Friday, October 15, 2010

Calendula Flowers

I've talked about the flowers I'm putting into my new garden, which includes those for just show and those that I like but also have medicinal qualities. One of the flowers I'm including is Calendula. I've grown them in the front yard for years and they reseed themselves and are carefree =endearing them to me.

Also is their pretty bright blossoms and that they bloom for months and months until a HARD frost. The flowers are edible and can be tossed into salads boosting your immune system. I've never done that. And the blossoms can be dried and used medicinally. They have benefit inside and outside the body and the list is very long for their uses so I'll just touch on a few things. They have anti-inflammatory qualities and antibacterial as well. Which leads to uses for everything from pink eye to stomach ailments and wound care. Calendula flowers even have cosmetic applications as it is said to decrease the appearance of wrinkles and hydrate the skin. I'm not as beauty conscious as I should be and wrinkles are only just starting to ring my top lip - so my interest in them has been their soothing quality to the skin. This soothing nature makes them a great additive in soap making and skin cremes.

Calendula is reported to be great on acne as it attacks the bacteria and reduces swelling. I'm long past that stage of worry but they also say to try it on bug bites. I just may on my next bee sting. And, if you are looking for an anti-bacterial soap, wouldn't a home-made version that soothes the skin also be a far better choice than one from the store full of harsh chemicals?

My plan is to make my very first batch of goat milk soap (can you believe in probably fifteen years of making soap, I've never used goat milk?). Goat milk is also renowned for soothing the skin and I'll include the calendula flowers, an addition I've used in other soaps. Therefore, I'm plucking away at the blossoms yet, saving some to go to seed and spread into my new flower garden. BUT - oops!!, I now find out I should have not been plucking the bright orange blossoms and should have saved those to go to seed for the back yard's flower garden as one article said they have stronger medicinal properties. Don't know if it is true or not but the deep colors in blueberries and even dark red apples means means more good stuff.

As a note, don't confuse this flower with marigolds even they are often called such. The marigolds in your garden are probably either African marigold or French marigold, a totally different species.

My research did say that if you have a ragweed allergy beware as you might also react to this plant.

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