One of my favorite herbs is Calendula and that's why I chose to make it my Herb of the Week. Not only is it pretty, it is packed full of valuable benefits for whole body health.
Many people cringe when I tell them that I incorporate Calendula into my diet occasionally. Not because of the herb (or flower) itself, it's when they find out that Calendula is a fully edible flower (just like Roses, Begonias, Chrysanthemums, Dandelions and Hibiscus); they instantly imagine me picking the flower from my garden and just snacking on it right then and there. Well, that doesn't happen :) The flowers are cultivated and dried appropriately prior to consumption.
In the summer months, I'll make a delightful herbal infused water and will incorporate the Calendula petals (or whole flowers) into ice cubes. Several times throughout the year, I'll even mix Calendula petals into an omelet. They are a beautiful addition to a recipe with the added herbal benefits.
You might be wondering, what's so special about Calendula? Let me enlighten you for a moment. Calendula's benefits include but are not limited to:
Soothe and repair digestive issues
Used as a remedy for peptic ulcers and GERD
Promotes the healing of intestinal inflammation
Helps prevent heartburn
Can be used to soothe a sore throat
If applied to the skin in a lotion or salve, it will smooth and/or repair damaged or irritated skin
Boosts the immune system
Promotes wound healing
Has antifungal and antibacterial properties
Used to stimulate the lymphatic system and treat swollen lymph nodes
Don't use Calendula internally if you're pregnant as it has been know to promote the menses.
Real World Use
One of the first uses of Calendula I had an experience with was when a friend of mine came to me and said he had chronic gastric reflux due to drinking several highly acidic drinks (energy drinks...I won't name which ones) each day for a long period of time (years). This friend of mine was tired of always having to carry tums and taking Prilosec daily and wanted to know if there was a more natural approach to easing his bouts of gastric reflux. First off, I told him to stop drinking energy drinks. He scoffed and laughed and said that he was addicted and needed that boost of "energy" to get him through the day. Secondly, I told him to replace his energy drinks with tea. It won't have the 160-300mg of caffeine that his energy drink have (tea has about 25-30mg of caffeine) but he will feel more energized throughout the day and won't have the crashes his body is going through. Through many conversations and a trial run of drinking tea, I was able to successfully convert him over to tea.
Fast forward to a year later, he no longer drinks energy drinks, is now addicted to tea and no longer takes tums and Prilosec for gastric reflux.
The main tea I had him incorporate into his daily regiment was a Calendula based tea. It was simple to make:
Boil 1 cup of water
Add 1 tablespoon of dried Calendula petals and a teaspoon of Mullein to a tea ball
Steep for 10 minutes and enjoy
For added flavor he added a spring of mint and a teaspoon of local raw organic honey.
Nature is a wonderful thing and has so many useful benefits that most of us will never know or begin to understand. But, I hope you enjoyed reading this post, learned something new today and are on your way to taking that next step to living a more natural and holistic lifestyle.
If you did enjoy the post, please share it with your friends and if you have suggestions or want to learn more about a specific topic, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org OR click on the chat icon at the bottom right of your screen and I will reply as quickly as possible.
Thanks for reading and blessings to you!
NOTE: Please remember, the information contained here is for educational purposes only and isn't meant to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any disease. Before taking / using any of these items, please consult your doctor; especially if you're pregnant and/or taking any prescription medication.