Scientific name: Calendula officinalis

Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a great flower that has been used for generations, with edible nutritious flowers being used in soups and salads. It’s a hardy plant that has an extended blooming season, and in some warmer areas can go year round. This herb is very effective for cleansing the lymphatic system and belongs to a family of cancer-fighting plants. Fun fact: if the flowerheads are closed after 7:00 AM, it will rain that day.

Pick and use the flowers when they are sticky. The stickiness is a resin that has anti-fungal properties.

Nutrients

  • Carotenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Mucilage
  • Saponins
  • Bitters
  • Volatile oil
  • Resins
  • Essential oil

Health Benefits

Calendula is versatile and can be taken internally or used externally. The whole flower may be used, but just the petals alone are recommended.

  • Anti-fungal: such as Athlete’s foot
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral: including herpes
  • Astringent
  • Aids in healing wounds (promotes cell repair and growth)
  • Helps heal other skin problems (eg. bruises, burns, sores, skin ulcers, rashes, etc) while reducing pain
  • Antiseptic
  • Liver detox
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Menstrual regulator
  • Stimulates bile production
  • Blood cleanser and stimulates circulation
  • Gentle and effective for babies (eg. cradle cap, diaper rash, etc)

Cooking Tips

Use calendula flowers in salads, soups in the colder season, and even in a fancy omelet!

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Calendula tea can be used to:
    • Treat thrush
    • Moderate fever
  • Gastrointestinal problems and ulcers: mix flowers with marshmallow root
  • Cramps: mix with valerian or cramp bark
  • Indigestion: mix with peppermint
  • Diarrhea: calendula by itself or mixed with blackberry root
  • Swollen glands: use flowers alone or mix with burdock, red clover, cleavers, or chickweed
  • Yeast infection: use a suppository with 2-5 drops of calendula (marigold) essential oil and 2-5 drops of tea tree oil, 1-2 times per day for a few minutes
  • Infections hepatitis: 1-2 cups of tea per day
  • Varicose veins: create an ointment and bandage your legs with a thick layer daily until the veins disappear, about 1-4 weeks

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

This tougher plant can grow just about anywhere when the ground is thawed.

Put em in the ground

Some seeds will replant themselves for the next season, otherwise collect seeds in the fall and plant in the spring.

  • Full sun
  • Good fertile soil (ideally)
  • Occasional watering
Harvest

Throughout the summer and into the fall if there are no signs of mildew. Pick flowers when it’s sunny out as they will have their best healing benefits.

Care

Calendula is actually one of a group of plants used as “companion” plants. The scent helps deter harmful bugs away from other plants you might be growing, so it will do the work for you!

They help deter bugs like:

  • Mexican bean beetles
  • Aphids
  • Cabbage maggots
  • Asparagus beetles
  • Tomato hornworms