The pot marigold, Calendula Officinalis provides Calendula oil, which is often found in skin care ingredients for babies as it is such a gentle moisturiser. This bright orange flower is useful both internally and topically (on the skin). Steeping the dried flower in boiling water produces a tea which may help soothe the digestive system as well as sore throats. You can use a fresh infusion topically to soothe tired eyes, to clean cuts and as a face wash.
Ground Calendula petals are sometimes used instead of Saffron. The powder can be added directly to your food, although it will lend your dish a different flavour to Saffron, so experiment first. You can also pre-soak the strands in milk (much the same as you would for Saffron) and add the coloured liquid to the pan/dish. Fresh Marigold leaves are often added to salads, but pre-soaking these dried leaves may work - we have not yet tried this! The Marigold petals are ideal as a natural cupcake/dessert decoration and indeed natural colourant that is child friendly.
For a soothing infusion use 1 or 2 teaspoons of petals per cup of hot water. Try blending along with Nettle Leaves, Chamomile Flowers and a few Lavender flowers (not entire flower heads!).
Soothing tea, which is easily blended with other loose herbs.
Acts as a natural orange/yellow food colouring.
Pretty, edible decoration for biscuits and other baked goodies.
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