Any medieval garden would have been incomplete without the marigold (Calendula) flower. Similarly, traditional farmers recognized the benefits of having these bright, orange-yellow flowers present in a garden.
Like a loyal friend, the marigold flower (Calendula officinalis) grow in an uncomplicated manner, promoting the health of their surroundings. The Calendula flower normally bloom from June until the first frost, and they serve as ideal bedding for accompanying vegetable plants. Finally, and in the spirit of Hildegard medicine, marigold serve a mainstay in Traditional German Herbal medicine.
Hildegard and the Calendula Herb
As early as the 12th century, Hildegard of Bingen promoted marigold flower (what she called “Ringula”) for the treatment of eczema. Hildegard also considered marigold effective for indigestion and menstrual discomfort.
Health benefits of Calendula Tea
For ingestion, combine marigold blossoms with warm water to create a calendula tea. Marigold is generally known as the herb to address cuts, soars and general skin care. For this purpose, marigold compares with other Hildegard healing herbs, including yarrow and violet.
Marigold flowers contain essential oils and a high concentration of flavonoids (secondary plant substances), such as carotene. They act as anti-inflammatories to promote topical healing and soothe irritated skin. Topical treatment with a diluted marigold solution or tincture accelerates healing of wounds and rashes.
Growing the calendula flower
The Marigold flower, an ornamental and medicinal plant, grows best in nutrient-rich, moist soils, with a lot of exposure to the sun. Calendula is an annual plant best sown in April/May. These plants grow quickly, within a few weeks to reach full potential with stable, angular stems and strong, hearty leaves.
The classic marigold flowers populate with bright orange and yellow blossoms, which serve to attract wild and honey bees. In addition, other varieties of marigold grow pastel-colored flowers. Universally, marigold plants characterize by their herbaceous aroma, and the flowers possess a light stickiness.
Marigold Ointment (Calendula cream)
One can easily prepare an effective Marigold ointment for topical use in skincare, using beeswax and cocoa butter. Marigold extracts often appear in commercially available skin creams, particularly for babies with sensitive skin.
Calendula is a sun plant, which, with its radiant power, can also influence moods and improve general disposition. Popular names for this summer flower include the pot marigold, common marigold or Scotch marigold.
Originally found in North Africa, the plant adapts readily to most moderate northern climates. In June and July, when the sun reaches its zenith, marigolds brim with healing power. Harvest these luminous blossoms for tea or ointment during the morning and early hours of a sunny day, before the midday heat exhausts important constituents.
DIY Marigold Ointment (Calendula cream)
To make homemade marigold creme, take flower heads in whole without removing any parts. Shake out the whole calendula flower heads upside down on a kitchen towel to remove any small insects. Do not wash.
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and insert marigold flowers to cover with oil. Allow 24 hours to steep in oil and then strain and save the oil. Heat the oil again, add 10 grams of beeswax per 100 milliliters of marigold oil combination and allow the combination to melt.
Improve the ointment by adding 15 grams of cocoa butter (available in the pharmacy) to the combination. Gently fill the liquid oil wax mixture in a sealed jar and allow time to cool before using.
Marigold Benefits to the Garden
Marigold plants contribute to the overall well-being of any vegetable garden. In Germany, marigolds serve as a symbol of the organic gardener. Calendula contributes to the garden through an extensive root system that exudates and enriches the surrounding soil.
As a mixed culture partner, it is compatible with all kinds of vegetables and herbs. Despite its prolific growth, marigold is easily managed, and can be converted to mulch for the vegetable bed.
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