Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula officinalis is native to southern Europe, but is widely cultivated and naturalized throughout North America, Europe and North Africa.
Calendula is an annual plant that thrives in almost any soil. It belongs to the same family as daisies, chrysanthemums, and ragweed. Its branching stems grow to a height of 30 to 60 cm, and it blooms from early spring until frost.
Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Common Names: Gold-bloom, Marigold, Marybud, Pot Marigold
Plant Family: Asteraceae
Taste: Spicy, peppery to bitter
Energy: Cool, Dry
Part Used: Flowers
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.
The dried petals of the Calendula plant are used in tinctures, ointments, and washes.
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. Only the petals are edible.
Persons with allergies to other members of the Asteraceae family should exercise caution with Calendula. People who are allergic to plants in the daisy or aster family, including chrysanthemums and ragweed, may also have an allergic reaction to Calendula (usually a skin rash).
Always consult your health care professional before using any herbal supplement.