Calendula is a well-known medicinal herb.
But you can easily use it for food as well.
How to make full use of the herb for its healing properties?
Read on to find out everything you need to know!
What is Calendula?
Marigold has the technical name Calendula officinalis. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
You can recognize it simply by its beautiful flower in orange and yellow.
Petals are rich in flavonoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables. The good news is that this plant is edible and you can use it to prepare some dishes.
What is it commonly used for?
Calendula is used to treat and alleviate the symptoms of many ailments. It is most often used for skin diseases, infections or fungi.
According to research, it is effective for treating rashes, open wounds, yeast infections, but it can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
Some also use it in the treatment of cancer, especially radiation therapy.
If you are looking for a reliable sunscreen for young children with sensitive skin, calendula is a great choice. You can easily find such products at the drugstore.
Calendula in the kitchen
Can’t imagine how a flower will work in food preparation? The flowers have a light honey scent and a pleasantly mild, vegetable taste.
You can use the golden petals to flavor and color broths, homemade butter or cheese.
Some cooks use the dried flowers as a substitute for saffron, mainly because of their beautiful golden color.
But most people use fresh flowers and petals for:
- vegetable dishes,
- herb butters,
- soft soups.
At the same time, the flowers have the best taste when they have reached their highest bloom. Then they will smell wonderful and have a wonderfully delicate taste.
You can use marigold in many salad recipes . It works best in egg salads, but it will also taste great in arugula salads or a celery salad .
From fresh or dried flowers, you can also make excellent tea or homemade calendula tincture or calendula ointment that will last you all year. Calendula ointment will help you with skin diseases, eczema, hardened skin or scars.
If you do not process all the marigold leaves fresh, you can also dry them. How to dry calendula? Just spread them in thin layers on sieves and let them dry in a dark place. If you want a dryer, the temperature must not exceed 50 degrees.
Cultivation of calendula
Calendula is easy to grow in your garden and you will have constant access to fresh flowers during the summer (from June to autumn). You can easily grow it from seeds. How to do it?
- You need to plant the seeds very early in the spring or pre-grow them in a pot and then transplant them into the garden. You can start 6 weeks before the date when the frost usually ends.
- Choose a place in the sun for the plants.
- Calendula requires moderately rich and well-drained soil. It can withstand even worse conditions and does not need any fertilization.
- You can use marigold as an addition to the vegetable bed. It grows best next to cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, carrots, asparagus or spring salad vegetables.
- Cut off the flowers when picking. As the weather gets colder, more will grow and you will have more. They will bloom until the big frosts come.
Health benefits of calendula
Calendula in the form of tea or extract will have the best effect on your health. Of course, fresh flowers contain the same substances, so you don’t have to worry about not getting some of your health from them. The advantage of the extract is the fact that it is obtained not only from flowers, but also from leaves. What are the biggest positives?
A rich source of antioxidants
Calendula contains some antioxidants that are very important for the proper functioning of the human body. These include triterpenes, flavonoids, polyphenols and carotenoids.
Thanks to this, marigold helps fight against oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Helper for the treatment of skin diseases
Calendula has an amazing effect on the skin and you can use it to heal various types of eczema, rashes, wounds and ulcers. All you have to do is make a tea and use it as a poultice. It is not yet clear whether drinking tea has the same effects.
Help with cancer
The antioxidant properties of calendula may have an anti-cancer effect. According to studies, the herb can fight leukemia, melanoma, colon cancer or pancreatic cancer.
You can use it not only as a prevention, but also during treatment.
Nutritional values of calendula
The amount of vitamins and minerals in calendula is not exactly known. Let’s look at the values of unsweetened calendula tea.
Calendula has been used for centuries for its healing properties. But few people know that you can also eat it or make tea from it at home. You can add the flowers to salads or broth. Every dish will be beautifully colored thanks to the orange and yellow petals.