Calendula is a group of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds. They are native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia, and the Mediterranean. Other plants are also known as marigolds, such as corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold, and plants of the genus Tagetes. The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning "little calendar", "little clock" or possibly "little weather-glass". The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named 'calendula' invariably derive from C. officinalis. Sometimes called "summer bride" or "husbandmans dial" because its flower head follows the sun. Its Latin or botanical name is calendula officinalis.
Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is "Mary's Gold," referring to the flowers' use in early Catholic events in some countries.Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.
Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries. The flowers were a common ingredient in German soups and stews, which explains the nickname "pot marigold". The lovely golden petals were also used to add color to butter and cheese. The flowers are traditional ingredients in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Calendula tea provides health benefits, as well as being delicious.
The best flowering season for the plant is summer to fall. It has a low drought tolerance. The plant is a prolific self-seeder. They will begin to flower in June, and then continue flowering until the frost kills them. Do not confuse the marigold or calendula with the African or French marigolds, which are tagetes. Calendula contains high amounts of flavonoids, it is a plant-based antioxidant protecting the body against cell-damaging free radicals.
Ancient cultures recognized and used the healing properties of calendula. In some of the earliest medical writings, calendula was recommended for treating ailments of the digestive tract. It was used to detoxify the liver and gall bladder. The flowers were applied to cuts and wounds to stop bleeding, prevent infection and speed healing. Calendula was also used for various women's ailments, and to treat a number of skin conditions. During the American Civil War, calendula flowers were used on the battlefields in open wounds as antihemorrhagic and antiseptic, and they were used in dressing wounds to promote healing. Calendula also was used in this way during World War I. Calendula has been historically significant in medicine in many cultures, and it is still important in alternative medicine today.
A great number of cosmetic calendula products are produced nowadays such as calendula lotion, calendula cream, calendula shampoo, and toothpaste. Calendula healthy influences oily skin. The lotion made from this plant also normalizes the activity of the sebaceous glands and is useful for oily hair. A hair rinse with Calendula reduces dandruff. This plant has strong bactericidal properties against some pathogens particularly streptococci and staphylococci.
DA Aromatherapy Collection Features Calendula Extracts in Lotions, Shampoo, Hair Conditioners and Bath & Shower Gels.