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Calendula, properties and benefits. Advice on growing the plant and how to recognize wild marigold. Tips for using mother tincture, herbal tea and precious calendula oil.
Marigold flowers: flower heads
To enjoy the property natural and the benefits of calendula the flowers should be harvested in the morning, before flowering is complete.
The plant can also be grown in the garden (sowing in spring can produce flowers almost all year round) because it is easy to cultivate and beautiful to see.
THE marigold flowers they can be used fresh or after drying which must be done in a cool, ventilated place away from direct sunlight.
The singular characteristic of the flowers of calendula is that they open in the morning around 9 and close in the evening around 17. In fact, what we commonly call flowers are better referred to as flower heads. The best time to collect the flower heads is around 8, before the total opening and when the sun is not yet high.
THEmarigold flowersthey are yellow, yellow-orange and sometimes can be bright red. They are collected in flower heads of 3-5 cm in diameter. Each plant ofcalendula officinalisit can produce from 30 to 50 flower heads.
Come onflowersthat the essential oil is extracted and many products are prepared for external or internal use such as:
- Infusions and herbal teas
- Hydroalcoholic extracts
- Creams and lotions
- Macerated oil
- Essential oil
- Disinfectant liquids
- Dermocosmetic waters
- Cleaning products
As for the use of calendula in cooking, tender leaves, sprouts and flower heads can be used to enrich salads, soups, or to garnish any dish.
Warning! To obtain a quality calendula oil, collect the flower heads that are not yet open and before the fertilization of the flowers. So harvest the flowers before they "bloom" as soon as flowering begins!
Calendula, plant and cultivation
Therecalendulait's aplantherbaceous annual or botanically known as perennial calendula officinalis. Let's talk about oneplantvery particular which, in botany, is defined as "polymorphic" as the shape of leaves, stem and flowers can vary. Thisplantit has a branched behavior and a taproot. It reaches a height of between 30 - 60 cm and is easy to grow at home starting from the seed.
You can sow marigold directly in the garden (or in pots). All you need is soft and well-worked soil. You can perform repeated sowing and cultivation by following the instructions in the guide:How to grow marigold
Wild marigold or calendula arvensis
There is not only the species C. officinalis, what is nicknamed grows spontaneously in the fieldswild marigoldor marigold of the fields. The botanical name of thewild marigoldis calendula arvensis.
Therecalendula arvensisit is easily recognized by its characteristic appearance: it is covered with very small hairs that give it an almost damp / wet appearance.
How to distinguish the wild marigold from the officinal marigold?
The green parts of thecalendula officinalisthey look a lot like thecalendula arvensisexcept for the flowers which are much larger in the cultivation marigold.
The two plants have similar properties. For all information on wild marigold we refer to the page: field marigold or wild marigold.
Preparations based on calendula they are used against cough, asthma, palpitations and anxiety. But not only: the beneficial effects on the liver and on the secretion of bile have been demonstrated, as well as diuretic, purifying and laxative virtues. Once upon a time, before synthetic medicines arrived, the infusion of calendula it was widely used by women as a natural remedy to regulate the menstrual cycle.
In ancient times the names always had a meaning linked to the characteristics. This is why in Latin macaronic la calendula it was called solsequier, which literally means 'follower of the sun', due to the fact that closed and unfolded flowers follow the cycle of the sun.
Theproperties of calendulacan be listed as follows:
Heals, cleanses and disinfects wounds.
They improve skin re-epithelialization by stimulating the proliferation of new tissues.
They stimulate the production of white blood cells.
They improve liver function.
The active ingredients promote the digestion of fats by promoting the emptying of bile.
They improve skin health
To take full advantage of theproperties of calendulayou can also get DIY preparations starting from the plant grown in the garden. Those who are not lucky enough to grow calendula in the garden can still take advantage of its benefits by purchasing herbal products.
It is thanks to thesepropertythat thecalendula in homeopathyit is very popular and used.
Infusion and herbal tea of calendula
The herbal tea is easy to prepare. A tablespoon of dried flowers for each cup of hot water. You can drink 2-3 cups a day.
It is used for external use, to take advantage of its emollient, healing and disinfectant properties. Use a good amount of dried flowers for every liter of water.
Calendula eye drops
It has been used since 1500 to treat irritation and inflammation of the eyes. To introduce its use was the Italian Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an expert on herbs. It is prepared by combining a marigold flower with half a handful of cornflower and sage flowers in a liter of hot water. Strict hygiene rules should be followed for the preparation of this eye drops. To avoid any infection, it is better to use the liquid for compresses to be applied over the eyelids or consult your ophthalmologist before use.
Calendula oil is a flower extract of Calendula officinalis, infused in a vegetable oil. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene. It is an ideal product for moisturizing and regenerating dry or irritated skin. It has emollient, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-eczematous properties.
If you have a small one cultivation of calendula, you can follow the instructions to get an excellent DIY oil:homemade calendula oil.
If, on the contrary, you prefer to buy, you can go to a herbalist's shop or take advantage of the online purchase. On Amazon an excellent “100% Pure C. Officinalis Oil, is offered at a price of 7.49 euros with free shipping costs. Regardless of where you buy yourscalendula oil, make sure you buy a natural and pure product.
Mother tincture of calendula
It is useful in the treatment of sunspots, eczema and to exploit the other benefits of the plant. For all information: mother tincture of calendula.
The marigold is an edible field grass, discover at this link all the others, you will be amazed at how many there are!