Calendula
Calendula officinalis​

Pharmaceutical Calendula, Calendula of the pot, Garden Calendula, Marigold, English Calendula, Scottish Calendula, has a long history that makes its exact origin unknown. It is probably native to the Mediterranean, southern Europe, but also north Africa and the Middle East, but it is widely spread to the north of Europe, the British Isles, Asia and elsewhere in warm and temperate regions of the world.

Walking through the Greek countryside, we often meet her wild cousin, Calendula arvensis, always in orange colour and with lesser flowers.

 

For its bright colour, reminiscent of the gold of the sun, it was associated with the god of light, Apollo. However, it is found in shades of deep orange, dark orange, bright yellow, pale yellow, up to pink or red, but also double, with the inner leaflet darker than the outside.

 

It took its name from the Roman calendars because it starts blooming at the end of winter, in the seven-day “Calendars of March”, where the Matronalia, the feast of married women, was celebrated.

 

It is a sacred flower, adorns Orthodox epitaphs, Catholic statues of the Virgin Mary, Hindu statues, Buddhist temples. In the symbolic language of flowers, the calendula symbolizes the brilliance of victory.

 

The British call it Marigold (Gold of the Virgin Mary), Summer's bride, Gold-bloom, Sun's Gold and Sun's Bride because its flower follows the course of the sun, turning its head toward it during the day.

 

Its flowers were used in Ancient Greece, Rome, the Middle East and India as a medicinal herb, as a dye for textiles, as well in food and cosmetics. Many of these uses continue today. The most common use nowadays is for the manufacture of oil extract for the protection of the skin.

 

Calendula’s petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters and carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin which are antioxidant and owes them its golden yellow colour.

 

Its leaves and stems have other carotenoids, mainly lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, herbal extracts that are widely used in cosmetics, possibly due to the presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils.

The flowers of the plant contain glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, glycosides saponins, lactones and glycosides

Pharmacological studies of the plant have shown that its extracts may have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. In in vitro chemical tests, the methanol extract showed antibacterial activity and the methanol and ethanol extracts showed antifungal activity.

 

It is a herbal lymphocyte, cholesterol, detoxifying, menstrual, healing, antimicrobial, digestive, anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant.

Externally, calendula is mainly used for its healing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Since ancient times it has been used in wounds because it stops the bleeding, prevents infection, helps in rapid healing and reduces scarring.

It is beneficial for all skin irritations, for slight burns, insect bites, bruises, pimples, hemorrhoids, sighs and post-operative wounds.

 

It is suitable for babies because it is effective and gentle at the same time for their delicate skin.

It is used as a cleanser for wounds, mouthwash and vaginal washes.

 

It is also a wonderful healing for the inside of the body when consumed as tea or as a tincture and specifically for the digestive tract mucosa. It is helpful for the injured intestine from malnutrition or the use of antibiotics and detoxification of the body. It is used in herbal remedies for gastrointestinal diseases such as diarrhea, stomach ulcers and inflammation of the intestine.

 

Herbal therapist Matthew Wood, based on her archetypal resemblance and traditional parallels with the sun, lends her lymphatic properties and considers calendula a very good herb for those parts of the body that have lymph nodes and "do not see the sun", the area under the armpit, uses it to relieve swollen glands, and suggests breast massage with calendula oil to prevent breast cancer.

 

It stimulates the immune system, removes fever, treats urinary tract infections, fungi, varicose veins and varicose veins, gynecological infections, relieves herpes and psoriasis.

 

Combined with valerian and viburnum, it is a menstrual cycle, regulates the cycle and reduces the pain of the period. During childbirth, it facilitates contractions of the uterus and elimination of the placenta, while massage around the vagina with its oil during the months of proximity gives the desired elasticity to the area.

 

For healers, calendula is one of the herbs that bring warmth and light to our physical and emotional body. This heat stimulates and rejuvenates cells and tissues, improves the functioning of organs and increases the flow of energy within the body, bringing wellness and clarity of mind.

 

Calendula also had culinary uses. The Romans used a mixture of calendula and vinegar as a seasoning for meat and salads.

Its  flowers are edible, light, aromatic and bitter flavoured, and are often used in soups, rice dishes, salads and to color salads, cheeses and butter, for garnishing on dishes and instead of saffron.

 

The extract of her petals, as a hair conditioner, makes them bright and light. Calendula in the pot or orchard helps control insects.

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