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Latin Name

Calendula officinalis

Also Known As

Marigold, garden marigold, holigold, Mary bud, pot marigold, Calendula

Origin

Native of Southern Europe

Parts Used

Flowers, leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

The Calendula plant is one of nature's all round healing salves. Its primary use is as a skin healer, and it deserves its place as a traditional first aid botanical.

 
Calendula oil is an excellent anti-oxidant source. This beautiful orange and yellow oil is rich in carotenes and carotenoid and this gives it its radiant colour. These phyto chemicals are pre-cursers to the production of Vitamin A. Calendula, also known as Marigold oil is anti-inflammatory and very good for damaged bruised and wounded skin. It is recommended for use in the case of eczema, rashes and chapping.

 
Calendula is also known to be good for regulating the menstrual cycle and bringing relief from heavy periods. 

 
Its anti-fungal qualities make it useful for gentle detoxification. It is indicated for use in the treatment of Candida.

 
It is such a gentle healer so it can be safely and effectively used for children's first aid and minor complaints.

 
PREPARATIONS:
Calendula or Marigold tea can be drank to nourish the skin, act as an internal anti-fungal agent and soothe the intestinal tract. This tea is also delicious and mildly detoxifying.

 
Calendula or Marigold oil can be used in skin care and in body massage, it can also be applied directly to a damaged skin area.


Typical Uses

Use 10% Calendula oil to a 90% ratio of a lighter carrier oil such as Sweet Almond, Grapeseed or Wheatgerm oil. Use 30ml of this blend for a full body massage. It can be applied directly to a troubled skin area.   To make Calendula tea: 1 teaspoon of flowers to 1 cup of hot water.

Folklore and History

In the middle ages Marigolds symbolized jealousy. In the past, Calendula officinalis was used to colour cheese yellow (rather that than some of the chemicals used today!) It was called "poor man's saffron". In the 12th century,the herbalist Macer concluded that there would be an improvement in your eyesight just by looking at the plant. It was used as a treatment for smallpox and measles, in fact so much was grown in the Soviet Union that it became known as Russian penicillin.    The religious sect The Shakers in America believed they were an effective cure for gangrene.

Constituents

Calendula contains flavonoids, triterpene saponins, and carotenoids.

Precautions

Except for the very rare person who is allergic to calendula and therefore should not use it, there are no known side effects or interactions. Not recommended during pregnancy.