Friday, 22 June 2012

Herb Spotlight: Calendula -- calendula officinalis

Calendula or pot marigold can be grown all over the world, and this wonderful plant has been used in medicine since at least the 12th century. Known as "poor-man's saffron" the yellow leaves have been used as cooking substitution since Ancient Rome. Spanish sorcerers used it as a talisman.

Antiseptic calendula is great for any problem with skin. Often it is made into an oil, lotion or tincture. Scrapes, cuts and peeling can be covered with a little calendula oil or lotion to speed recovery.

 If used in lipbalm, calendula moistens chapped lips. For a burn, steep calendula in hot water and let it cool. Coat the skin and viola! No scars. I have even put calendula onto already healed wounds and I swear the scars are fading. It stimulates collagen production and so I am told calendula can also heal stretch marks. Externally this plant can help treat varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Seriously I have a friend who solved a pesky rash with this, it is amazing! Calendula can even help patients during radiation therapy to avoid skin irritation.

Calendula is antifungal and antibiotic. Ear drops of calendula oil, tincture, or infusion can ward off infection. It'll help with athlete's foot, or fungus. For yeast imbalances, calendula is a god send. Apply oil externally, drink a dropper full of tincture daily in water or drink a fresh infusion. If you soak a calendula tea bag and let it cool, placing it over the eyelid will sooth pink eye

Enjoy the anti-oxidants! Drinking calendula can help to avoid inflammation, and both viral and bacterial sickness.

Swish calendula tea or watered down tincture for sore throat, oral lesions, or thrush. Swallow to help heal gastric ulcers or other inflammatory digestive problems.

Use dried flowers in oil, tea, or tincture. It should be very yellow! Watch out, the oil may stain clothing!


  • Proceed with caution if you have an allergy to daisies, aster, ragweed or chamomile. 
  • In theory, calendula may affect conception, so discontinue use of calendula if trying to conceive.
  • In theory, calendula may also interact with the following medications: sedatives,  treatment of  high blood pressure, treatment of diabetes. 

Researched through Herb Mentor:

  • Healing with Calendula in Mountain Rose Notes by Irene Wolansky
  • Calendula by Marilene Richardson
  • Calendula on Herbalpedia 

Click Photos for Original Location

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Recipe Review-- Sweet Stuff

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars From Serious Eats


A delicious and versatile recipe made with rice flour and potato. Potato may be replaced with tapioca.  These pb bars are substantial and chewy. I feel like you could throw anything in here! For crunch I added almonds. Instead of chips I used a sugar free chocolate bar, and instead of sugar I used low-glycemic coconut sugar. The peanut butter added some stick even though I forgot my guar gum. Crumbly but good.

I love coconut sugar, but recently I learned from Tropical Traditions that coconut trees used to create palm sugar can't be used for other coconut products. Converting too many trees for the cause may affect the future availability and price of coconuts and coconut oil.

Slow Cooked Ribs with Homemade Gluten Free Barbeque Sauce From Wellness Momma

I've never made it before, but making your own barbeque sauce is a lot easier than I thought it was. I cut down on the sugar in this recipe by using mostly agave in place of honey with just a bit of molasses for color and flavor. I tossed a bunch of spices in including cinnamon, cumin and paprika. My table of four devoured two pounds of pork ribs with a few leftover.
Gluten Free Brownies from Trader Joes

This product is made with rice flour and cane sugar primarily. I LOVED them. The secret I believe is using coconut oil as your oil for the recipe--when hot you can pull it out while still gooey for sundaes. Let it cool, or put it in the fridge/freezer and it is chewy mousse style brownies. Black bean and avocado brownies are gravy but for an ice cream sundae with warm brownies...use this mix.