Why Every Herbalist Should At Least Consider Growing Calendula
Apart from it being a very potent topical bacteria and fungi killer, it is very easy to grow and it’s even easier to create salves and balms from it.
A few days ago Sue & Candace wrote a magnificent article about Calendula, and it refreshed my memories about why grandmother used calendula salve on most of my injuries through my childhood.
The bright yellow or orange flowers are the real deal. They contain high amounts of flavonoids, saponins and triterpenes, and these substances together have strong antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects.
Also a smaller amount of carotenoids and polysaccharides help the regeneration of skin cells and mucous membranes, so all in all this simple looking flower packs quite a punch.
The first line of your body's defense
Calendula works wonders on conditions of your skin. It eases the symptoms of chapped skin, infected wounds, diaper rash, and eczema among others and all you need is a simple salve, or lotion for it.
Some use it even for periodontal diseases combining calendula with sage. Or some use Calendula tea for conjuctivitis (an inflammation in your eyes)
How to make its healing work best for you
According to Sue & Candance Scotch or vodka are the best menstruums for calendula tinctures. While later, when you make an oil out of it almond and olive oil works the best. The flowers have the magic in them, you can use either dried or fresh ones to make your tinctures. (There will be a link to a great video at the end of this segment on how to do this.)
It grows easier than most herbs
Once you sowed seeds and a handful of calendula plants grew for you they will reseed themselves, which means you won’t ever need to bother sowing seeds again the following years, and they grow on most climates with a moderate amount of sunshine (even inside on sunny windowsills)
Calendula loves sunshine. It tolerates drought, pests and general negligence through all the summer and will still put out a great many flowers for you.
+ If you have an Instagram account you should really check out Colleen Codekas’s video of making calendula cream
+ + Calendula is also used by some to help get menstruation moving when it’s stalled and some use it internally (drinking as a tea), though you should do that with caution as calendula contains trace amount of coumarines, that could cause allergic reactions and vitamin-K deficiencies.
+ + + If you’re interested more in the spiritual side of Calendula, and why it is best used when someone has a degree of psychological melancholy, immunological deficiency, lymphatic stagnation, and inflammation in the digestive system with a likelihood of food intolerance. Check out this awesome facebook post from The school of evolutionary herbalism.
Snippets Of Herbalism
Mini greenhouses. Imagine a summer storm wiping out your herb garden, or a sudden spring freeze setting back your herbs’ growth a month or two… Jenn Fields of Simplemost found a really creative way to solve these problems: DIY mini greenhouses from clear umbrellas!
Dangerous games. Since the start of the Covid pandemic demand surged for herbs such as white galingale, ginger, galangal, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass in Thailand, and some used this as an opportunity to drain money off the sick people looking for herbal relief. The Thai government reacted with a 140.000 Baht ( 4300 Dollars) fine or 7 years in prison… or both for anyone who tries to gouge herb prices.
Not at all. A TikTok video with 1.4M (yes… it’s 1.4 million!) likes and 90.3k shares claims lettuce water will help you sleep. Andy Patel of Eminetra quotes a New York times article (you can only access this article if you are subscribed to the New York Times) that tells you why it is not the case at all.
The next in line. The fruit of the The Indian gooseberry tree might just become the next top superfood, and Emme Haddon tells you why.
In This Searing Summer Heat What Could Be Better Than a Popsicle? Yes… An Herbal Popsicle, or 3...
Cold, delicious and healthy, the perfect trio we look for in a summer treat and the best part of it is that you can make it for yourself.
We are so grateful to Paula Saalfeld of The Herbal Academy for sharing these 3 recipes for herbal popsicles.
Like the Creamy coconut-matcha-lime popsicle:
“Are you a fan of iced-matcha lattes? Then you will fall in love with these pops! The lime zest and juice balances out the taste of the coconut milk and green tea perfectly— definitely a must try if the watery popsicles are not your favorite. Yield: 4 popsicles.
Matcha is green tea (Camellia sinensis) processed in a way that makes it possible to consume the whole leaves, not just an infusion of the leaves, which makes it more potent. It contains the highest amount of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavonoids, which green tea is famous for. Green tea boosts the process of detoxification that occurs in the liver, thus helping the liver do its job of keeping the level of inflammatory compounds in the body at a manageable level (Romm, n.d.).”
400 mL thick & creamy coconut milk
2 teaspoons matcha powder
1 lime (juice and peel)
4 teaspoons honey
- Whisk the matcha powder with a splash of water until it’s lump-free.
- Squeeze the lime and grate some lime zest.
- Combine the juice and peel with the coconut milk and add the honey.
- Place the matcha in the popsicle-mold and then pour in the coconut mix.
- Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.
If you’d like to take a look at the other two mouthwatering wonders (You shouldn’t hesitate, there is a zesty Lemon balm-passion fruit one and the cooling cucumber-mint-elderflower popsicle ) you can find them here.
Herbal Knowledge You Never Want To Forget
- Warming refers to herbs that stimulate or speed up metabolism, increase energy production and warmth, and bring blood flow and vitality to tissues that are pale and cool.
- Cooling refers to herbs that sedate or slow down metabolism to decrease energy production while cooling or soothing irritation and redness.
- Neutral describes herbs that are neither warm nor cool. Neutral herbs do not have a strong effect on circulation or cellular metabolism.
- Moistening refers to herbs that increase the moisture content of tissues, which means they lubricate and soften dry, brittle, or hardened tissues.
- Drying refers to herbs that remove excess fluid from tissue, causing it to become more firm and dense, relieving conditions of dampness and swelling.
- Balancing is the term we use for herbs that normalize tissues that are either damp or dry, helping to balance the amount of moisture and solids (minerals) within the tissues.
- Constricting refers to herbs that increase the tone or tension within muscles and other tissues, which stops excess flow and secretion. These herbs tone up tissues that have become overly relaxed or weak and that are leaking or secreting fluids such as blood or mucus.
- Relaxing refers to herbs that relax muscle cramps and spasms, relieving excess tension in the tissues. This promotes easier flow and movement and can help to increase deficient secretion.
- Nourishing is the term we use for herbs that provide essential nutrients that aid tissue healing, improving tissue structure and function.
source: T. Easley & S. Horne – The modern herbal dispensatory
The American Academy of Family Physicians Supports Integrative Medicine But Some Are Not Happy About It.
Harriet Hall of Sciencebasedmedicine.org wrote a great article about why she thinks that this is a bad thing.
She goes as far as to say „I can no longer trust them or respect their judgment” and many of us partly agrees with her.
Integrative medicine is also known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which is the popular name for health care practices that traditionally have not been part of conventional medicine. In many cases, as evidence of efficacy and safety grows, these therapies are being combined with conventional medicine according to Mayo Clinic
A smart herbalist knows that there is an argument that shines a totally different light on herbal remedies
She brings up some good arguments why acupuncture, manual therapy, and herbal supplements are mostly bogus and ineffecive, like herbal remedies have „side effects, drug interactions, contaminants, poor regulation, and poor quality control”
And while these arguments are completely true, the reason for that is the real argument here, which is that a real and well trained herbalist takes all these and much more into account when advising someone or prescribing an herbal treatment.
The sad truth is that there are still very few of these professional herbalists compared to the fake herbalists out there only for the big bucks.
Many people want to use herbs as they use pharmaceuticals and they expect the same effects
The sad thing is, that many charlatan herbalists, especially ones with savvy sales and marketing skills sniffed this out and are empowering this thought in people so they can sell more.
And this really sets a challenge for herbalists who possess serious skills and are stuffed with restorative knowledge, those who take energetics, the personality, the person’s current condition, formulation and much more into account.
So Dr. Harriet Hall speaks the truth, but not all of it. We as smart herbalists must be very attentive to these details and must do everything to spread the word about the true healers out there, whose voice are frequently suppressed by the loud charlatans.
Hers is a great article, that reminds us that this is a real challenge in our age, and how can we be better herbalists, for others and for ourselves.
If You're Into Lists Here's One For You
5 Culinary Herbs that also have health benefits (with love from India)
- Curry leaves: It is used to cure morning sickness or nausea. It is a useful herb for patients with high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Mint: Mint has long been known to help with problems related to digestion. It can also be effective in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mint may also help alleviate cold symptoms and possibly seasonal allergies. What a great excuse to make yourself a mint tea (or mint julep!). On top of that, it tastes delicious!
- Cilantro: Cilantro is rich in many vitamins, including vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K helps build bone mass, and vitamin A is good for the eyes. Cilantro also contains many useful minerals.
- Fenugreek: The use of it in the traditional medicine system Ayurveda to promote digestion and induce labour proves that it serves many health benefits. Its medicinal qualities include being anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal.
- Basil: Basil has anti-inflammatory properties which can be consumed by arthritis patients. Then there are its anti-bacterial and antioxidant uses. When you add its potential to treat asthma, colds and sinus infections, you’ll be tossing fresh basil into every meal.
Imagine enjoying these health benefits while eating something mouthwateringly delicious. Here you can find some ideas.
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