Carnations in Herbalism

Actions: alexiteric, anaesthetic, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antiviral, aromatic, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, insecticidal, nervine, ophthalmic, reno-protective, stimulant, tonic, vulnerary

Carnations have some pain killing properties.  Externally, carnations can aid aching muscles, skin inflammations and swellings. Soak in a warm bath to which carnation vinegar or a carnation infusion has been added. This may also help alleviate menstrual cramps.

The herbalist Culpeper wrote that carnations, “strengthened the brain and heart,” while Gerard stated that “the conserve of the floures of the clove gillofloure and sugar, is exceeding cordiall, and wonderfully above measure doth comfort the heart, being eaten now and then.” The petals would be steeped in white wine infused with the petals until they were pale and then strained but you can try carnation flower tea can be taken for nervousness, stress and minor depression, and may be of use in cases of seasickness.

Carnation tea may be used as a tonic for the digestive and urinary system.

Use a carnation steam for chest congestion.

Carnation essential oil is used in commercial perfumery and soap making. It takes 500 kg of carnation flowers to make 100 grams of the essential oil. You can’t make your own essential oils effectively, but you can make a macerated carnation oil, which you can use to soothe your face and body, or in massage to treat skin problems. Add it to your homemade skin care creams.  Carnations promote the healing, conditioning and softening of the skin, making them useful for wrinkles, irritated skin, acne, rashes, rosacea and eczema.

In Mediaeval times carnations were steeped in rose water to make a perfume for the hair.

Carnations are naturally quite high in saponins (soap). If you make your own soap, carnation petals are a lovely addition, but you can simply simmer the leaves in water, strain and use the liquid to cleanse your skin. If your skin is irritated, you may find this gentler and more soothing than conventional soap.


Author: annafranklinblog

Anna Franklin is the High Priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod, which runs teaching circles, a working coven, and the annual Mercian Gathering, a Pagan camp which raises money for charity. She regularly speaks at conferences, moots and workshops around the country. She is the author of many books on witchcraft and Paganism, including the popular Pagan Ways Tarot, Sacred Circle Tarot, The Fairy Ring, Herb Craft, Magical Incenses and Oils, Personal Power, A Romantic Guide to Handfasting, Familiars, The Oracle of the Goddess, Hearth Witch, The Path of the Shaman and The Hearth Witch’s Compendium. Anna’s books have been translated into nine languages.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: