Marigold magic

There are some herbs which seems to do just about everything: lavender is certainly an all-time wonder-herb. And so is calendula, or pot marigold as it’s often known.

So what is calendula good for? Well – you can drink it, eat it, make skin potions and medicines or simply look at it because, when all’s said and done, it is very beautiful and cheering to the eye. (Actually, it makes quite a good eye-bath as it happens.)

Among the wonders of this herb, and among the reasons for its popularity, is that it has very low toxicity, which means, effectively, that it’s very unlikely to poison you.  Always good to know!

And the list of what it can do seems, at times, endless. Calendula is an anti-inflammatory, a soother of inflamed body tissue, it’s a anti-microbial which means germs don’t like it; it a marvellous treatment for burns, scalds, cuts, wounds, and eczema as well as strains and bruises; it can calm digestive inflammation, diverticulitis and colitis, and help heal digestive ulcers, soothe cramps and the lymph system; it can be used for liver diseases, such as hepatitis, and gallbladder difficulties; and it can balance menstrual problems.  Its petals are used too as a pleasurable fresh addition to salads, or as a substitute for saffron.  It is unbelievably versatile!

Pot marigold always sounds very prosaic, very every day and ordinary but its Latin name is grand: Calendula officinalis and gives it quite some heft.  The word ‘officinalis’ indicates that it is a recognised medicinal herb; ‘calendula’ is the Roman meaning of ‘first day of the month’; and ‘marigold’ reveals its associations with the Virgin Mary.  Calendula is without doubt an ancient favourite in Western herbal medicine (and increasingly in mainstream pharmacy) but it is also a stalwart in early Indian and Arabic health systems.

Here at Little Herbs we love it: it’s safe for little ones and older people too. It is a wonderful healer of skin, able to deal with all manner of skin troubles from nappy rash to cuts and bruises (yes, it’s there in plenty in our Baby Balm which is almost as versatile as calendula itself).  It’s great for calming skin, so we use it in Bathe Baba to help keep your little one’s skin in peak condition, and similarly there it is in Bathe Mama too. 

We certainly wouldn’t, couldn’t, live without calendula.  Neither should you.