Calendula


Botanical Name
Calendula officinalis
 
Common Name

Calendula, Marigold, Pot Marigold, bride of the sun, bull flower, butterwort.

The name calendula is a diminutive Latin form of calends (or kalends), meaning “the first day of each month”. Perhaps named after when people noticed it blooming.

Today it's known as fiore d’ogni mese in Italy and fleur de tous les mois in France, meaning “flower of every month.” 

  

Parts Used

The flowers: dried for tea, extracted in tincture, oils, salves, balms or lotions. Also nice in a bath or as an edible flower in food. 

 

Native To
Uncertain but possibly  North Africa, Southern Europe and/or the Mediterranean
 
Botanical Description
Calendula is a short-lived perennial that has a sticky texture due to its high resin content. It can grow up to 24 inches tall with orange or yellow flower heads that open when the sun rises and close when it sets. Roughly 1-3 inches across the flowers have a central cluster of tubular flowers surrounded by several rows of ray florets. The blooms give way to crescent-shaped seeds that are light brown or grey.
Note:  Calendula may be either annual or perennial, depending on growing conditions and climate.
 
Where It Grows
Happy in most gardens, veg patches, fields. 
 

Season To Harvest

Flowers - Spring to Autumn

 

Key Constituents

Flowers: Flavonoids, volatile oil, resin, sterols, tannin, amino acids, mucilage, carotenoids, phenolic acids, triterpenoid saponins and polysaccharides

 

Harvesting Guidelines

Flowers: Harvest whole flower heads in the afternoon after the dew has evaporated and dry in a warm, well ventilated area. Harvesting the flower heads every 2-3 days may help to encourage additional blooms.

  

Uses

Energetically, calendula is warming.

Flower: anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, lymphagogue, vulnerary and a mood enhancer.

Most well known as a vulnerary plant, it is used topically to soothe and mend cuts, burns, bites, sprains, bruises, rashes, sunburns, dry skin and abrasions. The herb may also address inflammation related to bone and joint diseases. Calendula is also used both internally and externally for fungal skin infections and yeast overgrowth such as candida. 

Calendula is also commonly used as a lymphagogue. It cleanses the lymphatic system by moving the fluid, removing toxins from the lymph, and decongesting swollen lymph nodes.

Lastly it can be used to help regulate the menstrual cycle due to its antispasmodic and emmenagogue actions, helping resolve delayed menstruation, regulate the cycle, and ease tension, cramping, and pain. 

Note: as it rapidly repairs tissues make sure skin/wound is clean before application. 

  • Tags: C