Marigold, Calendula officinalis, always gives us one last sun salutation before we go into winter. This cheerful plant bravely continues to flower until the moment that night frost arrives. Most of us know her for her healing effects on skin conditions, like acne and problems of all kinds. When my husband still went through life clean-shaven he’d use a marigold balm to keep his skin healthy. A monograph of this persistent plant should certainly be included in this vademecum.
But it’s not just skin that benefits from using marigold. What fewer people know is that this herb has a broad effect on the digestive system, can help with menstrual discomfort, including the infamous PMS, promote a healthy circulation of veins and lymph vessels and also has a relaxing and calming effect. She’s definitely a great ally to have.
Same goes for her magical properties. So many magical effects are attributed to this warm-hearted plant that I will only mention a few here and leave the rest for the Magic properties section. Marigold has, for example, a broad protective effect. She is also powerful when used in divination and love magic. And this is, of course, one of the best plants to use with any magic having to do with the sun.
Marigold has a contorted fusiform taproot. It branches from its base and has stems that are light green, slightly hairy, and covered in glandular hairs. The leaves are spatulate on the underside of the plant and lanceolate at the top of the plant. They are arranged alternately, green in colour, with downy hair and entire edging.
A single flower stands at the stem apex, which can be up to 7 cm in diameter. It consists of ray florets arranged in 1 or 2 rows. At the centre you will find tubular florets which range from slightly darker than the ray florets to dark brown in colour. After flowering, many light brown, hairy seeds, which can be quite capricious in shape, appear in the heart of the flower.
Cultivated descendant of the wild Calendula arvensis.
The flowers are opened from dawn to dusk. If marigolds are still closed at 7 AM, a gloomy, rainy day is predicted.
There are several myths about the origin of the name Calendula. Most of them are about tragic love stories, in which love either went unanswered or the loved one died.
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