Jul 102019

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor


If you’re looking for an herb to soothe and repair digestive issues, the cheery flowers of calendula (Calendula officinalis) will be one of your primary allies. Calendula tea is commonly used to help remedy peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It supports the healing of gastric and intestinal inflammation from infection or irritation through its vulnerary (wound healing), anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial actions.

Calendula can be combined with licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), and meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) as a natural remedy for GERD, which commonly affects people with the symptoms of heartburn. In the case of peptic ulcers, calendula can be taken concurrently with antibiotic therapy (to address the presence of the bacterial infection of H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori), and then continued for two weeks after finishing treatment. See the notes below for important contraindications.

For a more detailed guide to calendula’s expansive medicinal benefits, visit my article on Growing and Using Calendula.


Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) harvest

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) harvest

Safety and Contraindications: Do not use calendula internally during pregnancy since it has traditionally been used to bring on menses. As calendula is in the aster family, it may cause a reaction for people who are highly sensitive to plants like ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita); this possibility is rare, but sensitive individuals should proceed with caution when using calendula for the first time. Rare incidences of allergic contact dermatitis have occurred with the topical use of calendula.


Digestive Calendula Tea

This tasty tea blend is helpful for acid reflux and helps to reduce heartburn through the anti-inflammatory, astringent, and demulcent actions of the herbs. This tea is also helpful for soothing sore throats, peptic ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can be sipped on as needed or taken daily to help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). See below for contraindications for the herbs in this formula.

  • 2 parts meadowsweet leaves and flowers (Filipendula ulmaria)
  • 1 part marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis)
  • 1 part calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis)
  • 2 parts licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra or G. uralensis)

For every 8 ounces (240 ml) of water, use 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of the herb blend. Place the desired amount of herbal blend and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty minutes and take off the heat.

Strain and sweeten with honey or maple syrup if desired. Drink one to three cups a day.

Because this tea is best taken tonically (daily), I find it’s helpful to pre-mix a jarful of the dried herbs (in the proportions given above) to store in your cabinet and dip into whenever you’re brewing a batch. Along these lines, I prefer to infuse one to two days’ worth of tea at a time (stored in the fridge). Dosage is up to three cups per day.

Safety and Contraindications: This formula should not be taken internally during pregnancy because of the calendula and licorice (instead use slippery elm alone). The use of meadowsweet is cautioned in people who have aspirin sensitivity (or sensitivity to other salicylate-containing drugs). Meadowsweet may thin the blood; therefore, monitor coagulation values with people who are taking pharmaceutical blood thinners (the evidence for meadowsweet’s effect on coagulation is inconclusive). Marshmallow has no known adverse effects.

Licorice is contraindicated in pregnancy, water retention (edema), heart conditions, and high blood pressure. If licorice is not advisable, omit the licorice from the tea blend, and use a DGL licorice (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) preparation instead. Use the same proportions for the remaining herbs in the formula if you’re omitting the licorice.

See the notes above for contraindications pertaining to calendula.

Meet the Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea:

JULIET BLANKESPOOR founded the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007 and serves as the school’s primary instructor and Creative Director. She's been a professional plant-human matchmaker for close to three decades. Juliet caught the plant bug when she was nineteen and went on to earn a degree in Botany. She's owned just about every type of herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now, an herbal school.

These days, she channels her botanical obsession with her writing and photography in her online programs and here on her personal blog, Castanea. She's writing her first book: Cultivating Medicinal Herbs: Grow, Harvest, and Prepare Handcrafted Remedies from Your Home Garden. Juliet and her houseplants share a home with her family and herb books in Asheville, North Carolina.

Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herbs and their uses?

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Aug 162015

Arnica montana

Homeopathy Arnica

Homeopathic remedies, such as Arnica montana, are wonderful for first aid and some emergency situations. In severe instances you should seek medical help/hospital immediately, but in less serious cases the homeopathic remedy can bring excellent and fast results.

Even in severe cases, while waiting for the arrival of the doctor or on the way to the hospital, homeopathic remedies can be given, which many times bring quick amelioration.

For chronic diseases, self-medication with Homeopathy is not recommended. More serious or long lasting problems need to be repertorized by an expert in homeopathy to avoid the risk of choosing the wrong remedy.

Arnica montana is native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia, and cultivated in North America. Arnica’s medicinal properties has been known for centuries. They come from various active ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Arnica montana external use

Arnica montana- Homeopathic Remedy Internal and External Use

The main external use of Arnica montana in the form of cream or ointment, is for contusions, bruises, sprains, muscle pain, joints pain, superficial phlebitis and insect bites. Never use it on open wounds or any opening in the skin.

Arnica montana internal use

Internally, homeopathic Arnica helps the body heal wounds and clear bruises (dark or blue stains due to a diffused infiltration of blood in the subcutaneous tissue). For families with children, it is of great help to have it at hand. It helps when the whole body aches from too much physical work, and pain from bruises in general.

Arnica montana for Prevention

Arnica is used worldwide to prevent bruising resulting from cosmetic surgery.

Arnica montana for emotional frights and shocks

Arnica is the number one remedy for shocks and sudden fears. In a situation of emotional trauma, as for example in a car crash, Arnica will bring balance, dissipating the shock.

Suggested doses

Arnica homeopathic

Internally Arnica montana should only be taken in homeopathic way, which is a very small and diluted dose, as it is toxic in raw doses.

  • Shock

    In case of shock, take 1 globule of Arnica 200CH. Repeat later, if necessary.

  • Plastic surgery

    As a preventive for plastic surgery, doctors usually indicate Arnica 4D, to be taken 3 times a day (4 pellets each time), starting two weeks before surgery, and taking a week thereafter. Ask your doctor about the dose and frequency that are ideal for your case.

  • Hematoma

    Take Arnica 6CH, 12CH or 30CH until the skin is clear. Use the Arnica cream three times per day.

  • Bruises and muscular injury

    Take Arnica 30CH for up to 2 weeks. If you don’t feel amelioration after the first doses, look for help to find the correct remedy.

How to take the homeopathic remedy

homeopathy arnica montana

Place the pellet(s) under the tongue directly from the vial lid (do not come into direct contact with them), and allow them to dissolve slowly. If necessary, dilute them in a little water and keep it into the mouth for 10 seconds, before swallowing.

Avoid coffee, toothpaste or even food 10 minutes before and after taking your homeopathic remedy.

If you are giving it to babies or for people unable to put the pellets under the tongue, just dissolve the pellets in a tablespoon of water and give it with a teaspoon or syringe. The same goes for animals.

This information has only educational purposes and is not intended to treat any diseases, or replace medical treatment.

Maria Alves, DCHM, HOM
Registered Homeopath
#15222 – College of Homeopaths of Ontario, Canada
Classical Homeopathy
For in-person consultations in Toronto and Durham Area, please call 289-892-3011 or send an e-mail. Remote consultations over Skype available, for chronic an acute cases.

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