Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold is possibly native to the Mediterranean region of Europe though its exact origin is unknown. Known for its brilliant floral shape, colour and scent; it is also famous for its culinary and medicinal uses. I like to call it the healing plant for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. There are countless varieties of calendulas with innumerable shades of the sunset; ranging from yellow to orange to rust and some absolutely demure golden-brown varieties.
Here are my top 4 reasons for growing Calendulas:
- Easy to grow from seeds with little to no care. Add a few seeds to your wild meadow patch and see how it adds a pop of colour. The scent is off-putting to the slugs and snails so they keep a safe distance. That in itself makes them a winner for me. If the crawlies in our gardens had a tombstone, it would read ‘No calendulas please’ 😊
- This plant has healing powers! Yes, it does. It can soothe insect bites, blisters and bruises. Next time you go to a supermarket; go to the skin care aisle and look for sunscreen lotions- without fail you will find at least two calendula sunscreen lotions. So, here is another use: a natural and organic sunblock for all you know.
- Aids better digestion and immune system. Not only does this prove useful for external injuries but it also cures mouth ulcers, acidity and irritable bowel syndrome. It is known to improve gut strength.
- It is excellent for the skin and does wonders for your scalp. It is used to treat dermatitis and dandruff. Since it is gentle, it is often used in diaper rash ointments and also in applications to soothe cradle cap in children.
This is how you can use Calendulas:
- Prepare as a soothing infused tea- I dry the petals and store them in an air tight jar and keep in the refrigerator. Boil some water and add a few dry petals and wait for a few minutes before straining and consuming the tea.
- Prepare a healing oil- I collect loads of flowers while deadheading them and when I have enough to fit in a medium sized saucepan, I add good quality organic coconut oil to the petals and gently heat the concoction for half an hour. You will know when its done. The aroma and the colour of the oil will change.
- Prepare as an ointment- To the infused oil add beeswax and essential oils. This is something I am yet to try myself. Will make a detailed post once I’ve made the calendula ointment.
I encourage you to make your own sunshine 🙂 Happy gardening!