Herb Spotlight: Calendula

Flower power has long been associated with the Bay Area. Today, instead of being associated with hippies and the Haight Ashbury scene, Elemental Herbs has taken the taken the power of flowers into the realm of healing with the use of calendula in our products.

Calendula, a lovely gold and amber marigold-like bloom, has a long history of use as a skin-soothing botanical. Although it is sometimes also called a ‘pot marigold,’ calendula is not a true marigold. It is worth its weight in gold, however, as a substance that promotes healing through its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Our calendula comes from Mt. Barnabe Farm and our own Four Elements Farm, which are both certified organic. We grow our own medicinal plant, harvest and dry the flowers, then stir them into many of Elemental Herbs potions, like All Good Goop and All Good Lips. Calendula — and as a result, our products — can help treat everything from burns and scrapes, to bug bites, diaper rash and chapped lips. Some studies suggest that calendula’s healing ability is powerful enough to treat the dermatitis association with radiation treatments.

While Elemental Herbs promotes the use of calendula (in combination with other yummy herbs) topically, proponents of calendula have also been known to ingest it in tinctures and teas to soothe stomach ailments and as a gargle to treat gum and tooth infections. The petals are edible and can be also used fresh in salads or dried as an herb.

To make calendula tea, buy the dried petals at your local health food store. Use one heaping teaspoon per cup of hot water. Either drink it as a tea, or soak a washcloth in the mixture to use as a soothing compress for skin irritations.

Or, better yet, save yourself the trouble and grab a tub of All Good Goop and a tube of All Good Lips to instantly feel the power of the calendula flower.