Calendula is also known to stimulate the production of collagen at wound sites. This explains calendulas powerful ability to minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks.
I will admit I have a soft spot for Calendula. It is one of the first herbs I began using when I first started making my 'potions'. The first creams and salves I made were for treating my son's excema and calendula featured prominently in these recipes. I felt comfortable using this herb in the early days of my herbal journey as it is as gentle as it is versatile. All the research I did back in those early, pre-internet, days left me feeling reassured that calendula was safe for me to use with my young family. Since those early days I think I have used calendula in almost every medium imaginable. The versatile herb can can be infused in oil and water lending itself to creams, salves, compresses, washes, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas.
The final wonderful gift of calendula is how easy it is to grow and the pest fighting abilities of this plant. As a member of the marigold family it is a useful companion plant for tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, peas and beans. It repels aphids, asparagus beetles, and tomato horn worms to name just a few. The fresh vibrant petals are beautiful and cheery in the garden and they are edible! They can be added as food colourant, and make a great addition to fresh salads; besides they just look so pretty in the garden.
It is the petals of the plant that contain the active compounds we are looking for. Harvesting the flowers at full bloom they can be immediately infused or dried and stored until needed. I have not had a problem with dried calendula loosing potency. I use it both fresh and dried and it has been my experience that both are equally effective. As with any dried herb be sure to store in a cool dark place as UV light will break down the components. The only caveat to that would be tinctures. I have this thing about tinctures and I try to use only fresh herbs for tinctures.
Think about growing calendula next year, even if it is just for its pest repelling properties. If you want to try a calendula herbal product, harvest the petals when they are in full bloom, you can use it to make a tea that can be used cold as a toner for acne prone skin. Or infuse the petals in some olive oil and apply to cuts or skin lacerations. It is a forgiving herb to experiment with you will be surprised by the powerful punch it packs!
Have a great day everyone.
*As always, this post is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness. Please seek the help of your medical practitioner for medical conditions*