The Calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or every new moon. The term "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, and marigolds are used in Catholic events honoring the Virgin Mary. The Egyptians considered them to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as a colorant in food, fabrics, and cosmetics, and of particular interest, in the 18th and 19th century calendula was used to color cheese. The calendula was originally used as food rather than as an herb. It adds flavor to cereals, rice, and soups. The petals can be added to salads.
Calendula is not just a beautiful flower, but a natural medicine for many conditions. Calendula has now been placed in the books of immunue system cures, because it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and anti viral properties. Antivirals reduce the proliferation of viruses in the body. Cold and flu symptoms can be caused by viruses. Calendula can also be taken for stagnant liver problems as it helps move liver energies.
Calendula is usually used externally for its antiseptic and healing properties in treating skin infections, cuts, punctures, scrapes, burns and chapped or chafed skin or lips. The tea or the tincture in water can be swished and swallowed in order to help heal oral lesions, sore throat, or gastric ulcer.
Internally it acts as a valuable herb for digestive inflammation and thus it may be used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. As acholagogue it will aid in the relief of gall-bladder problems and also through this process help in many of the vague digestive complaints that are called indigestion. Calendula has marked anti-fungal activity and may be used both internally and externally to combat such infections. As an emmenagogue it has a reputation of helping delayed menstruation and painful periods. It is in general a normalizer of the menstrual process.
Calendula's popularity comes from its chemical properties which comprises of about 0.8% flavonoids which are chemicals that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which are byproducts of the oxydation process. Studies show that calendula speeds up the healing process by increasing blood flow to the area and by stimulating collagen production to the site of healing. Collagen is the main protein found in connective tissue and is responsible along with soft keratin for giving tensile strength and elasticity to the skin. The reduction of collagen in the skin plus other factors leads to the aging of skin and resultant wrinkles. Calendula is used in numerous ways to stop the proliferation of free radicals through its antioxidant properties.
Calendula infused oils and salves are the most successful herbal remedies for assisting us with dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, diaper irritations, and other skin disorders.
Calendula Flowers can also be used in soap manufacturing and potpourris.
Calendula is found in many gardens in the country, sometimes growing wild on wastelands. Since its healing powers have become recognized again and are in demand, it is now met not only in gardens, but also in fields.
I have this precious herb available in different variations: