Calendula, also known as the Pot Marigold, is an easy-to-grow herb which is full of antioxidants that has many beneficial properties. It is both an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and can help with the regeneration of skin cells. The flower head, individual petals and leaves can be used for medicinal purposes. Calendula is most often used in salves, lotions, creams and infused oils because of its healing abilities, but it can also be ingested and has many internal benefits as well. (Warning: Calendula should not be taken internally by those who are pregnant). Add some petals to your salad, dry them for tea or add it to your soup pot.
Internal Uses and Benefits of Calendula
When taken internally, Calendula can help to heal an assortment of maladies. Here are a few of the ways calendula can be used:
- Rinsing with a calendula tea can help with the inflammation of mouth sores and ulcers and can be very helpful after dental work
- Gargling with the calendula tea can help sooth sore throats and tonsillitis
- Calendula can help with digestion by healing ulcers, stimulating the production of bile and calming GI tract spasms
- Drinking tea made from calendula can help in the treatment of urinary tract infections
- It can help women with painful menstruation
- Calendula can be used to improve your health over all by calming small maladies in your body
- It can help reduce fevers
How to Prepare Calendula for Internal Use
If you want to use calendula internally the best way is to make a water-infusion, or tea. This can be done by collecting 2 tablespoons to 1/4 of a cup of petals and pouring 2 cups of boiling water over top of them. Cap your jar and allow them to steep for a minimum of 15 minutes. Once it has steeped you can gargle with it if you have mouth sores or simply drink it to improve digestion, menstruation, reduce fevers or simply cleanse the body.
External Uses and Benefits of Calendula
Because of its soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities, calendula is often used in lotions, creams and ointments to help heal and protect the skin. Here are just a few of the ways it can be used on your skin:
- For any skin irritation or inflammation such as diaper rash, insect bites or stings
- As a healing agent for scrapes, scratches and bruises
- It can be used as a water-based infusion or tea on deeper wounds, injuries and burns to prevent infections, promote healing and reduce scarring
- Fat based ointments made from calendula are great for dry, chapped or sunburned skin
- Because of its antiseptic properties calendula can help conditions such as acne, as well as any other skin infection
- Calendula is helpful in soothing hemorrhoids, yeast infections and other swelling when used as a sitz bath
How to Prepare Calendula for External Use
You can use the same water infused tea externally on deep wounds and bruises, but you can also make calendula infused oil to make into salves and lotions to help heal and sooth the skin even more.
To make an infused oil simply fill a jar about half full with dried petals or flower head and top it off with oil- you can use olive oil, coconut oil, etc but not baking oils like corn or canola. Cap the jar and allow it to sit for about a month, in a sunny widow. Every few days give the jar a shake. Once it has set for awhile strain out the petals and save the infused oil to be used alone or in future preparations. The oil will keep about a year when stored at room temperature- preferably in a dark cabinet.
How about you?
sadie423 (author) from North Carolina on July 15, 2012:
Thanks for your comments! It is wonderful and my counter is full of drying blossoms as I type!
MargaritaEden from Oregon on July 05, 2012:
Calendula is such a useful herb, these were some wonderful tips on using it, thank you!
Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on July 03, 2012:
Calendula is a wonderful herb! It is one of my favorites, and my "go to" herb for so many ailments. Voted up.
sadie423 (author) from North Carolina on July 02, 2012:
I have used it for years too, it wasn't until I started growing more for myself that I realized all of its uses!
Shelley Watson on July 01, 2012:
Hi Sadie, I have used calendula ointment for years yet never realized how much more it can do besides cuts and bruises! Thank you!