25 May Herbal Spotlight: Calendula
Calendula is a genus that encompasses over a dozen plants that include the plant commonly known as marigold. The name comes from the Latin word for “little calendar” or “little clock” in reference to it’s impressive blooming season which in some climates can last year round.
Calendula has been a garden favorite throughout history and loved for it’s strikingly beautiful color. This plant’s history spans many ancient cultures all over the world. It was utilized by the Greeks and Romans to make crowns and garlands used in rituals and ceremonies. One of the plant’s nicknames is “Mary’s Gold” in reference to its use in early Catholic events in certain countries. In India, this golden flower is considered sacred and used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities. In Mexico and Central America it is known as “Mexican marigold” or cempasuchitl or “flower of the dead” is used in Dia de Los Muertos celebrations. To honor the dead, marigolds are used in traditional home altars.
Not only is Calendula prized for it’s distinctive beauty, but it has been used for centuries in the kitchen. The petals of the flower are edible and can be added to salads or dried to be used in cheese or as a flavor substitute for saffron. In some European counties, Calendula or “pot-marigold” was used to flavor soups and stews. When used as a natural plant dye, it produces a wide range of hues from gold to bright yellow.
Since ancient times, Calendula has been valued not just for it’s vibrant and attractive hue but as a medicinal herb. Calendula contains anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to aid in the healing of wounds and was applied to cuts to stop bleeding, prevent infection, soothe rashes and expedite the healing process. For medicinal use, it is best to utilize whole, dried Calendula flowers because the beneficial oils are mostly derived from the green base of the flower heads.
One of our favorite herbal tisanes, Skin Herbal Tea, features whole, dried calendula flowers. Not only is this tea beautiful but it is full of the healing benefits of calendula as well as other herbs including chamomile, dandelion root and lavender. The skin is our largest organ and it is essential that we care for it from the inside out. Our nourishing and thoughtfully blended Skin Herbal Tea is the perfect way to do that. Skin Herbal Tea not only encourages the growth of new skin cells due to its collagen synthesis promotion which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, drawing out impurities and hydrating the skin.
- https://lajollamom.com/the-role-marigolds-play-in-dia-de-los-muertos/#:~:text=Marigolds%2C or flowers in general,or flower of the dead.