Herbs

CALENDULA, Calendula officinalis

Calendula Plant

Calendula is sometimes referred to as pot marigold, but should not be confused with the African marigold, Tagetes, that has a fine feathery leaf and a small bloom.


When the sun comes up and starts to shines the calendula opens, and as the sun goes down, the calendula closes.
Old folklore says if the calendula or pot marigold was close after nine o’clock in the morning, it would surely rain that day. The reason it stayed closed that morning was to protect its precious supply of pollen. In those days the calendula, or pot marigold, was the rain forecaster as well as blood cleanser, a medicine and a plant that was good to eat as a food.
There was a man who worked in the construction and he had an accident with a saw. It severely cut his hand. He was rushed to the hospital where they sewed his arm hand up. When he went home and the pain pill wore off was very miserable. To make matters worse there was some infection and healing was very slow.


His wife spoke to a friend about his accident and his sleepless nights and stressful days. She was told how to make a salve from calendula flowers that would stimulate healing and would also ease pain. Not having any calendula flowers she called around until she found a health food store that had calendula salve. She rubbed his hand with the calendula salve and gave his some calendula tea to drink. The pain lessened and his hand healed more quickly. Now his wife grows calendula.


The calendula officinalis is a ray flower and a member of the compositate, or sunflower, family. It is an annual that grows between one and two feet high depending on the soil. The petals on the flower are orange or yellow, and the disk, or stamens, are mostly yellow also. The leaves are alternate and usually have no stems. The part used in the flower, leaf and the stock. The flower should be picked while the bloom is on, when the sun is warm and the dew is off of the plant.
The calendula is a good blood cleanser. For this reason it has been used to help infectious hepatitis. We should remember when we get sick with any kind of problem or disease the infection is not isolated to that area. It circulates throughout the whole body through the blood, so bottom line is that we must clean up the blood. It is said that calendula cleanses, stimulates the circulation, and improved the healing of wounds. As an antiseptic it is an infection fighter. It has been used as a poultice on varicose veins, to soften and lessen old scars, to overcome athlete’s foot and jungle rot, fungus infestations and itches. It has also been used for cramps and women’s complaints. Tooth ached, fevers and flu.
Some authors say that calendula is such a good blood cleanser that it is also effective against cancer. Dr. Bohn says if it is too late for an operation, drink calendula tea for a prolonged period. Calendula has been used successfully in skin cancer and in removing rough patches, strawberry marks and brown age spots.


During the civil war the calendula plant was used not only on the battled field but in the hospital to treat and disinfect. Dr. Dorothy Shepard M.D., a British physician, used calendula for ‘dressing the most filthy wounds from the front line hospital with much success”. She also used it on many patients during the blitz in London.


Besides being a beautiful flower and a great medicine, calendula is a culinary herb. In Europe it is used in many dishes: In Holland they add it ti soup, and in England it is grown with vegetables and cooked in the same pot.


Now that you know all these good things about that beautiful calendula flower, dry some of the stocks, leaves and blooms before they die out. Store them and use them. Also, try the tea. It’s good for you and you’ll like it. And old herbal said calendula will not only help strengthen the eyes, it will also help build up the heart, and it will help a toothache. It was also said if you had boils that you should take some calendula.


Learn to use it so it will be a dear old friend of yours.
 

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