Calendula: Healing Properties & Uses

by Tom Petruno, Herbalist

When I think of Calendula, the first this I think of are those healing calendula salves, created by every herbal person everywhere. A calendula salve is a healing cream to put on burns, scrapes, and bruises.

BUT, don’t let that be where you stop using and thinking of Calendula though, it has other highly beneficial uses! In this post, I will highlight some of the uses and later we will look at how to dry the flower heads.

First things first, Calendula officinalis is a supreme healer when used externally on your skin.

Make a salve with your favorite carrier oil infused with the flowers, add some beeswax or candelilla wax for vegans, and maybe throw some plantain and lavender in with it and you really have something! Antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal are all terms that can be used correctly what talking about the herb and they are all important to its healing prowess. Take those already mentioned properties and add that calendula promotes cell growth and you have a healing machine. Smear a little bit of salve over a burn several times a day, and you will see accelerated healing in very short order.

Calendula may also be used internally.

It is consumable, and there are reasons you should brew it into a tea and enjoy.

Calendula could be considered a bitter herb, and as with other bitters the flowers will aid in digestion.

Also, as great of a healer it is on your skin it will work to do the same on the inside, specifically the herb has been known to help heal ulcers. When you drink calendula, you may experience a tingling sensation on your lips and tongue.

What else can you do with Calendula?

  • Make a strong tea out of the flowers and used it as a hair rinse for conditioning and shine
  • Use the fresh leaves of the plant as a green in your salad. Add the petals too, they are slightly peppery
  • Dye is made from the flowers to use in butter and cheese!
  • You can make a nice little eye rinse if you have pink eye by infusing the flowers. Make sure to cool your brew before use.
  • Create a tincture

Calendula is a very rewarding plant to have in your garden, harvesting both flower heads and seeds is very easy.

As a marigold, this plant also has few pests and can actually deter pests from some of your other plants. Many varieties are perennial and plants will self sow into your garden, so keep that in mind as this plant helps turn your thumb green.

If you want to have a boastable dried herb collection or an herbal apothecary, Calendula is something you must have on hand. Use it dried or fresh, in salves, teas, tinctures, and herbal preparations – it’s a multipurpose workhorse and a pleasure to grow in your garden.

You might also enjoy this post on how to collect and dry the flowers for max medicinal benefit! 




Tom Petruno, Herbalist

Tom Petruno is a trained plant spirit herbalist, homesteader, stay at home dad, lover of wild foraging, and homebrewing enthusiast. Oh yeah, he’s also Sarah’s husband. He also writes for the Tom’s Tidings section of the monthly The Shaman Life subscription program.

LAST UPDATED: September 15, 2016

Disclaimer:  The information presented in this post is for educational reference and is not to take the place of consultation, diagnosis, treatment and care by a healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult your doctor if you believe your health is at risk.

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