Calendula, also known as Calendula officinalis, is a very well known therapeutic herb. It is native to Northern Mediterranean countries. Calendula is an annual flower, which refers to the tendency it has to bloom accordingly with the calendar. Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of the word calendae, which means “little clock” or “little calendar.” It usually blooms along with the full moon or at least once a month. The more commonly known name, pot marigold or the nickname “Mary’s Gold”, refers to the Virgin Mary. The flowers are used in some Catholic ceremonies to honor her. Did you know that in the 18th and 19th centuries calendula was used to add color to cheese?
Calendula is a flower that can grow up to 31 inches tall. Its leaves, which are arranged spirally, can grow from 2 to 7 inches long, and are hairy on both sides. The flower itself is typically bright orange, yellow, or gold. There are over 100 varieties of calendula known to exist.
This herb has a great number of uses in many different industries, including cosmetics. Egyptians considered the herb to have rejuvenating powers. Also, in the Hindu world, the people adorned the statues of their gods in their temples with the flower. Because the flowers are so vivid and beautifully colored, calendula has been thought to be able to protect humans. There is even a claim that by wearing the petals of a calendula flower on a necklace, or even as an amulet, with a wolf’s tooth and a bay leaf that all words that are ever spoken to the wearer will be honest and kind. A pretty cool thought right?
These flowers are considered to be some of the most versatile and easiest flowers to grow since they can tolerate almost all well drained, rich soils. Calendulas are grown mostly in sunny locations, but you need to be careful. It does not survive well in extremely hot places, nor does it survive in extremely cold climates. The climates of the Mediterranean area and southwestern Asia are best.
Pot marigolds usually bloom in two months or under after the seeds are planted. They are always a beautifully bright yellow, gold, or orange color. Calendulas can also be used as a food source for some species of moths. Gardeners have also used calendula in their gardens to help repel pests like insects.
Besides the Mediterranean and southwestern Asia, calendula can also be native to western Europe and some islands off the coasts of Europe and Africa that are known as Macaronesia. Depending on the climates, seeds that are planted in spring can be expected to bloom throughout the summer and fall. If planted in a place where there is little freezing in winter, seeds that are planted in the fall can be expected to bloom throughout the winter.
Calendula Uses in Industries
Used as a colorant for some foods, including cheese and butter, calendula has also been used in some German stews and soups. The flower itself is a main ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. There is also a calendula tea that can be made that has many health benefits. This is made by putting the marigold leaves into a container with boiling water and letting it sit for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, just use a strainer to get the leaves out. The marigold leaves are completely edible and can also be used in salads, to give it color or to use as a garnish. If you like butter beans, you can include calendula in your recipe to bring a more delicate flavor to the beans.
Bath and Body Products
Calendula can be used for many different products. It has been used in food products, dyes, and is used for many medicinal purposes as well as in many bath and body products. It can be used as a decorative element for soaps to add color.
Common products that can include calendula are teas, soaps, lip balms, ointments, lotions, face toners, after shave formulas, scrubs, massage oils and some bath bombs. This herb is great for skin problems such as burned, rashes, bruised or inflamed skin. It is also a great help to people who suffer from varicose veins. After using calendula for a few weeks, the veins have been known to shrink. It can also help with acne problems, and in an ointment can help prevent dermatitis.
Calendula is generally used to help keep healthy skin. However, to use it as a hair care product, you can use a calendula tea as a hair rinse, it can help to bring out brunette and blonde highlights and will make your hair shiny and very soft.
Calendula is used for many different medicinal purposes. It is awesome for helping to heal minor cuts, bruises, burns and even some insect stings or bites. In ancient cultures, the calendula flower was applied to small cuts to help stop the bleeding, speed up the healing process, and to protect the wound from infection. Even during WWI and the Civil War, calendula flowers were used on battle fields to help open wounds from hemorrhaging and as antiseptics. They were also used in the dressings of the wounds to help speed the healing process.
Many skin conditions can be treated using calendula. It can be a great cleanser to help with acne problems and helps to shrink varicose veins. It possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It is also helpful with healing bruises, burns, frostbite and even boils. Calendula also treats impetigo, eczema and diaper rash. It also is great for keeping skin healthy and smooth.
Intestinally, calendula can help heal ulcers and colitis. It also treats fevers, stomachaches, the flu, colds, gastritis, can stimulate the flow of bile, and helps to detoxify the body. For women, it can bring on delayed periods and help with the pain of menstrual cramps. Calendula tea can be used to treat gingivitis and other gum problems. If you have a sore throat, you can gargle the tea to help. Calendula also can be made as an eyewash to help with red and sore eyes.
Calendula has been used to help with constipation and abdominal cramps. However, it should be avoided during pregnancy because it has been known to cause some allergic reactions.
Did you know that calendula has also been used in dyes? The flowers were once used to dye fabrics. It was used to achieve beautiful bright oranges, browns and yellows.
Also, dried flowers can be fed in the winter to chickens. This will help get darker egg yolks.
Have you tried any new calendula recipes lately? How about trying our Calendula Sunshine Soap Recipe or our Calendula Bath Melts? Make our Mothers Day Bath Bomb as a special treat for your lovely mom! We also have a Natural Facial Night Cream recipe and even a Stinky Feet Foot Powder recipe that you should definitely try out!
Nature’s Garden sells calendula for external use only. We do not sell them as food items. The information above talks about how great calendula is for many industries, however we only sell it for external use. We provide this data for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using this product or any of this information for treatment purposes.