Harvesting and working with Calendula simply makes me feel happy. This sunny plant in the Aster family is incredible powerful and I love how long it lasts around in my garden. The first flowers usually open in May or June depending on the heat and keep appearing all the way through November!
The best time to Harvest Calendula blossoms for herbal medicine is in July or August during the most intense heat as this is when the plant is most resinous. The flowers are picked and infused into oil, made into tincture, or dried for use in teas or soups through-out the winter.
I use this plant for wounds, glandular problems and as an immune tonic. It is classified as a "bacteriostatic" which means it doesn't kill bacteria, but it keeps them contained to keep a wound clean. Mathew Wood says it is a specific for "cat scratch" like wounds which are red, puffy and tend towards production of pus.
Calendula is well suited for splenic conditions of damp heat. Use this when there is stagnation of the lymphatics, especially in multiple glands. I add calendula petals to my salads in the summer and early fall and I add the infused oil to almost every one of my salve recipes.
I highly recommend planting this beautiful and useful flower into your garden. I grow both the yellow and orange varieties. It pretty much self seeds itself with very little assistance and it's medicinal uses are multiple. This is a remedy to keep in your first aid chest and have handy when "cold season" comes along.
I hope you'll enjoy and love this plant as much as I do!