Common Name: Marigold
Latin Name: Calendula officinalis
Calendula’s bright orange flowers have a sunny disposition in any herbal garden. The flowers have been thought to aid in promoting good health and cheerfulness during the colder months. It is well known to the old herbalist for use in cooking and medicine making. In medieval Europe calendula was widely available and was known as “poor man’s saffron” and was used to colour and spice various foods, and its petals used for dying cheese. Astrologically calendula was associated with the sun and fire element and believed to imbue magical powers and protection. Flowers strung above doorposts were said to keep evil out and protect one while sleeping if put under the bed. It was said that picking the flowers under the noon day sun will strengthen and comfort the heart.
Parts Used: Yellow petals, florets
Constituents: Saponins, essential oil containing carotenoids, bitter principle, mucilage, flavonoids
Actions: Anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, anti-fungal, cholagogue, emmenagougue
Medicinal Uses: Marigold is one of the best herbs for treating topical skin problems. It may safely be used wherever there is an inflammation on the skin. A powerful vulnerary, it promotes cellular growth to help the healing of wounds. Hence, topically it aids in treating wounds, burns, bruises, sores, rashes, skin infections and ulcers. Calendula is a wonderful herb for babies, being both potent and gentle. Internally it can be made into a tea to aid in digestive complaints and is also known to help cleanse and nourish the lymphatic system. It works well with other lymph cleansers such as burdock root, red clover, cleavers and chickweed. Lymph cleansers are particularly good for helping to support skin conditions internally as they help to support the immune system.