Friday, January 30, 2015

How to Identify Calendula {Pot Marigold vs. Common Marigold}


"With those bright, yellow orange flowers, you might mistake calendula flowers for any other marigold. But calendula is actually an entirely different plant. It's native to northern Africa and the south-central portion of Europe, but it can be grown elsewhere, including indoors. If you can't visually distinguish calendula flowers from marigold, you'll probably be more successful using your nose: regular garden marigolds give off a strong, unpleasant aroma (although some people like it); calendula flowers are comparatively milder."


If uncertain whether you have a common marigold or the medicinal pot marigold (aka Calendula officials) growing, pluck off a deadhead of the flower and examine the seeds. The common marigold will be straight and stick-like while the calendula will have curved seeds with a toothed exterior (as shown in photo above).


Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) verses Common Marigold (Tagetes Marigold)

One is a medicinal masterpiece, the other is simply a fragrant flower...


Calendula officinalis {Pot Marigold} ~ Medicinal Uses

According to herbalist James Wong, calendula, "having antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties" boasts a "wealth of potential uses" when prepared into lotions, creams, ointments, teas and tinctures. Using the proper preparations, calendula can help to heal minor burns, sunburn, insect bites, stings, sores, pustular blemishes, acne, cuts, abrasions, inflamed rashes, diaper rash, hemorrhoids, varicose veins while internally it can aid stomach disorders, ulcers and painful periods.


The part of the calendula plant that is used medicinally are the flowers. When the weather allows, take a walk outside, breath in the fresh air and really examine your surroundings. I found our calendula plant in the corner of our hay field. I didn't even know it was there until a few years ago when I began opening my eyes to God's healing pharmacy! In our climate, they introduce themselves in very, very early spring and have self-seeded each year. And you needn't be afraid to harvest the blooms as it will only encourage more budding!


In order to preserve calendula for future projects, you can dehydrate them in a dehydrator or lay them out on a screen or paper towel in a cool, dark area with plenty of air circulation. Flip them every few days until they are dry and brittle (which should take about two weeks depending on your climate).  For quicker results, dry only the petals. Store the dried flowers in an airtight jar (canning jars are great) and out of direct sunlight (like in your pantry).


If you can not find them in your backyard between early spring and summer, you can purchase them here. Calendula will be our next highlighted herb in our Home Pharmacy Series {see Calendula Collection of Recipes here} and we hope you will enjoy making some natural medicine with these pretty but powerful flowers! We are also hosting a link up of calendula exclusive posts so that you can share your information with us!
The following posts have been shared thus far in our series:


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post contains affiliate links. Web source.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified herbalist but a homemaker interested in the arts of natural healing. The information I have learned has been gleaned through study of some of the following favorite books; Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's GuideGrow Your Own Drugs by James Wong, and The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs by Reader's Digest and websites of herbalists (such as the Bulk Herb Store Blog).

I am not a doctor. While I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use, remember that using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is approved by the FDA or intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on this blog are my opinion or the opinion of others. Also, if you have a medical condition, are taking pharmaceutical drugs, or are pregnant, please consult your physician prior to taking herbs.

22 comments:

  1. I love calendula and found seed at Baker's rare seeds here in Missouri that says they are a very potent variety for healing. It is such a lovely herb too-thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you Kathy! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend! :)

      Delete
  2. Some wonderful information. I will be on the look out for them this spring. I wonder if you can dye fiber with them , I have seen Marigolds used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandra! I would start looking next month. Mine showed up really early! However, if you have a snowy climate that wouldn't be the case. A far as dyeing with them, apparently you can! ~ http://www.prairiefibers.com/Dyeing%20Notes.htm

      Have a lovely weekend!

      Delete
  3. How nice that you found calendula growing on your property. Such a find always feels like a unique victory to me somehow. It seems it's not native here in Tennessee so I may have to order seeds. (I just sent an order to Baker Seeds but didn't order calendula - argh.;) I'm sure I'll find it at one our local greenhouses when they open in the spring though. I'm looking forward to hearing all about how you use it in preparations.
    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it did feel like a victory! And when I checked the seeds and they were curved, I was thrilled. You would have thought I won the lottery :) It wasn't a big patch of flowers but it was enough! And yes, buying the seeds and growing it would be way more affordable than purchasing it already dried! :)

      Delete
  4. Hi, JES! Thank you for this helpful information. The fourth photo down from the top really caught my eye. The embroidered cloth is quite lovely and shows off the calendula to a fine advantage. Have a beautiful weekend!

    M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you M. :) I inherited that pretty piece from a garage sale :)

      Delete
  5. Jes, I just ordered my first calendula seed. I cannot wait until they are growing in my kitchen garden and I can start using them. I learn so much from you! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are such fun little flowers! So much to do with them! Thanks for sharing that you ordered them! :)

      Delete
  6. This is fascinating info about calendula. I often plant it from seed because of its association with Mary, the mother of Jesus. One story is that she had a bag full not of gold coins but of calendula flowers. When accosted by robbers she dropped the calendula flowers on the ground and they turned into gold coins and the holy family was saved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting... Thanks for sharing as I have never heard that. I did read however, that the common name "marigold" actually refers to Mary. Thanks for taking the time to comment here today!

      Delete
  7. Always so much info on your blog. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoyed learning more about calendula. I have some diaper rash cream that contains it. I didn't know it has so many uses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping to share to here Shannon! :)

      Delete
  9. Hi Jes, thanks for sharing this great informative post at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a helpful post! They don't grow wild here, so we have to buy them, but I am not always sure that the tag in the pot is accurate, so I appreciate knowing how to tell them from regular marigolds, which I am VERY familiar with. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised to see them here too which is why I did so much research. I thought it too much of a good thing to actually have a wild patch. But we did :) Wildcrafting for herbs is a lot of fun!

      Delete
  11. Thanks for adding this to From The Farm! This was my favorite this week and will be featured tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you liked this post Heather! Thanks for the fun feature! :)

      Delete
  12. Great post! We have a lot of regular marigolds that I planted along with our veggie garden to keep out critters/bugs but no calendula :-( maybe I'll find some on our property when we go up this summer! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope we see you there again this week

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...