Calendula

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These pretty yellow flowers are called Calendula or Pot Marigolds. I planted them for the first time this year. What I didn’t realize is that these plants have a long and interesting history. These are an edible plant and the petals can be sprinkled on a salad or dish for some flair. They don’t have a distinct flavor like the Nasturtium flowers. I found a number of baking recipes on the site, Herb of the Year.

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It also has a long history of medicinal and cosmetic uses. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It can be used to make lotions and salves for burns, rashes, and cuts. It was used for centuries to heal wounds and to stop bleeding. During World War I patriotic families would grow masses of calendula to ship to the war zones. You can make your own Calendula tea by boiling the petals in water and remove the petals. We tried this mixture on an injured finger and it did help with the bleeding.

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There are also a number of myths and legends regarding Calendulas.

1. A young woman who walks barefoot in a field of Calendulas will learn to speak to birds.

2. If a woman dreams of Calendula she will soon be married.

3. If you have lost something, place a branch of Calendula under your pillow and you will dream of it’s location.

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7 thoughts on “Calendula”

  • I’ve seen these refered to as poor man’s saffron before, but even though I have a ton of dried petals from them I haven’t tried to replace saffron using them.

  • Fascinating information, NSC. I am always interested in learning about plants’ healing properties and various legends regarding them. I had never read these things about Calendula before. Don’t you just love that name too?

  • Weleda has a great line of diaper creams and calendula oil for diaper rash. When I bought my cloth diaers, the company sent me a little sample of the oil. Interesting that it was grown during the war and that people were so involved in the effort. Rather than the big pharmaceutical companies raking in money hand over fist nowadays.

  • Hanna: While I think Calendula is great, I don’t think it could ever replace Saffron. I’d stick to Saffron if you can afford it. Thanks for coming through on all of my cooking questions.

    Angie and Amy: Thank you, they are very pretty flowers in person.

    Lotus: I agree we live in a much different world.

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