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Sweet Calendula

Calendula

AKA: Marigold, English marigold, poet’s marigold, Husbandman’s Dial, Marybud, Merrybud, Marygold, Summer’s Bride


Description & Propagation:

It is an Orange to deep yellow flower with a 1-3 inch central cluster of tubular flowers surrounded by several rows of ray florets. It can grow up to 2 ft tall and produces stems with medium green leaves which are hairy on both sides. They like full sun but not too much heat. You can plant them as soon as the danger of frost has passed. They are attractive to aphids which make them a good diversion for more delicate plants.


Folklore:

Used in various rituals throughout history, the Greeks and Romans wore it as crowns. It was utilized to decorate Hindu statues in India and is still used today to adorn Day of The Dead altars in Mexico & Central America. Europeans and early American settlers depended on it for it’s immune boosting properties in their soups and stews as well as daily herbal infusions and beauty treatments. Ancient Egyptians used it in their beauty routines to rejuvenate their skin. Strewing the flowers under your bed would keep robbers away and reveal who robbed you in dreams if you had already been robbed. It was said that if the marigolds didn’t open by 7 am there would be a thunderstorm. One medieval belief about marigold was that it would strip a witch of her will. They are associated with love & protection. Women who walked barefoot across calendula petals were supposedly able to communicate with birds. These, among countless other myths and stories, show how popular this flower was and that it was used for many different reasons throughout history.


Medicinal:

Historically, Calendula has been hailed a potent plant medicine. It has been known to detoxify the liver and gallbladder and the petals have been reputed as a topical aid for cuts, scraps, burns and bites. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and is often added to healing and skin soothing salves. The petals are edible and can be used as a food coloring. Calendula oil might accelerate wound healing. Research from 2013Trusted Source suggests that using aloe vera or calendula ointment along with standard care sped up episiotomy recovery time. It is often applied externally to wounds and burns, or taken internally to heal tissues of the mouth, throat, and digestive tract. The tea can be applied directly to the skin to promote healing. In one study, 78% of participants who treated diabetes-related foot ulcers with calendula tea showed complete healing. Another study showed that 72% of the participants using calendula tea experienced full healing of leg ulcers, compared to fewer than a third of the control group. It also is full of carotenoids and flavonoids, which are known to help lower your risk of cancer and other diseases. It has been shown to help recover from skin conditions in Diabetic patients such as ulcers, open foot wounds, etc. Much more research needs to be done to get full known benefits. That being said, please be cautious of consuming a tea of Calendula if you are taking sedatives. Consult your doctor before you do.


Summary:

Calendula has never been one of my favorite flowers but now that I have learned how wonderful they are, I will definitely be planting some in my gardens in the future!


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