CALENDULA - calendula officinalis


Calendula oil is distilled from the petals of the pot marigold (Calendula Officinalis), a species of flower native to southern Europe. The name marigold is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla, or marsh marigold. The flower was also later associated with the Virgin Mary and then with Queen Mary in the seventeenth century. There is a considerable amount of folklore pertaining to calendula: if cut when the sun is at its highest calendula flowers are said to act as a heart tonic and fortifier. Old French sources claim that by merely looking at the flowers for a few minutes each day, this will strengthen weak eyes. Garlands of calendula were once attached to door handles to keep evil, particularly contagion, out of the house. The therapeutic values of the flowers in treating skin problems have long been known. Marigold poultices were used to heal and obliterate the scars of smallpox, for instance. Marigold skin remedies are very highly regarded in today’s homoeopathy and herbal or holistic medicine. 

For the medicine cabinet x. The properties attributed to calendula oil are tonic, sudorific, emmenagogic and antispasmodic, but it is mainly used dermatologically. It is useful for very sensitive skin, and to help heal the scars of those who have had very bad acne. It is very calming, even in the smallest proportions, mixed with other oils. Very little oil is needed in any preparation. Dried marigold infusions make good toners, and good calmers for the itchy eyes of hay fever. A tisane could help PMT. Some oil in a parsley compress is good for broken capillaries. A drop of calendula oil in a bath is good for psoriasis. Gargling calendula water may ease sore throat.

For the meditation/spiritual x.  Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought to possess powers for the protection and benefit of humans

For beauty x. Calendula creams and washes are  used to disinfect minor wounds and to treat infections of the skin. The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. Calendula is also known for its ability to brighten skin and protect from blemishes.

Colour x.  Pale yellow

In cookery x. Marigold petals have been used as the poor man’s saffron to colour cheeses, butters and dishes since the Middle Ages. The Elizabethans would use both petals and leaves in salads (although the latter are very strong). The petals flavour soups and stews, and they can be crystallized. 

Other uses x. Marigold has long been used as a dye, and the dried petals can be included in pot-pourris

Collections: Essential Oils

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