In the Czech language the name for Calenula flowers means "little moon," yet these brilliant yellow-orange blooms most resemble the sun. When I first came to Bohemia I had never heard of Calendula and yet I quickly ran into references to it among mainstream doctors and conventional pharmacists. In Europe this is one herb that has been solidly accepted by establishment medicine, particularly for use in burn ointments, and it's as well-known among lay people as mint.
Calendula is an excellent addition to a home herb garden. It is bright and beautiful and it has powerful healing properties. Calendula flowers combat bacteria and fungal infections, help to heal burns or otherwise injured skin, and have some anti-cancer action.
Infused calendula oil isn't difficult to make at home and you can keep it in the refrigerator and use it for numerous remedies, including:
- Ear drops that have been found to be more effective in middle-ear infections than antibiotics,
- An oil for all types of burns, including sunburn,
- A massage oil for damaged or injured skin, including as prevention of skin damage during chemotherapy,
- A topical remedy for yeast infections, including athlete's foot and yeast mastitis during breastfeeding.
While I have read that it is best to use just the petals of Calendula flowers for maximum potency, it can be very difficult to keep the tiny petals submerged when making infused oil. If they float to the top, they will tend to mold. As a result, I now prefer to make Calendula oil with whole flowers. The stay down better. Use the infused oil recipe in the first part of my salve making recipe.
An infusion of dried Calendula flowers in hot water (basically a strong tea) can be used as:
- A wash for cuts and open sores,
- A mouthwash to alleviate thrush and other infections of the mouth,
- A tea to help with stomach cramps and constipation.
May you have good fortune and cool breezes in your summer herb gathering! Do you have home medicines and remedies that you can share with others? I love your comments on these posts. Drop a line below and keep in touch!