Wednesday, May 15

Garden Pic Wednesday: Calendula!

Today's photo topic is a herb called Calendula:
It's common names include Pot Marigold, Butterwort, Cowbloom, Marsh Marigold, Mary Flower and Bull Flower, among others.
The Calendula flower is both edible and a medicinal herb known for it's anti-inflammatory effects when it is used topically and it is also a potent antioxidant. It can be soothing for the gastrointestinal tract when ingested as tea. Because of its antiviral and antibacterial qualities, it is also useful in treating minor wounds and abrasions.  

The petals of Calendula are often added to salads as well. Their bright orange color is an attractive contrast to salad green and their slightly bitter flavor compliments the other vegetables. When cooked, the flavor mellows.
Calendula can be used much like saffron by adding it to rice and pasta dishes.  

The photo above is actually last year's lone Calendula.
I saved 2 heads of seed from it and this year have 10 plants coming into flower right now. I plan on snipping and drying flower heads for making an oil and some soap--hopefully.
And I may try cooking with some fresh petals and might try it as a tea, though I'm not much of a tea drinker.
(1 tsp dried petals in cup with hot water = tea.) 

I don't have allergies to this sort of thing, but those who do, shouldn't use a herb-based oil or soap, such as this, on their skin.

Here's a link with more info on Calendula:

And also a link on "Edible Garden Flowers."
There's a wealth of deliciousness growing right in your flower bed!

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