Time really flies, doesn’t it? Doesn’t even matter if you’re having fun or not. Feels like summer was just here, but all of a sudden people are starting to plan Christmas gifts and I find myself knitting a pair of leg warmers. It also feels like just the other day I wrote my last blog post, but turns out it was almost two weeks ago. I really should get my act together here.
Today, I was going to write about how long this summer has been and how it’s still warm outside. But literally just as I sat myself down to start writing just that, I look out of the window and – it’s snowing! God dammit. Good thing I started on those leg warmers.
But still, can you imagine that up until now my balcony has been in full bloom. New flowers have been coming up constantly. And we’re talking mid October here. In Finland. That’s global warming for you, I guess.
My main balcony project this year (well, this is actually the first time I’ve even had a balcony and thus been able to have a balcony project) has been growing Calendula. Calendula is a lovely flower that comes in all ranges of colors from light yellow to deep dark orange. And speaking of time, the name calendula comes from the latin word calendae (the first day of the month), which possibly comes from the regularity of the calendula – it opens up every morning when the sun comes up, and closes again when the sun goes down.
But not only is calendula easy on the eyes with it’s bright happy colors – it’s also a whole pharmacy in itself! Check this out:
- Calendula has anti-inflammatory properties, and can thus help soothe inflammations and red skin, but also reduces bruises, insect bites and frostbite.
- It will help fight acne, eczema and psoriasis extremely well
- It is moisturizing and calming
- It reduces dark circles under your eyes
- In massage oils, calendula helps against varicose veins and during PMS.
- Calendula works effectively but very gently and is especially good for dry, sensitive skin, and even baby skin.
Calendula is definitely one of my own favorite ingredients in homemade skin care. The only downside to growing them yourself is that it hurts to pick the pretty flowers just when they are in full bloom!
So, how to use calendula then. Personally, I love herbal oils. Check the link to see how to make your own calendula oil (well, basically just add the flowers and leave to stand in a sunny or warm place for about two weeks). The picture you see to your right is olive oil with calendula flowers in it. I use it as my daily face and body oil, as a hair oil and massage oil. You can also use it as the base in a salve.
You can also make a herbal infusion of the calendula. Just boil it as regular tea. You can soak some cotton pads in the infusion and leave on your eyes to reduce dark circles, or use as a toner or hair rinse.
Have I convinced you yet? New balcony project for next year, perhaps? It will be time before you know it.