My very first introduction to the healing plant world was Calendula. Seeing the bright orange/yellow color of the flower beaming with light, brought me pure joy. Immediately I was taken by this plant and naturally wanted to learn more about it. I started growing the plant from seed, which is extremely easy for a first time grower, and within 5 days of planting, the seeds germinated and in two months they were flowering.
A little history about Calendula:
One of the oldest uses of Calendula dates back to the Greeks and Romans. The ancient Romans named the plant Calendula because they noticed it was blooming on the first day of every month, hence the name calends. It was a symbol of happiness in the garden because it gave the Romans an abundant supply of flowers and leaves to use for cooking. Both parts of the flower are edible and have been traditionally used in Europe as a “poor man’s saffron”.
Calendula has been used medicinally by medival monks who prescribed it for bowl problems, liver complications, and insect or snake bites. During the Civil War, doctors used the flower of the Calendula plant to treat patients with large scale open wounds. Since it has antiseptic properties, it helped prevent infection and promoted faster healing.
There are multitudes of healing properties the Calendula plant provides. The flower itself contains carotenoids in the petals, which aid your skin back to its natural glow. The antibacterial properties in Calendula helps soothe eczema and repair scars. The antioxidant-rich Calendula flower also works wonders for after sun exposure, especially for sun damaged skin.
It's February out here in California so its a good time to start some seeds! If you live in a much colder climate and waiting patiently for spring to come you can still start seeds, but do it indoors and preferably with a heating mat.
Stay tuned in another blog post I'll tell you how to make an infused oil out of this beautiful and giving plant :)