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Herb Spotlight - Calendula

Herb Spotlight - Motherwort - Sun God Medicinals

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Family: Asteraceae

Part Used: Flowering tops

Flavor/Aroma: Bitter; Salty

Energetics: Cooling; Drying


Herbal Actions: 

Vulanary, Thymoleptic, Diaphoretic, Antispasmodic, Emmenagogue, Anti inflammatory, Vasodilator, Lymphagogue, Choleretic, Antiseptic, Anti Nausea 

Overview:

Calendula, also known as Marigold, is best characterized by its mood enhancing properties, its ability to heal abrasions effectively, and for its vibrant colored petals as dyes and paints. It has been used therapeutically for centuries and has been idolized for more than its wonderful aesthetic appeal.

Botany:

Calendula is an annual herb that sprouts daisy-like yellow or orange flowers atop light green leaved stems. It is native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, and has been naturalized in much of the world.

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Calendula is best harvested as flowers begin to open in the spring and summer months, and are most medicinal if used fresh after collecting. It is cultivated in many parts of North America, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as larger amounts in Egypt, Germany, India, Poland, and Hungary.

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Calendula is found throughout the Upper Klamath Basin region, and often around the coastal areas of Southern Oregon. It is an important pollinator and is related to many similar wildflower species. Calendula grows very well in the Rogue Valley, and thrives in sunny, warmer conditions. Always use your best judgment and most sustainable practices when harvesting.

History and Folklore:

Traditional European Uses: Calendula was known as the “poor man's saffron” and was added to dishes for color and floral aromas, and often used as a soup-starter. In the 17th century, Calendula was mixed with vinegar and used as a hair rinse to promote hair and scalp health.¹

Calendula is astrologically connected to the sun and the fire element, and used to promote clairvoyant visions, bring protection to those who used or wore this herb, and more specifically it was known as a lucky charm in the face of legal matters. 

Ayurvedic Medicinal Uses: Calendula was used for its strong healing properties and cooling nature to soothe infected or inflamed wounds; it was also used to aid in digestion as a pungent and bitter herb.¹

Modern Applications:

Calendula is indicated to support an upset stomach by promoting gastric secretions and calming spasms; it is used for dry skin conditions both topically and internally², systemic anti inflammatory for acute and chronic conditions, varicose vein relief ³, and ulcerative health conditions. Calendula is also indicated for depressed emotional states.

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

2-3 tablespoons per cup of water, or infuse into oil, honey, or butter for internal and topical remedies

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

1-4 mL up to 4 times per day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Dosage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended dosages are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Precautions:

Not recommended during pregnancy or during lactation. We recommend consulting with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

References:

  1. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Calendulaflower 
  2. Nicolaus, C., Junghanns, S., Hartmann, A., Murillo, R., Ganera, M., & Merfort, I. (2017, January 20) In vitro studies to evaluate the wound healing properties of Calendula oficinalis extracts. 
  3. Calendula (U. S. P)- Calendula. (n.d.). www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/calendula.html

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.