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Know your ingredient: Calendula

eco-seed-to-skin-care

Calendulas are members of the daisy family and are often referred to as marigolds. In addition to being a popular garden pretty, calendula flowers possess some powerful healing properties.

Origin

We grow all of our own calendula here on the farm. They thrive in this climate.

History of cultivation

Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to colour cheese or as a replacement for saffron. You can make yellow dye from the petals.

Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is ‘Mary’s Gold’, referring to the flowers’ use in early Catholic events in some countries. Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.

Applications

Calendula officinalis has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. We extract calendula essence from the flowers by infusing them in ionised rain water. Calendula ointments are used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation. I first made calendula ointment for a naturopathy assignment, and later used it on my baby daughter to treat her eczema. I know include calendula in my day cream because it’s such a healing ingredient.

You can buy my day cream with sunscreen here.

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