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Jul 282011
 

Throughout northern Mediterranean countries, there is an orange or yellow-colored flower that grows. Also referred to as ‘marigold’ or ‘pot marigold,’ calendula has become a popular choice for tea drinkers, who consume the herbal blend for its taste and health benefits. In addition to providing a hot beverage, calendula is also used to add yellow coloring and flavor to foods, such as rice, soup, cereals, and even dessert.

Calendula flowers are ideally picked as soon as they open during the summer. The young and tender leaves are good for salads because they possess a slightly peppery taste. To make calendula tea, steep dried flowers in boiling water for about five minutes. Many will sweeten with honey if there is a bitter taste. The flowers contain beta-carotene, sterols, vitamin A, vitamin C, and complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties that are awakened in the water.

Calendula and Desserts

Calendula flower petals have also found a place in making desserts. They add a subtle flavor to cookies, custards, and milk desserts. An example of a sweet treat that uses the flower is Calendula Drop Cookies, which are made with fresh calendula blossoms, sugar, butter, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and almond halves. Other sweet treats you can make with calendula includes the Mardi Gras favorite King Cake and Banana Cake, which both use dried or fresh petals.

Health Benefits of Calendula Tea

Calendula tea possesses anti-inflammatory, detoxing, and antibacterial properties. When you settle down to sip on a cup of calendula tea, you can take advantage of many other health benefits, such as relieving a sore throat, calming an irritated mouth, and limiting the damage of gastrointestinal conditions. Drink the tea when you are sick to rejuvenate your immune system. The tea is also used as a topical treatment for conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, skin irritations and inflammations (such as acne) and for the stimulation of collagen production.

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