Calendula Properties, Energetics, and Uses

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Modern herbalists of all sorts are often well aware of the gentle power of Calendula to help heal topical conditions. Calendula, often called Pot Marigold, is often included in books and lessons for beginning herbalists because it’s a surprisingly safe in larger quantities.

Safe, however, doesn’t mean not potent. Calendula has been used by home herbalists for centuries to help drive out infections of many kinds. Topically, it’s most often used as a healing cream for skin abrasions, wounds, and burns. Calendula helps tone the skin and isolates any foreign or infectious matter while activating the body’s natural systems for eliminating toxins, waste, and germs to remove that matter quickly. As a homeopathic remedy, which is taken internally rather than applied topically, Calendula can move with surprising speed to help the body mobilize it’s defense against infections topically or internally. The 30c potency is one that can be used safely at home when signs of infection occur, such as puss, red streaks, swelling, heated tissues, and pain in the injured area. Calendula cream or vinegar are effective for abrasions with or without signs of infection as well as for minor burns including sunburn.

Ayurvedic practitioners use Calendula to reduce balance Pitta while reducing Kapha and increasing Vata. This means Calendula is good for those folks who have too much damp in their systems, particularly when heat is part of their symptom picture. Fever, hot flashes, and night sweats are all heated conditions that may be helped by Calendula, for instance. When those conditions show up in someone with a watery or earthy constitution, a remedy that reduces excess water while managing fire is a good it. But, Calendula isn’t just for folks with a strongly Kapha constitution. When damp signs, such as swelling of the tongue, damp and lingering phlegm our an unproductive cough, or swelling of tissues, are present, Calendula is called for regardless of the constitutional type.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Calendula, also known as Jin Zhan Ju, is used to tonify the blood, liver, and Yin or heart center. In all these cases, it’s working to dry or remove excess damp or phlegm while improving circulation and moving energies gently but surely toward balance.

Traditional Western Herbalists have often included Calendula in diet as well as in medicinal form. As a pot herb, for which it held strongest sway in old Europe, Calendula helps tone the body and fight infection. Fall, winter and spring are the seasons in which Calendula was most likely to be added to soups and stews then. Today, it’s often overlooked in spring detox formulas despite it’s ability to tone the digestive system and help the body rid itself of lingering or built-up toxins. Calendula is more often added to fall, winter, and spring teas designed to prevent and heal through flus and colds as a preventative. Calendula is bacteriostatic rather than anti-viral, so it helps prevent a secondary infection…which is particularly valuable for those prone to sinus infection.

That ability to isolate and protect is what makes Calendula a wonderful flower essence and energetic herb for lack of clear communication and depression. Calendula helps create appropriate boundaries, making it safe to receive even those messages that feel threatening or frightening without integrating them immediately. By isolating them appropriately, Calendula offers you the opportunity to consider the new energies or ideas before reacting. This helps improve communication for folks who tend to respond with sharp, cutting words or who move directly into a defensive stance and thus never quite receive within the communication structure.

Often, people who most need Calendula are those who seem cold and distant, quick to argue or judge, and who often seem to respond with contempt when confronted with anything that doesn’t already agree fully with their current ideology. They’re often highly emotional in their reaction, even when they are not of an overly emotional disposition normally. They can also be those who tend toward emotional extremes which get in the way of clear communication. Calendula flower essence can help ease the emotional excess when paired with an appropriate flower essence for the root cause of those extremes.

Calendula helps ease depression, especially that which shows up when the weather is cloudy or conditions in life seem soggy and weighed down by in-action or a lack of appropriate fire. For this sort of depression, try a cup of Calendula tea, perhaps paired with a gentle digestive such as Chamomile or a gentle fire-stoking herb such as ginger.

Calendula pairs well with black tea, too, particularly when the last lingering vestiges of cold or flu don’t quite want to let go. Calendula with black tea is strongly astringent and can help dry lingering dampness in the lungs and sinuses when those symptoms just don’t want to clear. With a drop of Bergamot essential oil (of the highest quality), the combination of Calendula and black tea can go a long way toward easing the winter-time blues. Likewise, you can add a little calendula to your Earl Grey tea for the same effect.

Resources

Candace Hunter

Candace Hunter is a self-taught herbalist and artist who never, ever practices on guinea pigs in part because her family and friends are generally up to the job. She is co-author of The Practical Herbalist's Herbal Folio series and author of Herbalism for the Zombie Apocalypse. She edits The Practical Herbalist website and Practical Herbalist Press publications. She has also recently entered into the field of podcasting with reckless abandon. Listen to her on Real Herbalism Radio today, see her work at CandaceHunter.com, or find her on Facebook at Candace Hunter Creations.


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