What is Calendula?From Wisegeek,
"Calendula is the genus name of a flowering plant more commonly known as the marigold, which is not only an attractive border plant, but is edible and has useful medicinal properties as well. Be warned, however, if you want to collect and dry your garden marigolds for herbal uses, that a number of other plants are also called 'marigolds'. Make sure yours are true Calendula officinalis before drying or eating them. Calendula flowers and leaves are edible and make an attractive addition to salads and soups. The flavor is usually slightly bitter and can add a tangy or tart flavor to your usual greens.
Calendula has a long history as a healing herb, most notably for the healing of wounds. It has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent infections, and it can support coagulation and scab-formation in sores that resist healing. For this reason, it is contraindicated in wounds that need to remain open until all the infection has drained away, since it may cause premature scabbing that would necessitate reopening the healing wound. Calendula can be applied as a poultice - a warm mash of the flowers held in place with a cloth - over wounds to stop bleeding, aid healing and prevent infection, and was a common battlefield first aid during the nineteenth century and beyond. Calendula was also widely used in tinctures, or herbal extractions with alcohol, and infusions, or teas made from the dried herb."
Health Benefits of CalendulaMy favorite source, Herb Companion says:
"Used since Roman times, calendula (Calendula officinalis) has a centuries-old reputation as a wound healer. The bright yellow and orange blossoms contain volatile oils, tannins and resins that calm inflammation; speed healing; and have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
In recent studies, calendula has been proven to help heal venous leg ulcers, which are notoriously slow-healing wounds caused by poor circulation. Calendula often is a primary ingredient in herbal salves for skin rashes, diaper rash, minor cuts and burns, and chapped lips. A strong tea made from calendula blossoms makes an excellent footbath for athlete’s foot, a facial wash for acne, an eyewash for conjunctivitis, a mouth rinse for aphthous ulcers (canker sores) or a vaginal wash for yeast infections."
It's a pretty Awesome plant!
Grow your own Calendula (Marigold)Calendula is easily grown from seed and may be sown directly in the garden from early spring on into summer, with plenty of time left to get a good harvest of flowers. Tolerant of poor soils, calendula will grow in partial shade or full sun. The plant requires regular watering. Sometimes known as “pot marigold,” calendula is easily grown in pots on the doorstep or in window boxes. Ideal for children, the seeds are large and easily handled, and germination is almost assured even if planted by the inexperienced gardener. Sow about ¼ inch deep and pat down the row. Keep weeded and thin to 6 inches to 1 foot apart. The first flowers are produced only 40 to 50 days after seed germination.
Calendula is also a great Companion Plant.
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*Don't forget, October 4th at Back to the Basics! The Salsa Garden Giveaway!