Calendula, Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold.

Parts used: flowers, leaves, and petals.

Calendula’s bright hues of yellow, gold and orange not only brings dazzling shine to your garden but is also can be used as a cosmetic, medicinal and culinary.

Cosmetic: Calendula’s most common use today is as an ingredient in cosmetic skin creams, lotions and salves.  This herbal flower supports skin and connective tissues.

Medicinal: Infused in oil, used in a salve, cream or as a poultice, calendula will effectively treat burns, skin irritations, stop bleeding, soothe pain of irritation and injury and promote healing of wounds, burns and tissues.

Calendula infused like a tea can be used as a nasal wash to help with sinus problems or gargle to sooth tender mucus membranes.

Culinary: Calendula’s petals may be used to garnish a dish, as a replacement to saffron.  Leaves may have a sweet or bitter flavor and can be added to your salad, along with petals or flowers to brighten your greens.

Calendula officinalis was named 2008 Herb of the Year by the International Herb Association and is also one of my personal favorites.