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That is the main property Dr. John R. Christopher listed for Calendula Officinalis, which is also known as Pot Marigold.
So what does emollient mean?
According to Merriam-Webster.com emollient means "making soft or supple; also : soothing especially to the skin or mucous membrane."
That's really what I always think of with this herb. I've used it when I'm trying to promote healthier skin in general, but I've also used it as a gentle eye wash to get rid of my child's eye infection.
We grow calendula in our garden every year and then harvest the flowers. They are beautiful, yellow flowers that we dry and store to infuse into oils—with the comfrey and chickweed—in our "homegrown" blend. We infuse it into both almond oil and olive oil and these oils are then used as a main ingredient in our lotions, serums and balm.
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When I've used it as an eye wash I made an herbal tea with the flowers by boiling some water and then removing it from the heat and adding a handful of dried calendula flowers. You could use fresh ones as well if that is what you have. I then let this steep for 10 minutes and strained it and used a separate cotton ball to swipe each eye.
If you consider the soothing nature of calendula for the skin, it is easy to come up with other ways it could be helpful. Like making it into a tea and using it as a gargle for a sore throat. Or using it as a hair rinse after shampooing to soothe an itchy scalp.
Overall, I would say it is one of the best herbs for nourishing and soothing the skin.
MELANIE SKELTON, MASTER HERBALIST
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