendula’s petals contain flavoxanthin and auroxanthin, and its leaves and stems’ constituents include lutein and beta-carotene; carotenoids which are vitamin A precursors with antioxidant activity.)
Today, it’s most commonly used topically for wound healing due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
I use it in my skin care blends for its ability to improve skin’s condition by increasing peripheral circulation, refining pores and encouraging cell renewal.