26 May Calendula Officinalis
Calendula is one of the most astringent herbs for the skin, despite it being low in tannins. This makes it gentle, yet extremely effective to combat skin ailments, from minor scrapes and cuts, to rashes, burns, and chapped, dry, cracked and irritated skin. Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold (despite it not being part of the marigold family), is the most commonly used type of calendula in topical applications. It grows easily in sunny locations, and is widely considered by gardening aficionados to be one of the easiest and most versatile varieties of flower to grow, since they tolerate most soils. The florets from the calendula plant are edible, and are often added to spring salads to add a touch of warm color and a slightly spicy aroma and flavor.
When mixed with Lavender essential oil, the combination is a rapid skin healer, and has commonly been used by herbalists for centuries as a poultice applied to burns immediately after the initial injury. Nowadays, things like salves and creams made from calendula, for topical application, are a staple in most herbal first-aid kits and medicine cabinets, and are a go-to for skin irritations such as paper cuts, kitchen burns, chapped lips, and diaper rash. Calendula succus, which is made by extracting the fresh juice from the leaves and young flowers and preserving it with alcohol, is popular among naturopathic physicians, who use it during minor surgical procedures to help heal the incision, and topically on skin wounds and infections. A tea made from the leaves and flowers can be used as a mouthwash to combat gum inflammation and tooth infections, and as a gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis.
As you can see, calendula can be very versatile, and along with Lavender, represents one of the top herbs to keep on-hand for use at home. Organic calendula is one of the top ingredients in our Muscle Melt linament, to help soothe skin and keep it from getting irritated by the strong vasodilators, such as Arnica Montana and Pippali Indian Long Pepper, which give Muscle Melt that cool-but-warm-at-the-same-time sensation that we all love. Calendula is also added into all of our Dragontree apothecary brand lotions, giving them amazing healing, soothing, and skin-calming properties.”
-Michele C. (Lead LMT at The Dragontree PDX)