Written by Meghan Rhodes MCPP MAPA
I've been infusing calendula oil this week. It's the first homegrown batch of the year. As I weighed the dried petals, I realised I would need all of my June harvest to make 500ml of oil.
We're so fast-moving in this life, we're so used to having anything we need or want at our fingertips. But when you're growing and making your own medicines from scratch, you appreciate the importance of slowing down.
Any time I was out in the apothecary garden in June, I harvested any calendula flowers that were ready. Each batch slowly dried in my dehydrator and was then carefully stored. Not a single petal was wasted. My sense of awareness was heightened as I noticed the care and attention and respect I was giving these flowers. There is only so much of them each year, and then they are gone.
But oftentimes we don't give this same care, attention and respect to our bodies. We are always doing too much too quickly, and this wastes the vital energy of our bodies. It leads to burn out, poor absorption of nutrients, infections, and careless grazes and injuries.
Calendula brings all that care to the fore in the shape of bright, joyous, highly potent botanical medicine. It heals us inside and out, restoring the integrity of the gut, as well as healing any external injuries. Its antimicrobial and antifungal properties help us clear out unwanted crowding in our bodies. And when infused in an oil we can use it to soothe a frazzled nervous system and nourish the skin, it means we can take the time to slow down, to give our bodies the attention they deserve.
Especially in the UK, the sun and warm days are only here for so long - and so are we. Sometimes it takes a shift of focus or change of lifestyle to give ourselves space for deep healing. This can be easier said than done, and we often have to remind ourselves to do it, but it's worth it.
Take a moment to reflect on what you want to focus on, slow down and enjoy.