Calendula produces a beautiful flower that exudes sunshine and joy.
To harvest this highly resinous flower, pick it at its peak on a warm summer day. You’ll know you have good plant medicine by the stickiness covering your hands.
Calendula is commonly made into oils and salves and used for a variety of skin conditions including rashes, burns, scars, and scrapes. It has an affinity to encourage connective tissue to regenerate, creating soft and lustrous skin.
It can also be used externally on painful itchy chicken pox (as a tincture or salve) or even on fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. Internally it can be used to treat swollen lymph glands and soothe ulcers. You can also spread the fresh petals over your salads for added color and beauty.
When making medicine with calendula, it’s almost always dried first.
Drying calendula for oils decreases the water content, making a more stable
oil, and it also concentrates the resins in the plant. When making a tincture of
Calendula, a higher-proof alcohol will extract more of the resins.
Calendula will grow readily in your garden, often self-seeding after the first year of planting. By snipping the flowers regularly, you promote its growth. I can often harvest calendula flowers numerous times in a season.
This plant is often used for varicose veins. It helps to strengthen the capillary walls.