For the last Tea Leaves Thursday, we talked about Calendula (aka Marigold) as an ingestible tea, but it's when it's applied externally that Calendula's healing is the strongest.
Calendula is a powerful flower in treating ailments of the skin--such as eczema, psoriasis, and bug bites. It has antiseptic, antifungal, and antioxidant properties--making it popular in skin creams and ointments. In the American Civil War, doctors even used Calendula leaves to treat open wounds.
It is related to burdock and chamomile, which are also herbs used for their skin-soothing properties. Calendula reduces inflammation, combats infection, and can help wounds heal faster.
In France, clinical trials showed that when applied topically, calendula reduced skin damage caused by radiation on breast-cancer patients. In fact, it was 50% more effective than conventional, pharmaceutical drugs.
To soothe cracked or chapped skin, use calendula oil a few times a day. And to heal diaper rash, ulcers, varicose veins, bruises, and sores, use a calendula ointment throughout the day.
To make an ointment of calendula, heat one cup of calendula oil in a pan until warm. Remove it from hear and combine it with 1oz of melted beeswax. Stir it until it cools, and then you can store it in an airtight jar for up to year!