Focus on ingredients: Calendula

calendula-officinalis-herb

Many of the flowers and herbs grown in our gardens offer more than just beauty in the garden.  We have been reading about and learning more regarding the botanical ingredients used in creating our soaps and products.  Calendula is one that offers light scent, great color, and so much more.

Calendula is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds.  They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes. The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning “little calendar”, “little clock” or possibly “little weather-glass”.   The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named ‘Calendula’ invariably derive from C. officinalis.

Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to color cheese or as a replacement for saffron.  A yellow dye has been extracted from the flowers and used in coloring foods, such as cheese products.  In fact Calendula petals have been dried and used as a dye for fabric.  The color is controlled not by the amount of petals added to the dye bath, but by the mordant used to set the color in the fabric.  Color could vary from light yellow to deep orange yellow.

In soap making we infuse Calendula petals in oil, and allow time for the flower to infuse the oil and the oil, along with dry petals is added to recipes of soap, and most recently in our Winter Paw Protector.  We just love the gentle scent, and the moisturizing qualities however Calendula oil is still used medicinally. The oil of C. officinalis is used as an anti-inflammatory, and a remedy for healing wounds.

paw

Our Winter Paw Protector 

Winter paw protection is a dog safe formula of beeswax, coconut oil, avocado oil, calendula-infused oil and the petals of calendula. These rich oils coat the paw pads and act as a safe barrier from winter freeze, and harsh salt damage. The oil/wax blend is completely safe for dogs (and gentlly absorbed into their paw pads.)

How to use- unscrew lid, gently rub each paw in the solid lotion and rub into pads as you would lotion. Moisturizers leathery pads, safe if licked by dogs.

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