Calendula

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Photographed by Amanda Harman

Calendula. It’s looking really pretty this time of year. I love how fiery that orange can get. Everyday, I have at least one ready flower to harvest. I’m not one for the mundane, and living on a homestead is far from it, but there’s something very connecting and exceptional about checking my plant babies everyday to see how they grow and progress, despite how repetitive it may seem. I especially love to visit them after a rain. My animals despise the rain (minus the waterfowl), but my plants thrive in it. And contrasting the very vocal protests of my herd, the plants have been celebrating the rain, as evident by their lush green leaves, brightly colored flowers, and towering heights.

SONY DSC
Photographed by Amanda Harman

Looking like a daisy–which makes sense because it’s part of the same family–Calendula has bright yellow/orange flowers. The flowers are what’s used for medicinal properties.

This flower is very multipurposed as it is used for culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes. That and it really is just really pretty.

Culinary

You don’t see it a lot anymore, but this was a popular flower to add to salads and stews. It is completely edible and its consumption won’t hurt you.

Anti-Inflammatory

Linoleic acid is found in high concentrations in Calendula. Calendula is a helpful remedy for:

  1. diaper rash
  2. dermatitis
  3. ear infections
  4. ulcers
  5. sore throats

Cosmetic

Calendula can improve skin firmness and hydration. A strong rinse/tea can be made to apply topically.

Wound Care

Calendula increases blood flow and oxygen to wounds, which can result in a faster healing process as new tissue is grown. When taken internally in tea form, it can help with ulcers.

Menstruation

Calendula can help induce a menstrual cycle (do not take when pregnant as it can lead to early labor). This herb can also treat cramping.

Antimicrobial and Antiviral

The oils and acids found within this plant can fight pathogens, candida symptoms, and even some antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. Calendula is used in a few antiseptic topical remedies because of this.

SONY DSC
Photographed by Amanda Harman

I have one plant that is blooming and has enough to harvest daily. I harvest the flowers and dry them then store them. Once I have enough I infuse them in an oil for future salves and any additional teas I could use.

Thanks for reading about one of the herbs we have in our medicinal garden. If you want to see more, click here

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Medicinal Herbs

Happy Monday, everyone! I want to start this post off saying my intent is in no way to discredit modern medicine. I understand and fully acknowledge its place and importance in society. Advances in medicine have been, in large, beneficial and I am not going to claim otherwise.

We do see however, a sort of abuse in the use of medicine. One of the most baffling for me is the overuse of antibiotics. If you have a viral illness, the antibiotic doesn’t really work anyway. Longterm overuse of the antibiotic can result in the development of resistant bacteria.

I always highly encourage others to do their own independent research, and I recommend this article to start with.

What makes the general public so quick to seek out those prescriptions are the discomforts experienced during colds and other viral illnesses. We especially don’t deal well as parents if our children become ill. We want fast solutions to our problems. The sad fact of the matter is, the best option is often to let the illness run its course.

So with this in mind, the goal we should have is not to grab that antibiotic, but to find ways to alleviate the symptoms as much as possible. There are several herbs that can help with symptoms and be of further benefit to your health in other areas.

I use colds as an example frequently, but truly there are herbs for other ailments like different types of pain, chronic issues like allergies, focusing, fatigue, sleep aids, digestion issues, etc.

We began a medicinal herb garden. Here is a small list of some of the herbs we have so far:

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This picture shows our spearmint, peppermint, and lemon balm. We have them growing in our hydroponics.

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Lavender, also growing in our hydroponics.

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Vicks plant. Bet you can’t guess what this smells like…

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Comfrey. This plant is amazing.

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Sage.

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Rue.

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Feverfew.

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Rosemary.

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Mugwort.

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Mullein.

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Yarrow.

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Calendula.

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Eucalyptus.

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Wormwood

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Passionflower.

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Valerian.

I dabble in homemade salves, tinctures, infused oils, and essential oils. I would like to do homemade goat’s milk soap in the future. There will be future posts on each individual herb in this garden, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out if you have a question about any of them. We will add posts as we add to our medicinal garden as well.

Anyone else here work with herbs?