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The Calendula is often confused with its counterpart, the Tagetes. The calendula has a nickname of the “pot marigold.” In Latin, the word Calendula means, “first day of the month”, it was giving this name because it has an extremely long flowering season.

The calendula can grow up to 28 inches tall. It has paddle shaped leaves with golden orange flowers. The leaves are added to salads and the flowers are uses an garnish for many dishes.

Originally, the calendula grew in the Mediterranean, but now is available throughout the world. It can be found along roadsides, in open fields, and in many of the most beautiful flower gardens around the world.

The calendula contains an essential oil in the flower heads and leaves that have an antibiotic effect. The oil an be used internally and externally. There are many methods of administration. It can be made into tea, which can be used for wound dressings and as a gargle antiseptic. Calendula’s oil are used in ointments, as well.

To use Calendula as a tea: Pour one cup of boiling water over one to two teaspoons of dried calendula petals. Steep for ten minutes, then strain. By drinking two to three cups daily there will be a great improvement in blood circulation.

To help in the healing of skin wounds: Soak a compress in Calendula Tea, and apply to the wound for 30 minutes twice daily.

Calendula can also be used to treat sore throats. Gargle with warm tea several times a day. This will help relieve the inflammation caused from the common cold.

Ointments containing calendula can be bought in stores, they provide quick healing of minor wounds with little or no scarring. Calendula ointment can be prepared at home, mix a few drops of calendula oil with skin lotion. Then apply to minor cuts, scrapes and burns.

Calendula is also known for the promotion of bile in the stomach. Bile helps with the digestion of food and allows a better bowl function.