I did a post on Instagram the other day and in the post I wrote (while drinking a blend of Calendula and Peppermint tea 😊) about visualizing and working on goals. As mentioned on that post one of my many goals is to be a knowledgeable herbalist.
This site is going to be a platform for some of my herbal experiences and findings. Since starting my studies, I’m finding herbs that are new to me and it’s exciting! Calendula is one of those new herbs. I’m still a novice in the herbal world but I’ve been studying various herbs for a while, and I have my, as an herbalist I follow on Instagram puts it “heart herb’, meaning an herb or herbs a person holds close to their heart, for me in particular it’s licorice💕. And I will definitely write in full detail why licorice is a fave of mine in another blog post.
I’ve mentioned before on this site that I struggle with autoimmune issues so I decided to make my herbal studies more personal and study first about herbs beneficial for my health issues. I’m happy to say there are so many herbs to pick from which can be beneficial for my issues. However for some reason I gravitated right to Calendula.
Being that I’m of the astrological sign Leo (sun, rising and mercury all in Leo), I’m just naturally attracted to sunny, vibrant things. What attracted me right away about Calendula was the yellow, orange color of the flower petals. Imagine my delight when doing research about Calendula I found that the seventeenth century astrologer and doctor Nicholas Culpeper taught that Calendula was under the constellation of Leo and he proclaimed it to be “a comforter of the heart and spirits”(1) Talk about kismet!😊 Then when reading about the benefits of using Calendula, I was blown away by how much of a powerhouse she is (yes, in my mind she’s a female 😊) and it made me even more excited to get to know her better!
Let’s talk a little bit about the history and origins of Calendula as well as the benefits. Calendula Officinalis otherwise known as Calendula is basically a marigold and is part of the Asteraceae family which also comprises of daises, chamomile, arnica and yarrow.(1) Calendula is native to Mediterranean countries but can be grown in most countries worldwide.(2) This herb has been documented for being used for medicinal purposes since the 12th century.
Here are some of the benefits of using Calendula (1):
- Helps with allergies.
- Assists in treating stomach issues.
- Great for inflammation.
- Helps to fight viruses and bacteria.
- Protects cells from free radicals.
- Helps burns, cuts and scrapes heal faster.
- Great for gum disease and receding gums.
- Beneficial for the treatment of herpes, chickenpox.
- Helps with varicose veins.
- Helps with female issues such as menstruation and menopause.
Calendula can be consumed as a tea, tincture, elixer or be used topically. It is considered to be a safe plant to consume which makes it perfect for babies as well as for the elderly.
Because we were instantly drawn together you know us both being Leos and all, Ha ha. I wanted to form a more intimate relationship with Calendula and the way I like to get to know an herb that’s new to me is through sight, smell and taste.
I already talked about how Calendula looks. Now lets get into the smell. The smell of Calendula is slightly floral with fruity notes and has a smell similar to Chamomile. With the taste, I find dried Calendula on its own to be bright, slightly sweet with a bit of bitterness.* And when brewing Calendula its no different then any other dried flower type herb, the petals seem to bloom and come to life when hot water hits the dried petals. 😊
So far the way I have used Calendula is in combination with Peppermint to create a nice soothing tea for my digestive tract, very delicious. I’ve also taken a relaxing bath with Calendula and sprinkled some of her dried petals along with argan oil in the bath water and I must say, it was probably the most relaxing bath I’ve had in a long time. In the very near future I plan on experimenting with and creating elixirs or tinctures. And since I’m a baker by trade, I plan on looking at ways I can incorporate Calendula in some recipes I’m developing. Oh yes! Calendula and I are going to be besties for the long haul.
I know, I know… this is only the beginning of new herbs coming into my life and there’s going to be many, many more throughout my herbal studies I’ll be attracted to and want to form special bonds with. I also know with my Venus being in Gemini, I can be a little fickle when it comes to love but for now (I’m sorry Licorice) Calendula has my full attention.
*My dried Calendula came from Frontier Organic Spices and Herbs. I’m thinking each vendor might have different regions where there herbs come from which might effect the taste and color. I will soon be ordering some Calendula from Mountain Rose Herbs to compare.