Calendula officinalis– calendula | pot marigold | marigold Herb of the month:
Calendula officinalis is a cheery and bright herb flowers all year around in most areas but grows most prolifically from late spring to late autumn. Commonly named calendula derived from the Latin kalendae, reflecting its ability to flower every month of the year. Well known to many gardeners and highly prized by famous historical herbalists such as Nicholas Culpepper, John Gerard and Maud Grieve for its wide array of medicinal uses including strengthening the heart and spirit and supporting the healing of wounds, cuts, and skin concerns (Grieve, 2021).
Calendula is well known as a traditional herb supporting symptoms of minor inflammations of the skin and aiding in the healing of minor wounds. Its healing anti-inflammatory action is due largely to the triterpenoid esters found within calendula, including faradiol (Fisher, 2018). Calendula has humbly gained attention for its use in wound healing and dermatitis. Schneider et al (2015) found it to be particularly useful in the prevention and healing of radiation-induced dermatitis compared to essential fatty acids in one of many randomised controlled trials investigating its potential.
Other lesser discussed but effective actions of calendula include spasmolytic with its ability to relieve spasm in the gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts and styptic with its ability to slow and stop bleeding from wounds. Active plant chemicals such as flavonoids rutin and quercetin, essential oils including officinosides and of course triterpenes are responsible for many of the healing qualities of this wonderful plant (Fisher, 2018).
So, whether you grow this flower for its medicinal and culinary uses or you like to have it in your garden to attract pollinators; it is sure to put a smile on your face when you soak it its bright orange and yellow rays.
Fisher, C. (2018). Materia medica of Western herbs. Aeon Books Ltd.
Grieve, M. (2021). Marigold. A Modern Herbal. https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/marigo16.html
Schneider, F., Tannia, M., Danski, R., & Vayego, S. A. (2015). Usage of Calendula officinalis in the prevention and treatment of radiodermatitis: A randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial. Journal of School of Nursing, 49(2), 220-226. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0080-623420150000200006
Written by Patrice Kelly Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine tutor at Wellpark College
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