Calendula, (Calendula officinalis), also known as Pot Marigold, is probably one of the most medicinal herbs I know. The flower of the plant is the most medicinal. It has been used for years for skin ailments. Mothers were known to use it as a cream on babies for diaper rash due to it's anti inflammatory properties. I use Calendula infused oil and tincture when I make lip balms and lotion. I infuse the dried Calendula flowers in olive oil. It infuses for to 2-4 months. I use Vodka to infuse the tincture. The alcohol pulls the medicinal properties from the plants.
Growing Calendula is very easy, too. Calendula prefers moist soil. It can grow in semi shade or no shade. Calendula will bloom from June to November. It seems cold tolerant, where I live anyway. The flowers are pollinated by bees. The flowers also attract beneficial insects to the garden. They are known to deter pests in the garden because of their insect repelling properties. Calendula is an annual but I have had plants drop seeds and have new plants the following season.Learningherbs.com. John Gallagher, wife Kimberly and children Rowan and Hailey. Learningherbs offers medicine making kits. This was the first time I ever made medicinal infusions and salves. A few years ago, a new website was created called Herb Mentor. Herb Mentor is full of herb information, study guides, videos and certified teachers.
Besides studying on these websites, I purchased a book. Not just a book but a home manual. This book taught me how to become intimate with (herbaceous) plants. It's called The Herbal Medicine- Maker's Handbook by James Green. Tis was when I decided to learn all I could about Calendula. I purchased some seeds, planted and watched this awesome plant develop.I then started using another book called Calendula by Mindy Green. This small but powerful book holds so many recipes for using this awesome plant. I now use it as a guideline for creating my own recipes. As mentioned, I make lip balm and lotion. The main ingredient has always been Calendula. There are times when I use the lip balm on wounds. It heals it in no time.
With the Spring season approaching, read up on Calendula, get some seeds and start some plants inside. Even if you never make anything medicinal, the leaves can be used in salads and the flowers can be fed to chickens.