A member of the Asteraceae family, calendula flowers are native to Southwestern Asia, Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Also known as marigold or pot marigold, the calendula flower (Calendula officinalis) has long been a staple in many flower beds and gardens, as it offers long lasting colour and beauty. However, these bright yellow and orange beautiful flowers not only brighten any room, but they have also historically been used as for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Calendula petals are often used in cooking, as they have a slightly spicy taste similar to saffron, and would compliment many dishes such as salads, broths and stews. Their bright petals were also used as coloring in cheeses and butters in the past.
But calendula flowers are not just aesthetically pleasing, they are also a potent, medicinal herb. With their anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, calendula is certainly an important herbal remedy to have on hand.
But perhaps one of it's most notable qualities is it's medicinal healing abilities. Calendula contains specific properties that help new tissue grow and help decrease swelling and inflammation, among many others:
- Helps wounds and burns heal faster
- Reduces skin inflammation
- Reduces swelling
- Prevents dermatitis
- Treats and heals ear infections
- Heals diaper rash
- Treats hemorrhoids
- Helps heal various skin ailments like acne, eczema, rashes, etc.
Due to its many healing properties, especially pertaining to skin conditions, calendula is often the basis of many skin creams, ointments and topical applications. It helps in wound healing, or speeding up the recovery of cuts, rashes, inflammation, bruising, as well as many other skin conditions.
As you can see, calendula officinalis is a wonderful, versatile flower and herb to have in a vase in your home, on your recipe rack, or in your medicine cabinet!