Botanical Name: Calendula Officinalis
Family Name: Asteraceae
Common Name:calendula, marigold, little calendar
Part Used: Flowers
Specific Gravity:0.856 – 0.895 @ 20°C
Optical Rotation: 1.00 to +4.00 @ 20°C
Refractive Index: 1.482 – 1.511 @ 20°C
Blends Well With: cypress,lemon geranium, jasmine, lavender,rosemary, ylang-ylang
Calendula is a type of about 15 to 20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plant in the daisy family Asteraceae and these genuses are often known as marigolds. This plant is originally a native of Southwestern Asia, Western Europe, Macaronesia and the Mediterranean region. The other plants known as marigolds are corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold and plants in the genus of Tagetes. The common name marigold refers to Virgin Mary and the most commonly cultivated and used member of the family is the pot marigold (Calendula Officinalis). Calendula species of marigold is traditionally and widely uses as culinary and medicinal herbs
The petals of these types of marigold are edible and can be used in salads. It can also be dried and used and used to colour cheese or as replacement for saffron. A yellow dye is extracted from the flowers of marigold. Traditionally Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many religious rituals and ceremonies. They used to make crowns or garlands made out of marigold flowers and wear it during ceremonies. The other name of marigold is Mary's Gold and this is reference to the flower's use in early Catholic events in some countries. It is widely used in India also and is considered as a sacred flower and is sued for decorating the Hindu deities since olden times.
Flowers Add Colour
The flowers of marigold contain flavonolglycosides, triterpeneoligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and asesquiterpene glucoside. Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries and the flowers are the common ingredients in German soups and stews and this is how it got the name pot marigold. The colourful lovely petals of the flower are used to add colour to butter and cheese and is also found in Mediterranean and Middle East dishes. In olden times the flowers were used as source of dye in fabrics.
Marigold oil is distilled from the petals of the pot marigold and the flowers bloom from May until the first frosts. The name marigold is derived from the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla or marsh marigold. The flower is associated with the Virgin Mary and Queen Mary in the 17th century. There are many folktales connected to the marigold flower. It is believed that the flowers if cut when the sun is at its highest the flowers act as heart tonic and fortifier. In France people believes that by merely looking at the flowers for a few minutes each the eye sight can be improved. Garlands of calendula were once attached to door handles to keep evil out of the house, especially pollution.
There are many therapeutic values for the flowers of marigold and it is known for the treatment of skin. It is widely used to heal and wipe out the scars of chicken pox and it is a popular medicine in different branches of medicine like homoeopathy, herbal and holistic medicine. The oil which is distilled from the flower tops is a sticky and viscous liquid. The smell is musky, woody and when compared to the odour of the flowers, a little strange. The main constituents of the marigold oil are flavinoids, saponosene, triterpenic alcohol and a bitter principle.
Marigold oil has many properties and it is a tonic, sudorific, emmenagogic and antispasmodic and is widely used for dermatology purposes. It is the ideal oil to apply on sensitive skin and it helps to heal scars caused by acne. It is calming oil even when it is mixed with other oils and it can be mixed with calming lotions. Dried infusions of marigold make a good toner and good calmer for itchy eyes caused due to hay fever. A drop of calendula oil in a bath is good for psoriasis. Traditionally calendula is used to treat conjunctivitis, eczema, blepharitis, gastritis, minor burn including sunburns, warts and minor sprains and wounds.
Marigold oil is used to treat coughs, cramps and even snake bites. Because of the high content of flavonoids it acts as an effective anti-oxidant in the body and it protects the body cells from damage caused due to oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals which suppresses immune function. Ancient culture used the healing properties of marigold and it was recommended for treating ailments of the digestive tract. It is also used to detoxify the liver and gall bladder and the flowers were applied to cuts and wounds to arrest bleeding, prevent infections and speed healing.
Calendula or marigold was used by women for various ailments and to treat skin conditions. It was widely used in American Civil War as an anti-haemorrhagic and antiseptic and was used for dressing wounds. It was also used during the World War 1 and marigold has historical significance in many cultures all over the world and it is still considered as an effective alternative medicine.
There are some important antibacterial properties connected to marigold and these properties have made marigold popular all over the world. Marigold is present in the ingredients list of many herbal health and hygiene products like toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, shampoos etc. The mouthwashes and toothpastes which have marigold or calendula in it is effective in killing the bacteria which causes gingivitis to cavities. It can affect the blood flow to the skin cells and provide antioxidant protection which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and age spots and visibility of scars. It can boost the overall appearance of skin and make the skin smooth and even-toned which glow with youthful vitality. There are many organic products which has marigold in it like tea etc.
Calendula or marigold oil has some anti-tumour properties which make it popular in cancer research and it gives natural solution to this deadly disease which is seen all over the world. Marigold oil is ideal for vision health also because it contains certain antioxidant compounds which directly impact the vision. Bea-carotene is needed for the health and functioning of the yes and marigold has this in abundance. By using the marigold oil you can even prevent macular degeneration and prevent development of cataract