Calendula is renowned as a medicinal, healing plant and has been used for centuries for healing wounds, burns and rashes. The sunshiney flowers are also a traditional remedy for boosting the immune system and lifting the spirits – you only have to look at them to feel better.
I wanted to share here their use as in post-partum healing for a torn or tender perineum. An strong infusion of calendula flowers can be used in the following ways:
- Sitz bath – a bath or bucket that you sit in – with cool or warm infusion of herbs.
- Perineal spray – a bottle of herbal infusion you can spray or pour before and after toileting (or even during)
- Soothing pad – a sanitary pad soaked in the herbal infusion you can press to your perineum or sit on.
For anyone who is wondering, the perineum is the area of soft tissue between the anus and the vagina and it may be cut, torn or simply sore after a vaginal birth. You can prepare your perineum before birth with exercises that both strengthen and soften the pelvic floor and with perineal massage (from 34 weeks).
The herbal infusion is made by placing two large handfuls of flowers into one pint of boiling water. Once cooled you can use neat or dilute in a sitz bath (or full bath). You can also use the infusion in your baby’s bath or make home-made wipes with it.
If you’re not growing your own you can purchase dried calendula flowers from various online retailers. They are also commonly known as marigolds but true calendula are their own genus and those are the flowers you want.