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Calendula.  It’s a gateway drug, I tell you.  I grew some in the garden this year as my first foray into flowers, and because I had a vague idea that I could make soap this winter.  Springtime is full of optimists.  What was I thinking?  I’m not going to make soap.  There are lots of good soapmakers already, and I’ve got a tiny house to build.  But hot damn, my calendula plant produced dozens and dozens of flowers over its lifespan, and this last bit of warm weather has lengthened its staying power.

So here I am, drying out the flower heads thanks to a compulsive need to preserve as many garden products as possible.  Then it occurs to me that I have to do something with these fibery bits and bobs.  I remember reading a post about calendula salve on The Nerdy Farm Wife, and then another about comfrey

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Next thing I know, I’m knee deep into books about medical herbalism and wildcrafting.  I have oil infusing on my windowsill, herbs drying in the pantry, and freshly-dug roots waiting to be roasted.  I’ve pulled out the castor oil.  My bottle of glycerin is ready for some action.  How did it come to this?  Oh yes, calendula.

Thanks to this happy flower, I’m delving into the study of herbs for healing.  I like learning about Western Herbalism, which has the plants and herbs I’m familiar with, but I think Eastern Herbalism has more of the depth that I want.  Western provides many approaches for each ailment: “Did calendula not heal your sore muscles?  Try comfrey!  Is comfrey failing you?  Give cayenne a shot!”  Eastern treats the cause of the ailment: “Your muscles are sore because you have too much cold in you, try cayenne which will heat you up, instead of comfrey, which will cool you down.”

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It’s all jumbled in my head, and compounded by the fact that I have one thousand sensitivities.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m here, learning about herbs, giving Seth an earful every night, and cooking up remedies in my free time.  So if you see an increase of herbs and things in my social media feeds — WHEN  you see an increase — you’ll know.  Thank you calendula.

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