Sunday, July 22, 2012
I'll Drink to Calendula!
I can feel a slight shift today. I'm not sure if it's the sun coming up later or the rare cooler day we are having, but the season is stretching out into those lanky summer days that whisper of harvests and winds and wood-smoke to come. We are still in the thick of it, here in the Valley. There will not be much respite from the heat for long. But on days like this, it is a pleasure to linger in the garden or sit in the yard with the plants waving lazily in the breeze.
The camera on my phone seems to take only one fair shot to every twenty that I snap of the garden, so the pics are far and few between this week. In the above pic, my calendula is happily blooming in its pot (not surprising for a flower commonly called "pot marigold.")
If you don't have some calendula in your garden or in a pot on your patio, you must run out and get a plant immediately. They are my go-to flowers for healing and a staple in my salves. Simply pop the pretty flowers off as they bloom and infuse them in a good oil (grapeseed, sweet almond or even a high quality olive oil) and use the oil as is or in a salve on cuts, scrapes, bumps and burns. If you have stitches or an open or weeping wound, pass on the oil and make a strong calendula tea. Spritz or dab on the wound and let dry. Calendula assists by bringing blood flow to the area around the wound and helping to grow new tissue.
There are a few fun superstitions surrounding calendula too. From the article "Calendula: Myths and Superstitions" by Cheryl Dennett:
There are claims that calendula flowers can ward off witchcraft. And, if you dream of the lovely, gold flowers, this means there is a large sum of money on it's way to you, sometime in the future.
In Wales, it was once believed that if calendula flowers were not open by 7 in the morning, there was rain on the way. Another superstition held in this country is that anyone who picks a calendula, or even looks at one, runs the risk of developing a weakness for strong drink. This has led to the plants being known as drunkards in Wales.
Hmm...I wonder if there is any correlation between my picking calendula and the frequency of daiquiris imbibed this summer.