Last month we introduced you to the delightful benefits of using bath and body products containing the herb 'Calendula Officinalis' otherwise known as Pot Marigold. This month we would like to encourage you to try growing this versatile herb in your own garden.
Part of the Daisy family, this annual plant has beautiful sunny yellow or orange flowers that bloom from mid-summer until the first frost and can grow to heights of 60 centimeters.
As you can see from the picture above, it makes a lovely, vibrant addition to any garden. It's also relatively easy to grow...simply plant your seeds in early spring by covering them lightly with one-quarter inch of garden soil or compost. Try to pick a spot where the Calendula plant can re-seed itself. Provide a space of 12 inches between your Calendula plants to allow for growth expansion and water the plants regularly. For optimum growth, a dose of fertilizer or compost once a month is beneficial.
Once your flowers have opened you can harvest some of them for use in your home. Did you know that drinking Calendula tea is said to help fight many illnesses and improve overall health?
To make a tea, pour boiling water over two or three teaspoons of Calendula petals. Let the mixture steep for about 15 minutes. Calendula tea can be consumed up to 3 times a day and is believed to be beneficial for the following when taken internally:
* To detoxify and protect the liver, gallbladder and other organs from long-term damage or failure.
* To reducing fever and sore throat associated with the common cold or other viral infections.
* To relieve gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, as well as stomach ulcers and other digestive problems.
* To clear or prevent symptoms of conjunctivitis, or "pink eye" internally.
* To reduce the pain associated with menstrual cramps as well as easing hot flashes.
* To help repair skin damage and fight aging.
The tea can also be used as a natural wash for wounds and skin ailments because of its amazing ability to speed up the natural healing process. Bruises, cuts, scrapes, minor burns, eczema, athlete's foot, diaper rash, cradle cap in babies, sore nipples in nursing mothers and sunburns can benefit from the use of a Calendula wash.
Calendula flowers can be used as food additive as well. They add flavour and colour to cereals, rice, soups and the petals are delightful in salads.
With so many uses and benefits, a Calendula plant or 3 in the garden would definitely be a positive addition.
Here are a few (of the many) bath and body products containing Calendula that are available in our members shops.