Where I live, marigold is almost seen as a weed: it grows easily all over the place. However, unfortunately not everywhere: it didn’t use to grow in my garden, so I threw out some seeds and now it thrives here as well. I wanted this flower because of its bright yellow/orange colour, which fills me with sunshine and happiness, but then I learned that it’s actually also a medicinal herb. Calendula officinalis, the plant’s Latin name, indicates that it used to be sold in pharmacies; the specific epithet officinalis means ‘of the dispensary’ in Latin. Among other healing elements, it contains:
Allantoin – moisturising effect, promotes wound healing
Carotinoide – supports eye health, protects skin from environmental toxins
Saponine – enhances the immune system and lowers cholesterol.
Internally, prepared as marigold infusion, these flowers are helpful if you have digestion problems or infections. Proceed as follows:
• Cut off flower heads in the late morning, when the sun has dried the morning dew and the amount of essential oil is the highest.
• Let the flower heads dry on an old newspaper in a dark place
• When dry, put two to three flower heads in a cup
• Add 2,5 dl of boiling water, cover with a lid and let it steep for 10 min.
The marigold’s main area of use is, however, external. It has germicidal and anti-inflammatory properties, softens and protects the skin and helps healing wounds. Here’s how I make calendula oil for external use:
• Cut off the flower heads from 30 marigolds (as described above)
• Remove petals, put them in a glass jar.
• Warm up 2 dl ecological oil (I used sesame) and pour it over the petals.
• Shake the jar for petals to sink down, and see to it that the oil covers them completely.
• Lid on and put it in a sunny place for 3-6 weeks.
That’s all for this time: in around a month I will sieve off the petals and use parts of the oil for skin cream. If you want to know how that’s made, stay tuned! ☺