In terms of the parts of these plants that are consumed, the petals are edible and have traditionally been utilized in soups, stews and salads, while a potent chemical extract can be produced from the stalks and leaves of Calendula plants. This extract is abundant in a variety of organic compounds, including glycosides, saponins, and other potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant composites.
Calendula grows amazingly well as an annual here in the frozen tundra of Green Bay, Wisconsin – but it is a short-lived perennial in warmer climates, zones 9-11. But even in my zone 4 garden it is a great self-seeder, so if you grow it one year, chances are you will get to see it popping up again next year! Flowers can range in color from bright orange, to pale yellow. Collect Calendula flowers in the late morning, after the dew has dried. Pick flowers when they are fully open and check often – I generally harvest morning and again at dusk. Of course, I save some for the bees and other pollinators to enjoy, and a few others I allow to develop into seed heads, so I will have more seed to purposefully plant next year. To dry the flowers, spread the cut flower heads out on a screen in a dry, shady spot. Turn them occasionally until they are papery dry, then store them in canning jars until ready to use. You can also put them in a dehydrator on the lowest setting.
Calendula Health Benefits
Let’s take a closer look at the diverse health advantages of this flowering plant.
One of the most beneficial reasons to keep Calendula nearby is due to use the healing properties of its flower oil for your cuts, scrapes, and wounds; you will see the healing process speed up, partly due to its anti-inflammatory attributes, in addition to the individual antioxidant composites found in this extraordinary plant. By shielding against infections, it keeps wounds and scrapes protected, enabling them to heal swiftly. Also, tincturing the flowers in alcohol (I use Everclear because the blooms can mold in lower concentrations of alcohol), provides you with a great treatment for insect bites!
There are also several antibacterial attributes of Calendula that have made it very popular in recent years. You will often notice it on the ingredients list of many herbal health and hygiene commodities, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, cleansers, and shampoos. In terms of oral hygiene, toothpastes and mouthwashes that include Calendula are said to be efficient in killing bacteria that generate everything from gingivitis to decays.
Aside from improving healing, Calendula oil can significantly promote the appearance of your skin. It can influence the blood flow to the skin cells, present antioxidant shielding that diminishes the presence of wrinkles and spots, and even the distinctness of scars. If you want soft, even-toned skin that radiates with youthful vigor, consider using (or making your own!) organic products that include Calendula or consume it in another form, such as tea.
Studies have shown that Calendula carries certain antioxidant composites that directly influence your vision. Beta-carotene is crucial for the well-being and functioning of your eyes, and Calendula is an excellent source of this precursor to Vitamin A.
Regardless of where inflammation is occurring, this flowering plant may significantly decrease the discomfort. If you are suffering from a cold or congestion, Calendula tea can be an amazing support. If your joints are aching from arthritis or gout, combine some Calendula oil to a skin lotion and you may notice a decrease in pain. Lastly, if your stomach is unsettled, it can support the normalization of your gastrointestinal system and reduce any inflammation that may be producing distress. Indeed, Calendula is an ingredient in one of our best-selling teas, My Aching Belly.
Calendula oil has some anti-tumor characteristics that make it very relevant in new cancer examinations investigating natural solutions to this epidemic. Calendula extracts have exhibited anti-tumor properties. Research is evaluating whether calendula extract can inhibit toxicity and facilitate an efficient and non-toxic way for managing and limiting cancer. A study published in the BMC Cancer Journal says that calendula extracts presented positive results in its potential use in cancer management, particularly in cancer treatment, therapy, and palliative care. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to support this point.
Finally, some folks find the anti-spasmodic qualities of Calendula quite helpful. If you have uncomfortable cramping due to menstruation or other types of conditions that cause painful cramps or spasms, adding Calendula to your routine may be a smart choice.
Some people have exhibited allergic reactions to the use of calendula oil in high dosages and concentrations. Nonetheless, if you consult a qualified herbalist before introducing it into your health routine, you should be able to circumvent any significant side effects. And, as always, we recommend talking with your health care provider when introducing herbs into your health care regimen.
One final note
Look for Calendula in our new seasonal tea– ‘Autumn’s Calling – a nutritive, calming tonic with a light, delicious flavor. Full of herbs of late summer & fall, the blend is sure to help you adapt to longer nights!
The information provided here is educational in nature. These statements have not been evaluated by the US FDA. Any product referred to in this information is not intended to to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.