What all can the humble marigold do? It can repel bugs in your garden, make a crunchy addition to your salads and cookies, and offer a whole bunch of medicinal and health benefits as well. Intrigued? The concept of marigold as a medicinal plant is not new, considering it has been used in apothecaries for over 1000 years already.
Known as Calendula officinalis, the marigold—or the sunshine flower as I like to call it—is a hardy plant that tends to bloom in the warmer months of the northern hemisphere and the colder months of the southern hemisphere. It can be grown in pots for bigger flowers and in the garden for smaller but more flowers. As a garden plant, it’s a natural bug repellant and keeps flies and mosquitoes at bay. It also helps keep other pests and bugs away, thus keeping your garden disease resistant. And in case your marigold plant is withering—all you need to do is pluck a flower, decimate it, and just spread the petals on the ground—they double up as seeds!
But marigold isn’t just a great garden plant to have in the garden or an awesome pesticide as well—it’s a great flower to use at home—culinarily as well as for health and wellness. So here go some of its vast uses that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.
Note: Just remember, do not use marigold or calendula if you are allergic to it, or if you are pregnant—it can cause bleeding. Do not use it on your pregnant pets either.
Sip on Marigold Tea for Longevity
Marigold or calendula tea is rather easy to make. All you need to do is steep a handful of fresh petals in hot water till the water turns cool—boiling the petals in water can strip them off essential nutrients. Now sip or gargle away at will. There are uses a plenty for marigold tea.
- Pour in a spray bottle and use to disinfect and heal all sorts of minor cuts, scrapes, and boo-boos.
- Use the same spray bottle to spray your acne or rash prone skin at night for a clearer complexion over time. It can also improve breast health—so overall a super flower to make tea from!
- You can also use this spray on your itchy pets to alleviate their boo-boos and raw patches.
- Spray the marigold tea on any diaper rashes whenever you change your baby’s diaper.
- You can spray this onto itchy scalps for some cool relief.
- Sip on this marigold tea once a day, sweetening with honey if needed, for antioxidant benefits. This will also help increase the body’s digestive prowess and decrease any acidity or gastric problems. Another benefit of this tea is that it also alleviates the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids.
- You can increase the dosage of marigold tea to 2-3 times a day in case of a fever or for alleviating menstrual cramps.
- Gargling with this tea can alleviate a sore throat and help combat bad breath as well.
- You can use it as a mouth rinse to help heal blisters and ulcers faster.
- If you have itchy eyes, strain marigold tea and use as an eye rinse—it can help alleviate itchy eyes and heal conjunctivitis much faster than many eye drops!
Grind Up a Paste for External Application
Open wounds or even burns can be dressed with a paste made of marigold petals—not only will the flowers disinfect the wound, they will also aid in the healing and scabbing of the wound. Furthermore, this paste helps in smoother healing, reducing the likelihood of scars.
Sun Dry Marigolds
Had a bumper crop of marigold? Don’t let it go waste. Keep what you want as seeds, and then sun-dry the flowers. Tear the flowers open and shake the petals free—discarding the outer cover and the receptacle. Spread the petals out on a clean cloth in the sun, and cover with a thin sheet of muslin to keep the bugs and dust away. Let the petals dry till they turn crackly and crumbly. You can use half the sun-dried petals instead of the fresh ones to make marigold tea.
Pluck Fresh Petals For Culinary Use
Marigolds are edible flowers—you can pluck fresh petals and add them to cookies, salads, desserts, and rice dishes as you please for color as well as a fresh, flowery taste.
A flower that looks great in the garden, or in posies and vases as well as in dishes—plus is great for your health. Which is why I dub it the sunshine flower, and so will you…