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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Calendula - 2008 Herb of the Year


Here's an example of a page from my website wisewomenofthewest.com The website also features my hand-made herbal products, astrological services that I provide, and information on subjects, such as the healing qualities of sea weed and black cumin seed.

Every year the International Herb Association chooses an Herb of the Year. This year it's Calendula officinalis. Calendula has so many uses, both culinary and medicinal. It has been used to color and flavor soups, cheese and butter - thus the name "pot marigold". Traditionally the dried leaves were used as a saffron substitute.

Medicinally, Calendula officinalis is anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-fungal, and it promotes wound healing. Calendula may be used safely whenever there is inflammation on the skin whether due to infection or physical damage. It may be applied for any external bleeding, bruising or sprains. It is of benefit for slow-healing wounds and is an ideal first-aid treatment for minor burns. Since it is in the Asteraceae family, it may be an allergen for those with that kind of sensitivity.

Taken from: Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine, by David Hoffmann.

Calendula is featured in two easy to find and informative magazines: The Herb Companion which has a great article. Here are some of the recipes:

calendula cornmeal crisps
banana cake with calendula
maple cream cheese frosting
egg salad with calendula and chives

The other great magazine is: The Herb Quarterly

A great little book that is all about calendula by Mindy Green is: Calendula, one of the series by Keats Publishing, Inc. 1998. One from the series is called: A Keats Good Herb Guide.
Some great recipes from the book:

simple calendula rice
calendula cheese ball
calendula salad dressing
calendula ice cream
calendula cardamom custard
orange whipped cream

4 comments:

Alchemille said...

Calendula is one of those herbs that more people should grow and use.
I especially like it as an infused oil for its soothing & healing properties...It's also sunshine in a bottle, when you feel a little down.
Internally and externally, it's a helpful ally for circulation.
I also read that it's a liver friendly herb, but I haven't tried.

coriander said...

I love calendula! They are coming up all over the place in my garden. I like to toss a few petals into my salads because I can't get enough of that sunny orange color.

seanymph said...

I get both these magazines,Ive loved them for yrs. Good info in them. I did a blog on calendula when they came out with it being the herb of the year. While I havent grown or used it yet.....I intended to get some once I got to Oregon. Im holding off on a lot of things right now, so I dont have to move it all.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the informative post. I love calendula petals in salad and they are so great in the garden with their bright colors.