A tea of calendula promotes sweating and can be useful in supporting irritations, both internally and externally. Calendula was at one time a popular home supportive for jaundice. Today it can be used as an embrocation on sprains, bruises, cuts, and burns.
A wash of calendula helps promote reconstruction of tissue, and helps reduce swelling and discharges. It lessens scarring from burns and helps abcesses and abrasions.
The first edition of the United States Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (1878) lists two methods for preparing calendula. One method expresses the juice of fresh calendula gathered in summer, then adds alcohol equal to the volume of the expressed juice. In the second method, the plant is soaked in five parts alcohol for two weeks.
A liquid extract for cuts, abrasions, burns, and scalds can be made by soaking the whole fresh plant in vodka for two weeks. The tincture can then be diluted with nine parts water with each use.
The flowers contain a resin, a bitter compound, a saponin, and an essential oil with carotene, calenduline, and lycopine.
Calendula is referred to as "poor man's saffron" since the flavoring and coloring potential are similar to that of true saffron. Calendula adds a subtle saline flavor and a delicate yellow hue to food. It can be used for coloring rice and other grains. Calendula lends itself well to soups and chowders.
In medieval Europe, calendula blossoms were used as a base for soups and broths and could be found literally by the barrel in market places. Use the fresh flower petals in salads.
General Herb Information
The common pot marigold has captured the appreciation of poet, gardener, and rejuvenateer alike. Calendula is native to south central Europe and north Africa. The genus has about fifteen species. A venerable annual for borders or garden nucleus, the buoyant light-yellow-to-orange blossoms bring color and vitality to the lush shades of summer and the fading hues of autumn. With coarse surfaces and many branches, it reaches a height of two feet.
The leaves are oblong, without teeth or with small inconspicuous teeth. Leaves are three to six inches long and their stalks gently clasp the stem. The flower heads, 1 1/2 to 3 inches across, consist of several rows of ray florets and a central cluster of tubular flowers. Calendula blooms continually from the appearance of the first blossoms about six weeks after planting to the first light snows of late autumn. The seeds (achenes) are curved and taper to a point at one end. The blossoms close at night and on overcast days, but open with the sun.
One cultivar, 'Chrysantha' produces double blossoms that are a rich buttercup yellow. Kieft Seeds, a Dutch firm, lists thirty-four calendula cultivars in its catalog (see resource section). Herbalists consider single-flowered varieties to be helpful for healthl.
Calendula should not be confused with other marigolds - members of the genus Tagetes. This genus of familiar marigolds is represented by about thirty species and numerous cultivars. They are indigenous mainly to south and central America, though several species are found as far north as Arizona and New Mexico.
Sow seeds as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. If allowed to go to seed, calendula seif-sows freely, and the resulting seedlings can be transplanted the following spring. Thin to one-foot spacings.
They grow well in moderately rich, well-drained soil with a pH range of 5 to 8 and tolerate full sun or partial shade. In Southern states, plantings do better under partial shade.
The plant's most useful part is the ray florets or petals, though the entire flower is usually harvested as a matter of economy. Try spending an afternoon plucking the individual flower petals from the central disk and you'll soon realize why commercial growers choose to harvest the whole flower head. Gathering individual flowers is great for the home gardener, but unfeasible for the farmer. Petals stripped from the disks dry much faster than the whole flower head.
A related species, the Marsh Marigold is rarely used in health; the leaves are, however, vesicant and very bitter. Two varieties of this plant are used as febrifuges, the first was found in the Himalayas and Nepal, the second in Hindustan.
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Take 1 capsule, 3 times daily, with meals.
General Preparation and Dosage: For topical use, infusions, tinctures, creams, lotions and ointments containing 2 - 5 g of crude herb per 100 g are suitable. About 1 - 2 g of dried flowers in a cup of boiling water may be taken two or three times per day.
More Photographs - Marigold (Calendula) (Zeaxanthin) - 450 mg
End of More Photographs - Marigold (Calendula) (Zeaxanthin) - 450 mg
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