Calendula officinalis (aka. Marigold)
This is hands down the best plant to use for skin rashes, bumps and irritations. Just the thought of soothing calendula salve and my skin feels better.
Why get to know this plant
Abundantly spreading from gardens, marigold is likely growing near you. Flowers are used in salves for soothing skin irritations and teas can be made from dried flowers for a soothing drink for an irritated digestive tract. Also with the bright sunny color these flowers are sure to brighten any dark mood.
Where to find
You have probably seen this summer beauty in gardens and either you know it well or haven’t yet consciously made a connection; it’s medicinal uses are plenty so take note. Calendula is not a native plant to the west coast but has spread from Europe to gardens and residential areas all over the coast. Find it in a yard near you, or perhaps growing along the edge of a back lane.
The sunny flowers (ray florets) are golden orange to yellow. Leaves are pale green and spatulate. Cut the flowers right at the stem and the plant will continue to produce more flowers all spring and summer. You will see the flowers dry and turn to seed if you don’t pick the flowers and returning to cut the tops will ensure that the plant continues to flower all season.
Teas made from the calendula plant are soothing (known as demulcent) and also offer antibacterial and antiviral action. This plant is incredibly safe and easy to use and is a great place to start making salves or lotions. Click here to read up on how to make a healing calendula salve.
Some of the constituents in this plant are antifungal but are available upon in its tincture form (resins and saponins). Learn to make a tincture here. Or visit your local herbal dispensary or supplement store and find one that is already made for you.
Herbal Actions of Marigold:
Vulnary, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, Anti-oxidant, Anti-cancer, antiseptic, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, lymphatic, phytoestrogenic
Flavonoids: flavonol (quercetin and isohamnetin), glycosides (isoquercitrin, narcissin, neohesperidoside, rutin; terpenoids (lupeol, lonispinogenin, oleanolic acid, arnidiol. , sterols,; volatile oils, carotenoid pigments; polysaccharides; luetin
Used internally the flowers are anti-inflammatory for the GI tract and externally especially whe used in a poultice. The Saponins and resins decrease tissue swelling. The anti-fungal properties are found only in the tincture which are in the resins and need 90% alcohol for extraction.
The succus and tea can be used topically for wound healing and internally for hemorrhage, inflammation of the throat, nasal passages, conjunctivitis (as an eye wash), otitis, procitis and colitis. It is most indicated in chronic and acute inflammatory skin lesions, with itching, burning, and swelling.
Used topically for skin irritations, bruises, burns and rashes. Viral and fungal skin conditions such as warts, herpes, athletes foot and tinea. Internally for Candida overgrowth, mucous membrane inflammation as in IBS, acid reflux. Soothing for youth with acne vulgaris and anyone with rosacea. Topical Skin Champion
Combine in a salve with Vit E and Bees wax and use to clear rosasea, and reverse frown lines or other deep impressions on your skin.
Dry the flowers and combine them in tea for a soothing coating for an upset digestive tract