MARIGOLD - Calendula Officinalis
By Jeanne Rose
infused oil is
a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes a good
carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. To make this product use
The Aromatherapy Book and refer to pages 249-250.
Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers, infuse and
macerate in olive oil several times, heat gently and allow the oil
to drain into a clean container. Only the common variety with
deep orange color is of medicinal value. The yellow flower can also
be used but it does not make as deeply colored infused oil and it
seems of ‘lesser’ strength.
Oil is a wonderful product
to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available
classes to teach the making of this wonderful infused oil.
Use the fresh
for infused oil.
|| Parts Used. The
flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers
for infused oil.
- Gather these in dry weather, in the morning, after the sun has
dried the dew.
Flowers - The flowers are used and if they
will be dried, it needs to be done quickly in the shade, in a good
current of warm air. They can be hung in mesh bags from tree limbs
or spread out on sheets of paper, without touching each other. If
they are dried and the flowers have been touching they will become
discolored. Another method of drying is to spread them on screens in
a warm dry attic or over a stairway. This has been described
The Herbal Studies Course, chapters 31 and 33.
Medicinal Action and
Uses. Marigold is chiefly used as a local remedy. It has a
stimulating action and is diaphoretic (makes you sweat) when taken
as a warm tea. Given internally, it encourages a natural internal
action and prevents suppuration (pus formation as in an abscess or a
vesicle and the discharge of pus). .
||The usual recipe for
herbal infusions is of 1 ounce dried herb to a pint of boiling
water, steep for 10-20 minutes and take internally, in doses of one
tablespoonful, every hour; and used externally as a local
application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. It is
useful as an internal tea in chronic ulcer, varicose veins, etc.
This infusion was formerly considered to have much value as an
aperient (mild laxative) and intestinal cleanser in obstructions in
the digestive system and for jaundice
Fresh Marigold flower is a useful
remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee
when rubbed on the affected area. A lotion made from the infused oil,
flower wax and essential oil is most useful for sprains and wounds, and
a hydrosol water distilled from these flowers is good for inflamed and
sore eyes. The hydrosol is made from fresh flowers and is being used in
new ways to combat old problems.
The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and
gives sources where you can purchase this new product.
An infusion of the freshly gathered
flowers, drunk hot is useful in summer fevers and cold, as it gently
promotes perspiration - a decoction of the flowers has been used to
treat smallpox and measles. Marigold flowers are very useful for
The leaves when chewed at first taste gummy and sweet, followed
by a strong penetrating salty taste. The expressed juice of flowers
and leaves, which contains the most of this pungent matter, has been
given in cases of costiveness (retained feces), where it acts as an
aperient and proved very useful for this problem. Since it is gentle, it
can be used with children and in small doses for your pets.
The expressed juice of the flower or
the dried powdered flowers, snuffed up the nose triggers sneezing and a
discharge of mucous from the head. Years ago when I tried to express the
juice of fresh flowers, I used a Champion juicer, got only a few drops
of juice but used this, diluted by half with water, as nose drops for a
client who had a hole in the septum.
The leaves and flowers
can be eaten as a salad and also been considered a medicinal culinary
herb, useful in skin diseases and swollen lymph nodes of children. Some
of the stronger scented Calendula with lots of resin is recommended to
Cultivation —The Marigold is a
native of south Europe, but hardy in this country, and easy to grow.
Seeds are sown in April, in any soil, in sunny, or half-sunny places and
germinate freely. They require no other cultivation but to keep them
clean from weeds and to thin out where too close, leaving them 9 to 10
inches apart, so that their branches may have room to spread. The plants
will begin to flower in June, and continue flowering until the frost
kills them. They will increase from year to year, if allowed to seed
themselves. The seeds ripen in August and September, and if permitted to
scatter will furnish a supply of young plants
in the spring.
Growth - annual
▪ Planting depth - 6 mm / 1/4 inch
▪ Seed spacing - 5 cm / 2 inches
▪ Germination - 10 days at 15-20C / 59-68F
▪ Thinning height - 5 cm / 2 inches
▪ Light preference - full sun or partial shade
▪ Plant spacing - 22.5 cm / 9 inches
▪ Bloom time - June to frost
Calendula is a bright and cheery plant that
blooms all summer from June until frost. It is native to the Canary
Islands, South and Central Europe, and North Africa. Calendula flowers
are large (up to 4in/10cm across) and come in blends of yellow, orange,
apricot and cream. Darkness is needed to promote germination, and seeds
should be covered lightly with soil. Calendulas are annuals, but reseed
themselves readily in the garden. Deadheading will promote longer bloom
time, as well as prevent reseeding. They will grow in poor soil, sun or
partial shade. Calendula plants will thrive in full sun, fertile soil
and cool weather, but will bloom satisfactorily in all conditions except
deep shade and extreme heat.
Companion Planting. Calendula
deters asparagus beetles and tomato hornworms making them a good
planting for tomatoes.
Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose
The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet
by Jeanne Rose. $24.50
Rights Reserved 2003, 2004. No part of this article may be used
without prior permission from The Aromatic Plant Project.
©Author's Copyright and Jeanne Rose, firstname.lastname@example.org