Calendula is a flower with particular healing properties. It looks and smells a lot like a marigold (see today's picture).
Calendula is best known for it's healing skin problems such as burns, insect bites, wounds, skin rashes and ulcerations of the skin. It is also used internally for stomach problems, and can inhibit certain strains of Staphylococus, E. coli and candida. The flower has high iodine, carotene and manganese properties which promote cell regeneration and explain it's effectiveness for wound-healing.
The best news is: "you can try this at home"! I grew calendula flowers from organic seed this summer- and if I can make them grow- anyone can!! Now my idea of planting is sprinkling seeds in horse manure basically and this did work! In fact they grew and blossomed and kept blossoming and I am overrun with calendula!
To make the skin cream, I picked the flower tops when they were in full blossom (some books say you should pick them at 12:00 noon for the greatest value)- I wasn't exact about the time, but pretty close. Put the flower tops in a glass jar and cover with oil(olive oil, apricot oil, almond oil) and let sit in the sun for 4-6 weeks. Shake periodically. I put about a teaspoon of colloidal silver in with the oil mixture but it's not necessary.
If you missed the growing season, you can buy dried calendula and do the same thing.
Here's the recipe for the skin cream:
6oz strained calendula oil mixture (it's okay of a bit of petals strain through: you can use cheesecloth or a strainer to do this)
1 oz beeswax (that's about the size of a tealight candle which you can use as long as it's pure beeswax)
25 drops of essential oil of your choice (lavender works well; I used a combo of eucalyptus, rosemary, palmarosa and lavender) This is an optional ingredient
Melt all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler until the wax is melted. Pour into glass jars to cool.
Keep a jar of this in your first aid kit, medicine cabinet and beside your stove (for burns!). Simply smooth the cream onto the affected area, put your feet up and allow the healing to begin!
You can also make tinctures for internal use by preserving the flowers in an alcohol base instead of oil. Or you can make tea by using the dried flowers in a cup of boiling water.
If you don't want to make your own, you can find calendula cream, teas and tinctures in most health food and grocery stores. These supplies probably aren't grown in horse manure though!!!