While planting our garden this summer there were quite a few plants on my list that I wanted to be sure to get into the ground – top of that list was calendula. This beautiful flower has proven again and again in our household that it has wonderful healing powers. You may also know calendula as marigold.
Cuts, Burns, Bruises
It is thought that calendula is so effective treating wounds because it increases blood flow to the wounded area – helping the body to repair itself. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that help keep the wound from getting an infection. It is most commonly made into tinctures, ointments, creams, compresses, and washes to treat the wounds.
Due to calendula’s anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, many use it to treat acne. You will actually notice that it is an ingredient in many store-bought acne medications. It commonly lowers the redness that is commonly associated with a breakout while helping to clean out pores to prevent future ones. Calendula is thought to aid in skin cell regeneration which contributes to lessening the appearance of past acne scars (and other scars in general).
Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Currently, there have been many studies on the use of calendula to ease side effects of cancer treatment such as radiation. Recently, research suggests that calendula is effective in the “prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer” – another great benefit of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another study was done with the use of a calendula mouth rinse to treat and prevent cases of oropharyngeal mucositis for head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. The study found the “mouthwash significantly decreased the intensity of OM compared to placebo”.
Is It Hard To Grow?
Calendula is actually a rather easy plant to grow. I have started it from a seed with much success in the past. There are many reputable places where you can get high-quality seeds at a good price. However, make sure you are getting Calendula officinalis.
I have planted calendula in both pots and directly in the soil with much success. Typically I plant it in semi-shade but it also does well in full sun. I live in the deep south where temperatures are warm early so I typically lay my seeds in early spring along with my spring garden. Do some research on what the best growing times are where you live.
Thankfully, Calendula enjoys being watered so as long as you don’t drown it (sound like I’ve done that to a few plants?) then maintenance is rather low. Harvesting this plant is easy! It is important to harvest this plant regularly to keep it in good supply. Simply harvest the flower-heads which will force the plant to produce more buds. You can easily have plenty to work with fresh and then dry some for later months!
Calendula is a simple, versatile plant that gives you a wide array of healing options and a pretty picture for your garden. I’m not sure what I enjoy more – the beauty of the flower or its many uses. Maybe both!
Grab Your Seeds!
So grab your seeds and start planting! (assuming it’s warm enough where you are that is.)
Don’t have time to grow your own? You can grab some from:
Do You Grow Calendula? What Is Your Favorite Use?