Is it me or are we lucky enough to live on in one of the most beautiful places on earth? Our little country has its challenges but boy oh boy are we coping well under the latest circumstances.
Were also pretty lucky in terms of our ability to grow the good stuff, and the best time to plant herbs is nearly upon us! So in a few weeks’ time, hiff out a few handfuls of coriander seed – literally sprinkle it around. My Auntie Liz always said just chuck it where you have a patch and it’ll come up! Coriander doesn’t like being transplanted apparently so seed is best- now that’s the taste buds sorted for spring and summer but for your skin… Calendula!
Calendula is one of the easiest herbs to grow. Once planted, it will often seed and spread its bright yellows to deep oranges; and it’s been used in many cultures from being a decoration for Hindu deities to western culture salads for colour and flavour. It’s been used for many centuries as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and also has antibacterial properties for healing wounds, relief of rash and eczema!
Actually Calendula has been a favourite of mine from the get go, and my mum has always been a Calendula fan, and literally the seed from which my brand has grown. Mums Calendula Cream helped both of my girls get through bouts of eczema.
I was a young mum and my baby girl was covered in itchy inflamed open wounds. My first girl weened herself from my breast milk at a really young age, which for me, was so distressing. Her body naturally told her that my milk was not safe for her with what I was eating. She was always upset and would never stop scratching.
We could not leave her naked as we had done with our first child, and for some reason this really upset me – still to this day. With many appointments to doctors / specialists and so much time trying to understand what was happening, we tried to figure out how to fix it and deal with the emotions and stress that comes with being parents of a severely Eczema prone baby. The specialist recommended we give up breast feeding and put her on a specialist synthetic formula, whilst slathering her in hydrocortisone cream, and this just didn’t sit right with us.
If you are in a similar situation, or if there is someone you know, there’s often a more holistic and natural way to go about things, and at that time I felt strongly that there must be another way, so I set about finding it and I’m so glad we did take this approach.
Luckily my Mum was, and is, an avid gardener and loves the healing properties of herbs and natural remedies. Influenced by this, we struck out to find a solution that we were comfortable with as a young family. We implemented a new life changing way of eating better foods, researching different fabric blended baby clothes – joining on line groups / researching additives and synthetics and cleaning / baby products -and to find a way to naturally treat our little girls wounds.
Blood tests / skin prick tests / hair strand tests / food eliminations, you name it, we did it.
In came mums Calendula Cream, a pongy concoction of infused Calendula flowers steeped in olive oil, sometimes mixed with comfrey and lavender – whipped into a thick viscous cream. This cream SAVED my daughter Olivia’s skin – AND our sanity. Mum made it in jam jars and handed it out to the extended family. Thanks Mum!
For many years I researched and perfected the balance of this natural formula – whipping into a deliciously thick cream that penetrates the outer skin layer leaving a luscious coat of moisture to protect broken and dry skin. The result, my CALENDULA K+ CREAM can be found on my site.
From little things big things grow. And I’m so grateful for this gift from my mother and the inspiration it has given me over the years to seek the best natural skincare for my family, one I feel safe to use, and one I feel proud to produce.
Tips on growing Calendula and other herbs:
Calendula Growing Guide (Tui)
Growing Herbs in NZ Gardens – a lovely article from the Whanganui Chronicle Gardening: Popular and Versatile Herbs (and their uses)
Some amazing facts and information from the Herb Federation of NZ can be found here. https://herbs.org.nz/