“The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun and with him rises weeping”, wrote Shakespeare. In our region, marigold water was used as a facial wash for Đurđevdan (Saint George’s Day). In the West, it was believed that marigold water rubbed into the eyes could make one see fairies. Since time immemorial, gils used to give this flower to their suitors not to pine after them. If the plant failed to grow in a girl’s garden that would mean that she would pine after someone. Girls thus needed marigold to show them the way to the right partner. The power of marigold to cure love pains can be traced to Ancient Greek mythology – a young girl falls in love with Apollo, the Sun god, but his rays burn her and what is left behind are only marigold flowers. That is why it has been believed for a long time that marigold has the power to heal the pain of unrequited or lost love. Similar beliefs have existed all over the world since time immemorial.
Long wreaths of yellow marigold flowers can be seen all over the place during Indian holidays and at Indian weddings. Since they were brought there by the Portuguese, people have worn those festive wreaths around the neck and have been decorating their houses to attract prosperity. Early Christians used marigold during celebrations dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence its English name, marigold – Mary’s gold. Its scientific name, Calendula officinalis, is associated with a heavenly remedy. No wonder, as its healing properties are numerous.
The Aztecs regarded marigold as a sacred plant, and a legend has it that where innocent victims of the Spanish conquest fell marigold grew. In Mexico, it is used on Day of the Dead, 1 November, in order to show the souls of the dead the way to the altar. In olden times in England, marigold had another superstitious use – it was placed under the bed as protection against thieves; if robbery still took place, marigold would give the victims visionary dreams to help them identify the miscreants.
MARIGOLD, A FLOWER THAT TEACHES US TO BE PERSISTENT
No wonder this plant is woven into the mythology of many a nation: marigold is full of the magic of abundance, from the moment when it flowers in early spring, throughout the summer up to late autumn, remaining yellow and cheerful all this time. It grows in many types of soil, in different climates, it is self-pollinating and does not require much care. This is how it gives us a lesson about both physical and mental vitality and reveals the secret of abundance, as if whispering to us that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, we should always flower, turn to the Sun and never give up.
USE IN HERBAL MEDICINE
Marigold is an annual plant with a potentially longest and most diverse application throughout history. Even though its healing properties were recognised by folk medicine a long time ago, modern medicine has also recognised them. The German Commission E (a scientific advisory board of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) has confirmed its medicinal properties used in wound and ulcer healing and for soothing inflammation. The European Medicines Agency lists a series of indications and its documented uses, from skin problems, to inflammation of the digestive system, mouth and throat infections, to liver dysfunction and preventing growth of tumours. Those are just a few of many applications of this incredible plant. Let’s see what it can do:
- the oestrogenic effect of marigold helps women balance the menstrual cycle, it helps with inflammation, painful and irregular periods, dysmenorrhea and PMS; it reduces discharge, candida, protects the uterus, soothes breast pain and mastitis in breastfeeding women and soothes the symptoms of menopause;
- it is great in dermatology: it soothes skin inflammation, hives, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhoea, herpes, baby rash, ulcers, fungal infections, it moisturises the skin and prevents dandruff, relieves itching from insect bites, prevents infections and pressure sores in bed-ridden patients, protects burnt skin and helps its healing, and is also beneficial for mucous membranes and in gingivitis;
- it has extremely regenerative properties and is proven to soothe inflammation and speed up wound healing;
- it occupies a special place in cosmetics: it prevents and heals acne, tightens, softens and nourishes the skin, both face and body; it rejuvenates, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, closes enlarged pores, protects from the sun, removes age spots and pigmentation;
- it is excellent in diets as it helps to flush out excess water from the body, it stimulates the lymphatic system, increases sweating, detoxifies the body and increases metabolism;
- it has a beneficial effect on the digestive system: it calms the stomach, soothes cramps, gastritis, stomach and duodenum ulcers, cleanses the liver and the gallbladder;
- it is excellent for blood vessels: it has a soothing effect inflammation and bruises, it is good for arteriosclerosis, it reduces cholesterol, improves circulation, calms palpitations and is extremely efficacious against haemorrhoids and is very good for varicose veins;
- cold marigold infusion is used as an eye rinse, against inflammation and conjunctivitis;
- it strengthens the immunity and studies have proven that it has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancerous and anti-carcinogenic effect; latest research shows that it is effective in fighting HIV.
It is also used outside herbal medicine: marigold’s natural colour is used as a food additive, which has given it the name of “a pauper’s saffron”. Marigold flower is edible and is full of vitamins C and A; its petals can be added to salads, or in its dried form it can be used as a spice. Marigold is also known in folklore as a natural barometer: if its flowers are closed in the morning it will definitely rain. Apart from being very therapeutic, marigold flowers embody the image of abundance with their beauty and scent. Its magic shines like the sun: always and everywhere.
MARIGOLD INFUSION OR TINCTURE – THAT IS THE QUESTION
This wonderful plant can be used in countless ways: marigold infusion, calendula oil, balms and alcoholic tinctures are available to everyone today. But it is most useful when combined with other medicinal plants, in expertly prepared mixtures, especially in a tincture that bestpreserves its beneficial characteristics. That is why marigold is an inevitable ingredient of Herba Svet product: in Femisan A it protects women in the reproductive period, and in Femisan B it helps to soothe the symptoms of menopause. In Equigal it is there to help detoxify the body, remove excess weight and cellulite, while in Devi regeneration balm all its dermatological and cosmetic powers are present, as well as the fantastic Devi collection.
The following products contain this plant:
Our other plants: