La calendule: une spécialiste de la peau
Description and culture
From the asteraceae family, calendula is a plant that looks like the sun with its thousand and one petals, and it is in great need of it to flourish. Although it is annual, it needs to be sown only once in the garden for it to be present season after season. Indeed, it reseeds itself on its own with its hundreds of seeds in the shape of a thorny crescent which disperse after flowering. Personally, I leave the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the summer afterwards they grow back in the same place. But of course, it's very hard not to pick all of its pretty flowers that vary from yellow to orange. It is also necessary to be careful in the spring not to remove the young shoots which can be recognized through the weeds. If you prefer, you can also re-sow it every spring by direct sowing.
In addition to its flamboyantly colored petals, one of the advantages of having this pretty flower in your garden is that it attracts pollinators! Sometimes I even catch one taking a nap in the middle of a flower. It is therefore a plant beneficial for biodiversity, these flowers filled with nectar nourish a good number of beneficial insects. In addition, it repels pests, so it is an ideal companion plant for the kitchen garden.
Calendula or garden marigold is renowned in the herbalism world for being a specialist in skin and mucous membranes. Its flowers are used for their healing, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It is very useful in relieving itching and all kinds of skin problems. It helps healing and tissue regeneration.
The calendula flower is very resinous, you will notice when picking it that your hands become all sticky. It also contains a lot of water, so it is best to dry it in a dryer between 30 ° C and 40 ° C, in a well-ventilated place or like me in the dehydrator. This is a plant that takes a long time to dry out, so it will need to be left for several days for the moisture to evacuate and to check the heart of the flowers to make sure they are no longer damp. A poorly dried flower could compromise storage by developing mold.
The dried flower can be used as an internal infusion to treat a variety of ailments, but the way it is most used for skin problems is with an oily macerate externally.
To extract its properties, its freshly dried flowers are macerated in a vegetable oil, ideally olive oil. Fill a pot with dry flowers and cover with vegetable oil, let the flowers macerate for at least 1 month, stirring the pot regularly. Once the maceration is complete, the preparation is filtered. It is this oil that can be used externally to relieve various skin conditions. You can use it pure or even make an ointment, an ointment, a cream or a soap.
At Essence Boréale, we use macerated calendula oil to make our honey and calendula soap. We also add dried flower petals to decorate our soap, it is one of the only flowers that keep its beautiful color in contact with soda. This natural soap is the gentlest on the skin that we make. In addition to calendula extract, it is supplemented with shea butter and honey. This cold saponified soap is very hydrating and very beneficial for various skin conditions.
Guilds of herbalists, 2018. Medicinal plants, tradition, science and health, Volume 1, no 2, 45 pages.