The herb of the month for September is Calendula! This herb is commonly recognized for the bright yellow and orange flowers it produces, and for its diverse range of medicinal uses.
Calendula, or Calendula officinalis, is one of the oldest harvested flowers. Also known as Pot-Marigold and Old-Man’s-Saffron, the use of Calendula has been recorded as early as 1200 BCE. It is believed that this annual flower is native to Europe, although there is knowledge of cultivation in North Africa, South Asia and the Mediterranean region as well. This herb thrives in full sunlight and can withstand many different environments, making it a hearty and colorful favorite of many gardens. These annual flowers bloom first thing in the morning and follow the sun throughout the day. Since Calendula is grown over such diverse regions, it is believed that somewhere in the world there is a Calendula flower in bloom on the first day of every month, which is most likely where its name originated from. The name Calendula comes from the latin word “Calendae” which translates to “first day of the month."
Historically, Calendula has been used to stop bleeding and wounding by applying the herb as a poultice directly to the skin. This healer was even commonly carried by soldiers in wars, such as the Civil War and World War ll, to help treat battle wounds. This flowering herb is a great wound healer due to it's antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Calendula also contains different groups of antioxidants, making it great for an oil to nourish and soothe the lymphatic and nervous systems. This versatile healer also works as an antispasmodic and is useful for menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), liver health, oral inflammation, ulcers and the reduction of fevers.
Calendula is gentle, and is a lovely herb to use with babies, children and throughout one’s pregnancy. This beautiful herb is not only is utilized for its medicinal purposes, but is also great for natural dyeing! Use Calendula to experiment with natural pigments on some old vintage linens lying around the house, or steep some into your salve, butter or cheese for a splash of color.
Calendula petals can help bring out your culinary arts side, too! Use their beautiful petals and flowers to sprinkle onto a cake or salad for additional color. Out of saffron at home and need some for your dish? Use Calendula as a delicious substitute instead. There are many ways to use Calendula, and it is an easy herb to grow at home.
Get to know Calendula this month and try out our Calendula Body Oil Recipe below! You can also find Calendula in our other products such as; Berry Boost Kids Tea, Liver Love Tincture and Tea, Nipple Butter, Gentle and Brightening Moisturizer, Yoni Steam and more!
CALENDULA INFUSED HERBAL BODY OIL:
- A quart jar
- ¾-1 quart jar of Organic olive oil
- Organic Calendula Flowers (enough to fill a quart jar)
- Place Calendula flowers into the quart jar until the jar is about full. Either dried or fresh flowers will work. If using fresh flowers, make sure to let them dry out for at least 12 hours to evaporate off the moisture. Otherwise, your Calendula oil will become moldy or rancid during the processing time.
- Pour olive oil over the Calendula flowers until there is around 1 inch of extra olive oil over top of the flowers.
- Place the lid on the jar and close it tightly. Give the jar a good shake and place it on a sunny windowsill where it will steep for the next 4-6 weeks.
- Check on your herbal oil every so often and give it a good shake when you do!
- After 4-6 weeks, strain the Calendula flowers from the oil using cheese cloth.
- Store the Calendula-infused herbal body oil in a cool, dark place and give your skin some love!