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Calendula officinalis


Few herbs have a more sunny and cheerful disposition than the humble Marigold. Their saturated orange-yellow glowing flowers look like a piece of the sun itself. No wonder one of its vernacular names is 'Maidens of the Sun'. Nor is it a surprise that Culpeper gives it to the Sun in Leo.


Marigold is one of the premiere herbs for the skin. During the First World War and in the American civil war it was used extensively and very successfully as a wound cleansing herb. In fact, given the shortage of other medicines, it often was the only thing at hand - and just as well, as many army surgeons could attest: nothing cleansed the festering wounds better than this humble herb. It is strongly astringent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Thus it can be used to wash any damaged skin, may it be minor scrapings, ulcers or nasty, indolent wounds. It is also effective in treating eczema, nappy rash and athlete's foot. It can be used as a gargle for inflamed and sore gums or as a douche in leucorrhoea. As a plaster it was used to treat inflamed nipples and hardened or inflamed breasts. It is even reputed to have anti-cancer properties, which makes it useful as a compress on lymphatic nodes or cancerous tissue, especially when simultaneously taken as a tee. Internally, it can be used to stimulate liver and gallbladder, alleviate nausea and indigestion, help in cases of stomach and duodenal ulcers (take with centaury), soothe the pain of cystitis and bladder infections and even stop bloody urine. Calendula expels worms, softens hardened lymph nodes and glands and regulates menstrual irregularities, especially at the onset of puberty and during menopause, when the hormones are in upheaval mode. The old herbalists made much use of the expressed juice, which can be prepared from fresh flowers or from re-hydrated dried flowers. Tincture and creams are commonly used for external applications.


One of the vernacular names of Marigold is 'Death Flower' and in older herbals one reads that they are often planted on graves. This is probably due to their apparently immortal life force, which symbolises the undying spirit and will give cheer to the departing souls. This immortal quality is also invoked in many a love charm intended to make love last forever so it shall never wilt.


  • Size - 25g


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