A stash of calendula is an essential herbal medicine to have on hand for making remedies to treat minor wounds, burns and infections. This hardy plant is easy to grow, preserve and use, let’s find out how!
When winter descends, the veggie garden takes on tones of dark greens and purple. Calendula punctuates the garden with pops of orange. The flowers seem to have an internal light, no wonder they attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden all year round.
Calendula Water Infusion
- Tea – calendula tea has been enjoyed as a tea for centuries to aid in the healing of inflammation and ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract. Check with your healthcare practitioner before drinking calendula infusion regularly.
- Mouthwash and Gargle– preparations aid in the healing of gingivitis, ulceration, thrush and other minor infections of the mouth and throat. It is also useful for tonsillitis and pharyngitis. Swish a cooled infusion around the mouth, making sure it is being pushed through the teeth, gargle and then spit out or swallow.
- Eye infections – for minor eye infections you can soak a cotton ball in cooled calendula infusion (strained through a very fine doubled cloth or doubled over clean nut milk bag) and apply liberally around your eye with your eyelid shut. You will need to make a fresh infusion every day and do not double-dip with the cotton ball to prevent cross-infection.
Calendula and Lavender Healing Balm
- For every 1 cup of cold-pressed vegetable oil, add 1/2 cup of dried calendula flowers. Place in a saucepan over very low heat. Bring the oil to just below a simmer.
- Allow infusing at this heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Strain off the flowers through a sieve lined with doubled cheesecloth.
- Store the oil in glass bottles/jars in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
Calendula & Lavender Healing Balm
A versatile healing balm for minor skin wounds and inflammation.
- 250mL calendula infused extra virgin olive oil
- 50g natural beeswax, grated
- 25g medicinal honey
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
- Assemble clean, sterile glass jars and lids to hold approximately 300mL of balm.
- Heat the beeswax and oil in a double boiler (see note) over medium heat. The beeswax will slowly dissolve into the oil. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- When the beeswax is almost dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, but not so long as for the balm to harden. Add the honey and essential oil, then stir again to combine.
- Pour into a small jug with a fine spout or, load up a large syringe.
- Fill the jars. You will need to work quickly as the balm will harden. If you are using a jug, stir the balm between pours to ensure the honey does not settle in the bottom.
- Allow the jars to cool (I place a piece of kitchen paper on top). When cool cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
If you do not have a double boiler simply pop a stainless steel or heatproof glass mixing bowl over a saucepan. Fill to a quarter with water and bring to a simmer. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
You have done a great job, I like your passion towards blogging. It is very useful…. I have also written about Calendula on my website. If you have time please check it out….
Thanks Vikalp. Calendula is such a versatile healing plant. I am popping over now to check out your post.
I have a question: does the drying method matter when working with calendula is one way better than another… Specifically can I use a food dehydrator to dry my calendula flowers or does it take away from the medicinal properties if they are dried on a traditional wire rack for 10 days?
Hi Sabrina, you should have no problem drying your calendula in a dehydrator. Just make sure you keep the temperature at or below 40C / 100F. This will ensure they retain their medicinal quality. :)
Can I ask where you get medicinal honey at?? Or can you use any kind of raw unfiltered honey? Is there a difference between the two?
Raw unfiltered honey is simply honey that has not undergone any processing, filtration, or pasteurisation. It is extracted straight from the beehive and contains all its natural goodness, such as pollen, enzymes, and antioxidants. It is thicker and richer in flavour than regular honey and often has a cloudy appearance due to bee pollen and propolis.
Local raw unfiltered honey contains pollen and products of pollen broken down by the bees that may help de-sensitise people with allergies to local pollen-producing plants.
On the other hand, medicinal honey is a specific type used for its therapeutic properties. When it comes to honey, there are two types you should know about: Manuka honey and Jellybush honey. Both kinds of honey are considered medicinal because they contain high levels of a unique compound called methylglyoxal (MGO), which gives them their therapeutic properties.
Manuka honey comes from bees that feed on the nectar of the Manuka tree in New Zealand. Jellybush honey, on the other hand, comes from bees that feed on the nectar of the Leptospermum polygalifolium plant, also known as the Jellybush, which is native to Australia.
These honey have been used for millennia for their antibacterial properties and are often used topically to treat wounds, burns, and other skin conditions. In addition, some take it orally to soothe sore throats, boost their immune system, or aid digestion.
You should be able to find medicinal honey in the health food shop or chemist, where they will hopefully advise you on the one right for your needs :)