Pot Marigold – Calendula

Not just for the skin.  Calendula is for fungal infections, kidneys, a menstrual regulator and more

Those who eat marigolds will see faeries, be more amorous and be induced to sleep” Anonymous

I don’t know how true that quote is, but one of the joys of the winter garden is definitely Pot Marigold (Calendula officianalis)

Calendula Barefoot HerbsAlong with the cheerful orange flowers, you get a treatment for cracked and dry winter skin and a remedy for fungal infections, eczema, gum inflammations, a menstrual regulator, a lymphatic cleanser and a digestive tonic. It grows easily from seed and then will continually re-seed itself, providing you with a good supply of petals. Although it is a winter herb, some plants will grow through the summer. The flowers tend to be smaller and a poorer quality, so I usually dig the plants up at the end of winter.

The flowers should be picked often which will encourage the plant to produce more.  Lay them out on trays or baskets to dry.  A bay leaf in the pot of dried petals will discourage the small brown beetles that love to eat them.


Calendula ointment Barefoot HerbsCalendula Skin Salve is an essential item for your first aid box to sort out rashes, bites, eczema, sores and scratches.  Eczema suffers will benefit from this Eczema Skin Cream , which uses calendula, comfrey and chickweed

Gardeners (or washers of dishes!) show your hands some love with a Heavy Duty Hand-Cream.

For medicinal use make a tisane with a teaspoon of dried flowers in one cup of boiling water.  This will aid digestion, help regulate menstrual cycles and promote bile flow.

Although you can find recipes using calendula petals, I don’t think it has much taste.  However, it does give a lovely colour, so add it to rice dishes, butter, soft cheese, breads, biscuits and cakes.

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