Calendula

20 Aug

gallery-thumbnailsThe marigold flower, also known as Calendula Officinalis, isn’t just pretty – it’s also a powerful remedy if your pet is having problems with his skin or mucus membranes. Calendula fights infection, stimulates healing and promotes the creation of new blood vessels. The whole plant can be used to make a gallery-thumbnails-1mother tincture for homeopathic remedies, and the petals are used for wound healing. 

Calendula is my go-to remedy for minor cuts, insect bites, abrasions or post-surgical healing, because it brings quick, soothing relief to swelling and inflammation and has antimicrobial properties. It can be used directly on the skin or prepared into a homeopathic remedy, tincture, cream, lotion or even a drinkable tea. Its often combined into a lotion or cream with Hypericum, a homeopathic remedy for healing wounds that affect nerve endings.

To prepare a lotion, mix 20 drops of calendula mother tincture into half a pint of cool, previously boiled water. Clean the wound first and then apply the calendula 3-4 times per day. Never put calendula on a dirty wound or puncture, because the healing can be so rapid that it could seal bacteria into the infected area.

An animal with sore gums or teeth, for instance after a tooth extraction, can benefit from a Calgallery-thumbnails-3endula mouthwash – just be sure the tea has cooled after steeping. Give your pet a teaspoon or two of the tea, or mix it into his drinking water. You can also use the tea as a body wash for skin issues such as fleabites, poison ivy or even sunburn. 

Hot poultices of Calendula lotion are good for treating abscesses and boils, and the antimicrobial and antifungal qualities of this plant are useful against fungal infections. It’s also great for foot problems, such as thrush or an abscess on your horse’s hoof. After cleaning the hoof, pack it with calendula and wrap a baggie (or a clean diaper!) around the hoof to keep the treated area clean.

I’ve treated my family and all of my animals at one time or another with calendula, and I always keep some in my medicine chest.

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