(NaturalNews) Calendula (or Marigold as it is most commonly known as) is found growing in many homes throughout Europe, South Africa and Europe. These flowers have been used for many years to treat conditions such as eczema, boils, abscesses and stomach ulcers. Its scientific name (Calendula Officinalis) has an interesting meaning in that the word Calendula refers to a calendar (owing to the fact that this plant blooms all year round), and the word Officinalis is the term used to refer to an alchemist's workshop.
The plant may be used in many forms, namely as a salve, tincture, oil or as a soothing tea. When taken orally, these flowers have been known to soothe recurring vomiting, fevers, stomach ulcers, boils and inflammation. It has been reported that when used as a tea, Calendula has helped to soothe conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye). Those suffering from bruising, sores, pulled or strained muscles and sprains can benefit greatly from using it in tincture or salve/lotion form.
These wonder flowers can also be used to treat a number of skin and other conditions, among them eczema, nappy rash, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers, minor burns, sunburn, gastritis, herpes sores, shingles, warts and sore throats. They are also highly beneficial in assisting with wound healing as they are an excellent anti-inflammatory. Calendula has even been reported to help ease menstrual cramps and earache. Those suffering from chicken pox and other bug bites can use Calendula as a salve to soothe itching and irritation. It is also excellent for detoxifying the body, as it cleanses the gallbladder and liver.
People suffering from gum disease can benefit by gargling with a tea made from the Calendula flowers. This plant has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making it an excellent choice for those suffering from athletes` foot and thrush. Recent discovery has shown that the stem of this plant has just as many healing properties as the flower itself.
To make a soothing oil that can be used externally, you will need some of these plants in dried form. Place them in a glass jar which has a tight-fitting lid and cover them with extra virgin olive oil. Close the container and store in a dark, cool location, giving it a shake each day for 2 weeks. Strain the leaves from the mixture and add a Vitamin E capsule as a preservative. This can be applied to itchy or irritated skin to soothe it.
To benefit from Calendula in tea form, pour 200ml of boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of the flowers and steep for 15 minutes. This tea may be taken 3 times a day. Lemon or honey may be added to vary the taste and flavour a little. A soothing cream or lotion can be made by combining 3 tablespoons of calendula oil with 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil, 1.5 tablespoons of shea butter and 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter. Place the ingredients in a pot and simmer them on low until they have melted. Ensure they are mixed well and pour into glass jars to store them. Leave them uncovered until they have cooled completely.
It is important to ensure that once these remedies have been made, they are stored in a cool dark place and used within 6 months of being prepared.
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography. Her blog may be viewed here Some of her photography work may be viewed here Other articles written by her may be viewed here