Immune System Booster – Calendula

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Boosting your immune system and keeping it in good working order is the best way to avoid cols and flu. One of the best natural immune stimulants is Calendula.

Calendula officinalis is also known as Pot Marigold. Steeped, in salad infused in tea or oil, calendula is easy to grow in any garden. Health food stores and natural pharmacies carry this healing flower  as tinctures and capsules.

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Calendula Benefits

The bright yellow orange blossoms are the most medicinally active although a range of bright colors are available.

The actions of Calendula include:

  • Immune Stimulant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Fungal
  • Anti-Histamine

Calendula stimulates the immune system and promotes lymphatic drainage.  It increases sweating in fevers allowing toxins to be removed from the body.

How to Take Calendula

For good information on making your own Calendula oil take a look at the Natural Society page.

My personal favorite delivery system is Calendula tea.  The tea can be taken internally to boost the immune system, combat candida and clear congestion.  It can also be used externally to reduce inflammation and sore muscles.  The anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Calendula also make it excellent for wound healing.

Calendula Tea

1 cup dried calendula petals
1/4 cup peppermint leaves dried and crushed
1/4 cup elderflowers dried

Combine the herbs in a paper bag or jar.  Mix thoroughly.  Use 1-2 teaspoons in 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep 3 minutes.  Add honey if desired.

The tea can also be made with fresh herbs but then you would want to use

1 Tablespoon fresh calendula petals
1 teaspoon fresh peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon fresh elderflowers

The steeping time would be the same.

A few years ago I made an immune boost tea using

1 cup dried calendula blossoms
1/2 cup dried peppermint leaves
3/4 cup dried mullein

Use 1-2 teaspoons in 1 cup boiling water.  Steep 3 minutes and add honey if desired.

This tea is excellent for sore throats as well.  It heals the rawness and reduces inflammation.

Externally

Another excellent use of calendula in either oil or tea form is to treat skin eruptions.  Calendula has been used to treat acne, burns, eczema and insect bites.  Simply apply the oil or a cotton ball soaked with the tea to the affected area.

It is clear that calendula has many different medicinal uses.  The culinary uses of this flower are varied as well.  It can be added to stews, stir-fry’s (at the end) and salads.

This spring try planting some Marigolds in your veggie garden to add beauty and a new flavour.

Reference:

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