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Seven Healing Wonders of the Calendula Flower

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seven Healing Wonders of the Calendula Flower
By Catherine Potin Platinum Quality Author

The Calendula flower is a very bright orange flower. From the family of the Marigold plant and can grow in pots, window boxes or outside in the garden. Calendulas love the sun and are very easy to care for. Plant preferably around April, you can harvest the flowers from early summer to late fall depending of your location. Originally grown in Egypt on the border of the Nile, it was already used before Cleopatra's time for its healing properties. Healers from the Meditterranee and the Middle East utilize the whole flower for different medicines. (Skin, digestive system, wounds, vascular problems just to name a few.)

The easiest way to take advantage of all the properties of this wonderful plant is to harvest the whole flower and separate the petals before placing them in a flat basket. Actually you might use any natural container as long as the petals can breathe. Cover with a clean cloth and let dry for a few days in a warm dark place. As any medicine herbs they need to dry in the dark to keep their healing properties. Store in a glass dark jar preferably or away from the light in a cool place. Then just use the petals, as you need them.

1. Sun damaged Skin

Infuse the Calendula petals with carrier oil at very low heat for about 8 hours in double boiler so you do not burn the oil. Strain the petals in cheesecloth and keep aside. Add the infused carrier oil with equal amount of Carrot seed oil and Apricot Kernel oil. Most recommended carrier oils are: jojoba oil, grape seed oil, wheat germ oil, and hemp oil.

2. Soothing and Relaxing Bath

Take the cheese clothes with the Calendula petals from the above recipe and put them in your warm bath. It will soothe and heal your skin. It is particularly efficient for dry and itchy skin. For a more relaxing moment, add a few Lavender essential oil drops and light a scented candle. The bright orange color of the flower will also bring some sun to your soul during the long winter blues.

3. Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Use the carrier oil infused with the Calendula petals as a daily moisturizer for your body. Keep in a cold place or even in the fridge. Another way to create a nice moisturizer for the body is to use olive oil. Add the petals to an organic cold pressed olive oil, in a dark glass jar and let it sit for 12 to 15 days. You will know it is ready because of the dark orange color. Use a cheesecloth to drain the oil before using it. With olive oil it is better to add a little bit of Vitamin E before storing to naturally preserve the moisturizer. Be aware that if you keep it in the fridge, the olive oil will solidify.

You actually can use the same process with any kind of oil you would like: Avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil, pumpkin seed oil, rosehip oil and the oils listed above are the most common carrier oil. Again you can keep the cheese clothe with the Calendula petals and use it in your bath.

If you do not have use for it right away, place the cheese clothe in a close container in the fridge. It will keep for at least 2 to 3 weeks.

4. Healing Wounds

The medicinal properties of Calendula are very complex and well research. I just want to pass on a few of Grandma recipes. The following are an alternative to commercial antiseptics and ointments. I always have a little jar of Calendula oil at my house in my first aid kit. I have found that applying a little bit of Calendula Oil on scratches, cold sores, light cuts, bruises and burns have worked very well for me, my dog and the kids.

5. Calendula Tincture

1 cup of petals mixed with vodka and distilled water: 2 part vodka, 1 part water until the petals are covered. Seal it off with saran wrap. Let it sit in a warm dark place for 6 to 8 weeks. Strain the petals and put the tincture in a dark glass jar. Take 3 or 4 drops in a 1 oz glass of water for digestive problems and gastro intestinal upsets.

6. Tea

Infuse the dry leaves with boiling water to make a wonderful natural tea. Very good for sluggish liver and upset stomach.You can mix with nettle leaves or fresh mint leaves for a different taste and more healing properties.

7. In Cooking a Great Alternative to Saffron

Rich in vitamin C, it is a great add on to salads, soups, and pasta or rice dishes. Nice colorful finishing touch for your dish, the petals are pleasing to the eye and the palate as well as healing for the digestive system. When you cook your rice or your sauces with a few petals, they will naturally turn to yellow or orange.

It is easy to plant Calendula seeds. They prefer a light well drained soil with full exposure to the sun. If you were going to use the flowers and the petals for consumption, I would recommend buying organic seeds. This plant reseeds easily so all you have to do is let a few flowers go to seeds for your next year harvest. It is important to collect your Calendula flowers when the flower is wide open and healthy. This is when all of the healing properties are their peak. Plant around April and you can harvest until late in the fall. If you do not have a garden, planting the seeds in window boxes will work very well to.

Catherine Potin is a succesful entrepreneur and publisher of Healthy Facial Care Her drive is to create a multifacet program to healthy skin from the inside out. This concept brings together the interlink of diet for a clear skin, natural facial care and time out in your home spa. Each step is unique and with that makes it easy to choose the appropriate regimen for your skin and well being.

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