Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Calendula Infusion and Tincture

I began growing Calendula for its attractive flowers which I knew had some medicinal properties.  One of the first products I put it in was a green tea blend I called “For the Tummy.”  I had read that it was good for stomach issues, and acid reflux, so I combined it with dill, chamomile and lavender to create a tummy soothing tea.  While doing a show I had a customer that touted the great properties that calendula had for the skin and face,.  In fact she suggested brewing my tea and suing it as a facial wash.  Green tea as an antioxidant for the skin was just being explored at that time.

Calendula one of those herb plants that has been significantly respected throughout the ages, due to its medical qualities. The historical past of pot marigold continues to be tracked back to the ancient peoples of India, who used it for curing burns etc. The name we use came from the Romans. It is stated that this particular plant was also utilized throughout the American Civil War, for curing wounds of injured soldiers. Pot Marigold is used in various types such as tincture and an infusion. Studies show that pot marigold includes elements like rutin. It is also loaded with polysaccharides. Because of the occurrence of these helpful compounds, pot marigold is alleged to possess numerous advantages for the skin, digestion and other irritations to skin and internal organs.

About the Plant

Pot Marigold or Calendula belongs to the family unit Asteraceae and genus Calendula which features around 15-20 species. Probably the most commonly cultivated type is usually Calendula officinalis. Calendula flowers are indigenous to some parts of China as well as Europe. Calendula is a flower with a lot of applications. Apart from being cultivated as a lawn plant, because of its enticing yellow-colored flowers, calendula flowers can also be delicious and are also utilized for cooking as well as healing. However, its common name Pot Marigold can get confused with the Tagetes Family, which means that it is vital to ensure that the herb you grow is Calendula officinalis.

About Infusions and Tinctures

Calendula Infusion which is making a tea from the flower heads of the plant, can be made with either fresh or dried flowers. The fully open blooms are usually hand picked and washed lightly by using a light spray of water, before the petals are actually extracted. The water must be blotted with tissues.  To dry the petals, you can spread the petals evenly over a paper towel or let the complete flower heads dry.  I please them in a basket or on a plate on paper toweling and let the air dry during the summer months.  Once dried out completely, gather them in plastic bags and store away from light so the petals do not fade.
To make a mug of calendula tea, add 2 teaspoons of calendula flower petals into a tea infuser and put it in a cup of boiled water. Allow it to brew for around ten to fifteen minutes then, you can enjoy it with or without sweetener.  I recommend honey if you want it sweet.
Tinctures are more powerful and last longer than dried herbs used to craft an infusion. Making a tincture allows you to use the herb in different formulations such as aroma products, salves and recipes.
To make a tincture you needed Dried crumbled herbs, 80 -100 proof vodka or rum (NEVER use rubbing, isopropyl or wood alcohol), and wide-mouthed glass jars with lids (mason jar or equivalent.)  Pour the amount of herb you desire into the glass jar and slowly pour the alcohol until the herbs are entirely covered. Then add an inch or two of additional liquid.  Seal the jar tightly so that the liquid cannot leak or evaporate. Put the jar in a dark area or inside a paper bag.  Shake the jar every day. Infuse the herbs in the alcohol for at least 2 weeks a month or two is better.  You will extract the color as well as all the organic properties of the herb.  When ready to bottle, pour the tincture through a cheesecloth into another jar or dark colored tincture bottle. Squeeze the saturated herbs, extracting the remaining liquid until no more drips appear. Close the storage container with a stopper or cap and label with a date.  Tinctures will keep for quite a long time, but the potency is always best the younger it is.

Wrap up

This herb is considered to have several wellness advantages. It’s commonly used for the treatment of bowel problems like stomach upset. It’s believed that pot marigold can safeguard the cellular lining of the intestinal system. Gargling with pot marigold infusion or tincture is said to be good for alleviating sore throat and irritation of the mouth area. It’s also beneficial for pink eye, a cold pot marigold herbal infusion can be used to rinse your eyes. There have been some studies into the uses of Calendula for regulating menstrual periods. I have used it in both my menopause tea and my PMS teas for just this reason.  According to some research I read. The reason Calendula is so good for the skin is it may overcome bacterial contamination, assist in collagen generation and soothe irritated skin. For this reason it is a great addition to salves, skin spritz’ and sunburn treatments.


Green paper on Calendula and it's germ-fighting properties - http://www.herbs.org/greenpapers/calendula.html

General article on the advantages of calendula - http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazindex/a/calendula.htm

Views on using Calendula for skin care writen my online herb associate Cindy Jones - http://personalcaretruth.com/2011/02/calendula-in-skin-care/

1 comment:

  1. This is really a good article. I learned more about Calendula. I didn't know that there are lots of goodness this plant can brought to us. Thanks for sharing this very informative article.


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