CALENDULA OFFICINALIS: Not Just a Bless for Your Skin and Garden

Family: Astareaceae

Species: Calendula Officinalis

Common Name: Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Calendula

Calendula Officinalis is an annual short-life aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean, but widely spread around the globe and cultivated for centuries as food and for its medical many uses. Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils and climates.

CULTIVATION

Seeds have a distinct curved shape almost looking like little worms, and are sown in spring in temperate climates to grow and bloom throughout the summer into the fall. Leaves are oblong-lanceolate hairy on both sides with a distinctive smell, inflorescences are yellow to orange. 

Calendula is a plant everyone should have in their garden or balcony for multiple reasons. Apart from its beauty, it is edible, easy to grow, a powerful medicinal and self-reseeds itself year after year.

Personally, is one of the top herbs that I would highly recommend everyone to have on hand; I use this flower in countless gastronomic and herbal preparations because it’s a wonderful plant full of benefits. In the garden is a companion plant that attracts pollen beetles and repels nematodes from the soil. Calendulas can also benefit gardens below ground forming partnerships with soil-borne fungi that turn the plants into a soil-cleaning machines.

CULINARY USES

Calendula leaves and flowers are edible and particularly rich in fiber and vitamins. Petals are used as “poor man’s saffron” once dried. The leaves are added to soups, salads or mixed with other green for various preparation as well as the flowers. Calendula microgreens are also very nutritious and have a distinctive taste that can enhance any dish, plus they are very easy to grow since the plant have generally minimum requirements in term of soil and care.

MEDICAL PROPERTIES

The most familiar use of Calendula is for skin treatment. Its preparations and its infused macerated oil are used for treating minor wounds, callouses, itches, burns, insect bites and stings. The carotenes in the plant promote renewal of skin  tissues, its antibacterial properties prevent infections.

Calendula is rich of essential oils that are responsible for its antiseptic and parasiticide actions. Dried Calendula flowers tea reduces inflammation and promotes healing from infections and sore throat. Just steep a bunch of dried petals in a cup of boiling water and strain to enjoy.


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3 Thoughts to “CALENDULA OFFICINALIS: Not Just a Bless for Your Skin and Garden”

  1. Daisy J.

    I knew Calendula was a useful plant as it’s present in many products for skin, didn’t imagine people also eat their flowers and leaves. I like the idea and will try as soon I have the chance, thanks!

  2. Donna

    Very interesting articles, thanks

  3. Rose

    I always have some Calendula growing around my garden but never really dared to use until now. Thanks for the info!

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