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Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is one of my most-adored herbs! So I was thrilled when today’s guest, Alex Crofoot, chose calendula as a focus for this interview. And I loved hearing both new and familiar ways of working with this favorite (and very versatile!) plant. Calendula is an herbal friend that:
► Is powerfully healing to the skin, yet is gentle enough to soothe a baby’s diaper rash or to bring some relief to red and irritated eyes. Calendula belongs in every herbal first aid kit!
► Has a range of applications for women’s health, from postpartum healing to helping relieve symptoms of vaginal atrophy
► Supports the lymphatic system and is healing to the gut, both of which can benefit folks who suffer from chronic allergies or frequent illness (or just about anyone, really!)
► and that’s naming just a few of calendula’s gifts…
This episode is full of tips to help you:
► Make infused oil with fresh calendula flowers (without spoilage due to moisture content)
► Make a full-spectrum calendula tincture (and why you might want to take the extra steps)
► Avoid problems with mold on your harvested calendula
For those of you who don’t already know Alex, she was born in the southern tier of NY, among rich farmlands and birch forests. She is a trained community/clinical herbalist and full spectrum doula who is passionate about accessible herbal care and supporting all pregnancy outcomes. Alex was raised around her Southern great grandmother who was a birthing assistant for her mother who worked as a midwife and herbalist with the Chestnut Ridge People. This may explain her admiration for the plant and reproductive world since childhood.
Alex is a queer cis woman. She is the founder of the Community Care Camper, a free mobile herb clinic serving underserved populations in and around Ann Arbor Michigan. She is the co-owner of Black Locust Gardens herb farm, and plant nursery, a coordinator for the Great Lakes Herb Faire, an herbal educator, mom, animist, pagan, writer and is currently working on opening up a mutual aid herb shop. She works on a sliding fee scale, weaving together a harm-reduction and client-centered lens. She works mostly with AFAB people health around postpartum, pregnancy loss, gut and hormonal health.
I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you today!
Calendula is such a great introductory plant that also builds upon itself.
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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.