Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Cultivation: Calendula, also known as Marigold, is an annual herb with bright orange or yellow flowers which are harvested and dried after full bloom in summer. Calendula is a perennial member of the aster family, although it is cultivated as an annual in colder climates. The plant is thought to be originally native to southern Europe, but is now distributed in temperate regions throughout the world. It is also a popular addition to kitchen herb gardens.
Qualities: Calendula has been used for centuries to color and spice foods (most commonly soups and butter) as well as a dye to color textiles and hair. It is also well known as a soothing first aid remedy, used topically on burns, cuts and skin irritations, and used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial tea, that is said to help treat urinary tract infections.
Appearance & Aroma: Golden yellow flower parts with a mild, fresh scent.
Flavor Profile: Mildly sweet and citrusy, sometimes peppery. Goes well with other florals, citrus peel, vanilla, black pepper and warm spices.
Common Uses: The dried flower petals can be used on their own as a soothing herbal tea or in tea blends (Children's tea, Herbal Nighttime tea), as an herbal compress, stored in vinegar or alcohol to create a tinctures, infused in oil which has many cosmetic uses, or mixed into homemade soaps, lotions, and salves. For thousands of years, calendula has been used as food and medicine and to produce a yellow dye to color leather, cloth and other textiles. Viking women were known to use calendula flowers to add golden highlights to their hair, a practice that continues to provide an alternative to chemical-based hair dye today.
Storage: Store in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container.