When I think about summer, and all the beautiful flowers sprouting up in gardens all around, bright sunny marigolds are always what I picture. Their bright, sunshiny petals are so beautiful.
But their beauty isn’t their only sunny quality. Marigolds are also great for natural healing.
Perhaps you know them by another name… calendula!!
Today we’re covering how to use calendula for dogs and cats!
Merry for Marigolds
Calendula is part of the daisy family, with common names that include pot marigold, marigold, garden marigold, and Mary bud.
And its healing properties are very merry to say the least! Calendula is most used as a topical anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It contains flavonoids, and terpenoids that likely contribute to its anti-inflammatory effects. It also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In human research, extracts made from dried calendula have even been shown to have potent anti-HIV activity, making it a herb of interest to AIDS researchers!
Calendula is also high in antioxidants such as lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, quercetin, rutin, and more! Many of these are known for their roles in eye health, reducing inflammation, preventing heart disease, regulating blood sugar, and more!
When it comes to calendula for dogs and cats, its benefits are numerous. By far the greatest is for wounds. Calendula has long history as a wound healer. You can use it on cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, and insect bites. It helps to speed up the healing process, and its anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve pain and inflammation, while it’s antimicrobial properties will help protect against bacterial growth. Just don’t use a thick salve on oozing wounds – use only a tea/rinse.
The same anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties of calendula that make it good for wounds also make it helpful for the digestive tract. It can be very soothing to internal mucous membranes and can help support inflammation.
How to Use Calendula for Dogs and Cats
Calendula is most often used topically, either as a rinse or a healing salve.
Note: If you collect the flowers yourself, please make sure to use ones that HAVE NOT been sprayed with anything.
1. Tea Rinse
Add 8 tbsp of fresh calendula or 4 tbsp of dried to a teapot. Add a quart of boiling water. Let it steep for 20 minutes, then strain out the herb and let it cool. Keep it in the fridge and make a fresh batch every few days.
You can use this rinse to cleanse wounds, or can even spay it on your pet to help relive itchy or irritated skin! Let it dry on the skin – don’t wipe it off.
Our Owies & Oopsies features calendula, along with hypericum, horsetail, hydrates, and green tea. It’s a soothing topical spray for both dogs and cats, for healing and soothing insect bites, hot spots, burns, wounds, skin abrasions, and more.
2. Healing Salve
To make a calendula salve, take 8 to 10 oz of calendula (try to find finely ground), coconut oil (2 to 3 cups), and beeswax (1 oz ), and place the coconut oil and calendula in a crockpot set to low. Leave for 24 hours. Once your oil is the colour of the calendula, strain the herbs from the oil and put back in the crockpot with 1 ounce of beeswax for every 8 ounces of strained oil. Once the beeswax melts, remove it from the heat, pour it into small tins or a small mason jar, let cool, then cover.
Apply this to cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, etc. (remember, not on open or oozing wounds) a few times a day.
Note: calendula should not be given internally to pregnant or lactating animals, and long term internal use isn’t recommended, particularly for kitties.
When it comes to natural healing, calendula for dogs and cats is one of the safest herbs to use. Keeping it in your first aid kit is a great idea to help with natural relief and to help with wound care. Happy healing!