Its hard to look at a calendula flower without it lifting your spirits, with its beautiful rich orange colour and long elegant petals it is a valuable plant to include in the herb garden as well as giving a welcome splash of colour. It is a member of the sunflower family also known as pot marigold. Not only is this plant very pretty but it comes with many medicinal uses and in particular benefits to the skin and mucous membranes and that is why it is an essential addition to the herbal blends, skin washes and healing balms.
Calendula has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Externally, calendula is perfect for skin irritations and wounds and brings quick relief from sore, itchy skin. Infusions of the petals are effective as a soothing and healing skin rinse to reduce irritation, infection and inhibit bacterial growth.
Internally, calendula can help reduce inflammation of the digestive system and in particular help with colitis and ulceration. For urinary or digestive tract issues calendula combines well with marshmallow and corn silk as is used in the Tranquil and the Golden Years blends.
Calendula is best avoided during pregnancy and it does contain small amounts of salicylic acid which can be toxic to cats.