Calendula: (Calendula officinalis) Marigold/Pot Marigold.
In my Eco Apothecary products I use Calendula as a tisane, de-alcoholised tincture, infused oil or essential oil.
Due to Calendula’s wonderful skin healing and softening properties, I often use it in more than one form within the same product.
- Calendula, as a plant extract, has been used throughout history in skin preparations to promote soft supple skin. Calendula is beneficial for dry or damaged skin and also promotes the fast healing and regeneration of the skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
- Calendula oil is often used for skin that is exposed to the elements and has become dry or damaged. It helps protect the skin against harsh climatic conditions, both summer and winter, including the drying effects of air-conditioning. The natural restorative properties in Calendula, rejuvenates the dermis and imbues the skin with a youthful clarity and glow. Calendula oil is also used to prevent premature aging and thinning of the skin.
- Calendula is extremely soothing and gentle and is safe enough to be used on the delicate skin under the eyes assisting in the prevention of crow’s feet. It is known to be suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including the skin of newborn babies.
- Calendula has been proven to stimulate the metabolism of glycoproteins, nucleoproteins and collagen during the skin’s healing process and is there for considered as a powerful skin regeneration and anti-aging ingredient.
- Triterpenoid saponins (oleanolic acid and flavonols), carotenoids, bitter principles including calendin, essential oil, sterols, flavonoids, mucilage, resin. Carotenoid content determines flower colour: carotene in orange flowers, xanthophyll in yellow.
- Different colours and types of daisy-like flower.
- A common cottage garden flower which self sows easily and has been popular since the time of the Romans.
- The whole plant has medicinal properties, but mainly the flower head.
- The English name marigold refers to its old use in church festivals in the Middle Ages, being one of the flowers dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
- Calendula was strewn in front of cottage doors and made into garlands on May Day festivals.
- The name Calendula comes from the Latin calends, meaning the first day of every month because in its native climate of Egypt and the Mediterranean, Calendula is in bloom on the first day of the month year round.
- In some traditions Calendula is the symbol of endurance.
- The orange flowered variety has stronger medicinal properties than the yellow and is there for more widely grown and used in Herbalism.
- Although the entire Calendula plant has medicinal properties, the flower heads have the highest amount of active constituents and are the part most commonly used for medicinal and skin care purposes.
Calendula is known to be antiseptic, anti-fungal,
anti-inflammatory, astringent, wound-healing,
a valuable topical antiseptic and antiviral.
Extremely useful for nearly all skin problems (Calendula is also used as an effective internal remedy in Herbal medicine.)
- Topical (external) medicinal use of Calendula is recommended for all wounds and superficial cuts, including acute and chronic inflammatory lesions, wounds, varicose veins, broken capillaries and leg ulcers, haemorrhoids, skin Infection, pruritus (severe itching), Pruritus ani and proctitis and fungal infections like athletes foot.
- It is specifically indicated for acute and chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis, for poorly healing wounds, sunburn, side-effects of radiation (skin burns), acne, sebaceous cysts, bruises, boils and rashes including nappy (diaper) rash.
History of use
- The Romans used the flowers as teas to relieve fevers and the juice of the crushed flowers to remove warts.
- The flowers were used as a cosmetic, as a dye and to colour a variety of foods including soups and conserves.
- Culpeper (c. 1826) and Gerard (born 1545) refer to marigold (calendula) as “comforter of the heart and spirits”.
- In the Middle Ages, St. Hildegard and Albert the Great used it for intestinal troubles, liver obstructions, insect and snake bites.
- In the 16th and 17th centuries marigold (calendula) tea was used for eye complaints, headaches, jaundice and toothache.
Superstition and magic
- Culpeper called them the herb of the sun and under the influence of the star sign Leo.
- They have been long associated with the sun as they open when the sun rises to follow it across the sky and close when it sets.
- (To me these are such a bright happy flower that brightens up the cloudiest day – however…)
- There is an historical connection with sorrow and mourning in several cultures, South American and Mexican, from the times of the conquistadores who murdered many Aztecs in their search for gold – the red flecks in some petals symbolise the shed blood, Greek Mythology tells of Caltha who falls in love with Apollo the sun god, but was melted by the power of his rays.
- Mixed with roses they symbolise the sweet sorrows of love.
- Wearing calendula is supposed to allow you to see who has robbed you!
- It was also worn to protect against evil influences and disease.
Calendula is a wonderful versatile easy care plant that deserves a spot in everyone’s garden!
Materia Medica of Western Herbs for the Southern Hemisphere – Carole Fisher & Gilian Painter, revised edition 1996.
Prescribe Guide – Developed by practitioners and researchers especially for use in the clinic or pharmacy – https://www.herbdrugnutrient.com/calendula-officinalis
Truth In Aging The honest truth about beauty & personal care products – https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/calendula-officinalisTruth in Aging –
Live Strong Health http://www.livestrong.com/article/120336-calendula-skin-benefits/