Calendula

Synonyms: Caltha officinalis. Golds. Ruddes. Mary Gowles. Oculus Christi. Pot Marigold. Marygold. Fiore d'ogni mese. Solis Sponsa.
Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis L.
Family: Compositae/Asteraceae

Habitat

Presumably native to the Mediterranean region. Distribution now practically world-wide.

Constituents

Essential oil, saponins, carotinoids, xanthophylls, bitter compounds, mucilage, flavonoids.

Description

This easy-to-grow annual herb, which can reach a height of 70 cm, delights us with its flowers from June to well into October. The roughly hairy, sturdy stems are crowned with bright orange or yellow flowers, up to 4 cm in diameter, which are visible from afar and light up the garden like little suns. The dry fruits, which we know as the seeds, come in various ringlet-like shapes from crescents to little hooks. In fact, it is these fruits, and not the flowers or the leaves, that give the plant its German name Ringelblume – ringlet flower.

Uses

The astrologically oriented botanist and physician Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) swore by Marigold Calendula as a remedy for fortifying the heart. In his 'Vade-Mecum Botanicum' (1694) Samuel Müller also mentioned a host of ills for which Calendula was supposed to be a remedy. Today its main medicinal use is for wounds healing in the form of ointments, essences, gels and oils for external application. It is one of the best wound healing herbs altogether and, on account of its anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, is even used for the treatment of leg ulcers.

In skin care it is used particularly for injured, irritated, sensitive and inflamed skin. It profoundlysupports influences the metabolism, regulates the blood and circulation in the skin and improves increases the skin tone. Inflamed nipples, burns, bruises and sunburn are also treated with Marigold. On account of its reputed blood-cleansing properties it is also used in chronic eczema, boils, spots and adolescent acne.

Used internally as tea it has antispasmodic action and influences bile secretion and therefore helps the digestion.

Interesting Facts

The sun-like calendula (alson known as marigold) follows the course of the sun with its flowers: they open at daybreak and close as soon as the sun goes down again. It was probably this calendar-like movement in time with the sun that led botanists to give it the scientific name Calendula, from the Latin calendae – the first of the month. Because of its odour, at the same time aromatic and reminiscent of decay, it became a symbol of redemption after death in Christian mythology. Its inexhaustible vegetative growth also caused it to become a symbol of eternal life and people often planted it on graves as funeral flower. In Mexico it is also considered a flower of death, believed to originate from the blood of the Indians slain by the Spanish conquerors. In the Middle Ages the golden-yellow flower, also called Solis Sponsa or bride of the sun, was dedicated to the Germanic goddess Freya, later to the Christian Mary, hence the another common name, Marigold.

Plants which flower at the most important points in the course of the sun and whose shape resembles the sun have always been considered sacred. Other such plants are the Daisy, St. John'swort and Chicory. As magical plant MarigoldCalendula was an essential part of any love charm. If a girl planted or sowed the 'Niewelkblume' in the footprints of her loved one he would have to – whether he wanted to or not – come to her for ever. In Spain, too, sorcerers were convinced of its magical powers and always carried it with them as talisman.

The Plant at Dr. Hauschka Skin Care

Calendula's soothing quality is beneficial to skin that is irritated or prone to inflammation. You'll find it in: Concealer, Light Reflecting ConcealerDaily Hydrating Eye Cream, Eye Balm, Revitalizing Day Cream, Clarifying Toner, Clarifying Day Oil, Cleansing Cream, Lip Balm, Coverstick, Revitalizing Hair & Scalp Tonic.

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