Apart from being grown for ornamental purposes, calendula plant is also used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The history of calendula has been traced back to the ancient Egyptians, who used it for healing burns, bruises, and wounds. It was also used for treating stomach problems, like indigestion. In some regions, calendula was used for treating smallpox and measles. Even today, this herb is used in various forms, like tea, poultice, tincture, extract, ointment, and oil.
This herbal tea is made with the flowers of calendula plant. Fresh or dried flowers can be used for this purpose. The fully open flowers are usually hand picked, and the petals are removed and dried. Once dried completely, the petals can be stored in the refrigerator. You may also use store-bought organic calendula tea. In order to prepare a cup of this herbal tea, add two teaspoons of calendula petals into a tea infuser, and place it in a cup of boiled water. Let it steep for around 10 to 15 minutes. This herbal tea can be used with sweeteners. Calendula tea should not to be consumed for more than three times a day.
- Calendula tea is widely used for treating bowel problems, like stomach ulcers, heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, stomach upset, and gastritis.
- It is believed that calendula can protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Calendula tea is also claimed to have detoxifying properties, and is also used for regulating menstrual cycles.
- Gargling with this herbal tea is said to be good for relief from sore throat and inflammation of the mouth.
- It is also beneficial for conjunctivitis or pink eye, as cool calendula tea is used to rinse the eyes.
- It is claimed that this herb can fight infections, arrest bleeding, help in collagen production, and soothe skin. So it is used to treat burns, cuts, wounds, bruises, etc.
- It is also used for relief from pain and inflammation caused by bee and wasp stings.
- Calendula tea is used for treating fever and common cold too.
Even though calendula is believed to be one of the safest herbs, it may cause allergic reactions in people, who have ragweed or pollen allergy. It should be avoided by pregnant and nursing women. If you want to use calendula tea for treating health problems, consult a qualified herbal practitioner and follow his instructions.
Know More About Calendula
Calendula plants belong to the family Asteraceae and genus Calendula that consists of around 15 to 20 species. The most commonly cultivated species is Calendula officinalis. Calendula plants are native to some parts of Asia and Europe. Calendula, which is otherwise known as marigold or pot marigold, is a plant with many uses. Calendula flowers are edible and are used for culinary and medicinal purposes too. However, it has to be noted that there are many other types of marigold, like the commonly found Tagetes species. So it is very important to confirm that the plant you are using is Calendula officinalis. Studies show that calendula has components like calendulin, beta carotene, sterols, rutin, other carotenoids, etc. It is also rich in polysaccharides. It is said that this plant was also used during the U.S. Civil War, for healing wounds of the injured soldiers.