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 with every new moon. The term “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, and the flowers are used to honor her during Catholic events. 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. Calendula has historically been used as a food, adding flavor to cereals, rice, and soups. The petals can be added to salads for their brilliant color. As recently as 70 years ago, American physicians used calendula to treat amenorrhea, conjunctivitis, fevers, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns, as well as minor infections of the skin.
For tea: Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried flowers in 1 to 2 cups of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink as needed.
Compress: For eyestrain, brew a strong tea using a tablespoon of dried calendula flowers per cup of boiling water. Steep until cool. Apply using a cool compress put over your eyelids, and lean back and relax for at least 10 minutes.
Face wash: Apply to the face with a cotton ball or clean cloth, or use as the liquid base of a lotion
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