Calendula officinalis

Calendula officinalis

Calendula officinalis is a valuable plant for its numerous properties. Its name comes from the Latin Calendae word with which the Romans indicated the first day of the month, given that blooms once a month throughout the summer. There are about twenty species of this plant cultivated and appreciated mainly to adorn gardens and flower beds, but the most common and used as a medicine is precisely the officinalis.

Systematic –
According to the classification Cronquist Calendula officinalis belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, the Kingdom Plantae, Division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, Asterales Order, Family Asteraceae, subfamily Asteroideae, calenduleae Tribe, Genus and Species C. Calendula officinalis.

Etymology –
About the etymology of the name there are different schools of thought: some say that the name derives from the Latin calendae “word with which the Romans indicated the first day of the month” to indicate that blooms on the first day of each month for most of the year (in the figurative sense, that is blooming every month). Another school of thought argues that it derives from the calendar because it marks the rhythm of the opening day in the morning and closing at sunset and for this reason in medieval texts was called sponsa solis “bride of the sun.”

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The origin of the Calendula officinalis is uncertain and controversial; until now it has never been detected in the wild; it is believed that it comes from Morocco or is derived from a common species in southern Europe and reaches up to Persia and Arabia: Calendula arvensis. “Widely cultivated everywhere, from ancient times, for repeat flowering, which comes up in November and it makes it ideal for decorative purposes, but they can find specimens gone wild in the Mediterranean area between 0 and 600 m. above sea level.

Description –
It is a herbaceous plant with fleshy, branched stem. It has oblong leaves, a bright green, sessile and irregular margin. Once a month all summer appear orange flowers, large, grouped in heads, peripheral ligulate, the central ones hermaphrodites and tubular. Obvious the etymology from the Roman calendae, indicating by definition a monthly recurrence. According to some authors this is due to the regular revival of the plant, according to emmenagoghe other properties.

Cultivation –
For the cultivation technique read the following card.

Customs and Traditions –
The use of flowers of Calendula officinalis in medicinal field has antispasmodic effects and healing properties. The decoction made from approximately 50 g of dried flowers per liter of water, is recommended against gastric ulcers and mouth disease; also it sweats-mitigating effects and prevention of menstrual pain. For the menstrual cycle also it has a mitigating effect of the flow and regularizing. It is sometimes used in products antihistamines for allergies caused by dust mites. In addition to the above steps, homeopathy marigold is also recommended in case of burns, dental care and postpartum.
The calendula oil is a oleolito, obtained by macerating calendula officinalis flowers in a vegetable oil, and equipped with a powerful eudermic action, because it can improve the skin condition; useful in all those cases in which it is to be irritated and cracked.
The calendula oil is also a great ally of the mothers: it soothes and protects sensitive skin and irritable infant and child; if previously used also counteracts the formation of fissures breast of breastfeeding mother, and is also capable of quickly he heals those already present.
In dermocosmesis marigold is widely used, recommended from time to time as disinfiammante (in eye washes and cleansers) protective and nourishing to the skin, antiacneica.
Among the active ingredients and substances are triterpenes, flavonoids, polysaccharides, carotene, essential oil, mucilage, salicylic acid and bitter substances.
Calendula is a flower rich in history and symbolism and is mentioned in many Greek texts. Many ancient writers, however, most of the time, the exchanged with chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum) calling plan with golden flowers. For both the Greeks and the Romans, the fact that the flowers were open in the morning to close again at sunset, was considered a symbol of submission and pain for the disappearance of the sun, this belief has made that calendula has been associated in over the centuries the feelings of pain, boredom and pain.
The association of calendula to the feeling of pain appears and is well explained in Greek mythology, according to legend, in fact, calendula was born from the tears of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans), desperate for the death of her lover, Adonis who was He was wounded by a boar sent to him against Ares (Mars in Latin), her jealous husband.
The aforementioned Legend also has another version, Latin, much more complete but that does not change the meaning of calendula. It is said that, Adonis son of Mirra and Tia, was brought up by Venus (Aphrodite) as the mother (Mirra) had been transformed, by the gods, in a tree as punishment. Venus saw the young man remained grow more and more enchanted by her beauty, so as to arouse the ire of her husband, Mars, who decided to send the young man against a wild boar, that hurt him mortally.
Adonis was wounded, but Venus to protect him hiding inside a box and entrusted to the care of Persephone, the queen of the underworld. Persephone, however, intrigued by the contents of the box, decided one day to open it and, at the sight of Adonis, also fell in love with handsome young man. Some time later, Venus asked Proserpina to return her chest, but she refused and Venus, irritated by the refusal, asked for help to all the Olympians. One day Zeus, tired of what has created dispute between the two goddesses, decided that the young Adonis should spend part of the year with Venus, among the living, and the other with Proserpina, among the dead. At the time of the passage between death and life, though, by Adonis wounded began to leak out of the blood, that touching ground did grow a plant called Adonis, while the tears poured from Venus, when the young man returned to the underworld , I became the father of a plant marigold, as Adonis, was destined to periods of life alternating with periods of death. For the belief that the marigold was a symbol of sorrow, in ancient Greece, every depiction of pain was represented by a young man who carried a wreath of marigolds.
Despite the distance between the European and the American continent, even in South America calendula has always been considered a symbol of pain, especially for Mexicans is the flower symbol of death, a legend, marigolds, brought by the conquerors, they are developed and disseminated in the Mexican territory because of the blood shed by the natives, the stroke victims to winning gold by whites.
For the British marigolds are, however, the feeling of jealousy, according to popular belief they are spinsters who, having never been loved by anyone, they die they turn into yellow marigolds rage.
In Germany is kuhblume call and is traditionally used in the period of Pentecost to adorn cattle during Pfingst Procession.
In addition to its various meanings and legends that surround the calenula was known to the ancients for its therapeutic properties, such as the present day calendula extracts they were used as emollients to soothe the discomfort of inflammation and irritation. Even today the majority of products on the market, for the care of the body are made by exploiting the properties of calendula.
In the Middle Ages it was discovered the decorative use of calendula, being properly dried, in fact, is one of the few flowers that do not undergo any degradation of color remaining bright yellow for many years, that’s why from then to now is one of the most used flowers for pot pourri.
In the language of flowers and plants, despite the beauty of its flowers, calendula has never lost its original meaning and even today symbolizes the sorrow, pain, heartbreak and jealousy.
The rural tradition has it that if the flowers remain closed in the morning probably will rain. For this reason, in medieval texts was indicated by the name of Solis sponsa, ie the “bride of the sun”.

Preparation Mode –
When using home dried flowers are left to macerate in olive oil (50g per pint) to produce a remedy for burns and scalds. It is also used as a decongestant pack.
Let us see how to prepare the calendula oil: as the oil arnica and St. John’s Wort oil, to prepare the oleolito calendula are used marigold flowers (100 gr) by putting them to soak in sweet almond oil (500 ml), in such a way as to transfer the principles soluble oil from the flowers.
You get dried flower heads in a dark glass jar, equipped with airtight lid. Then add the oil, covering the flowers up to the complete filling of the container and is conseva for about 1 month in a cool and dark place, taking care to turn the macerarato every 2 days, in order to avoid the formation of mold.
After about 30 days, filtered the oil, through a light cloth, or gauze. Squeeze the residue, and if you want a pure oil, you can operate a second filtration using a cotton gauze, so that the fibers of the gauze capture the last residues and impurities. Keep oleolito then obtained, in a dark glass bottle in a cool place and possibly indoors.
The oleolito marigold emollient, soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory and healing on sensitive or irritated skin. Eudermic These properties are conferred to the plant by the presence in its fitocomplesso of essential oil, fatty acids, salicylic acid, saponins, carotenoids, including calendulina, pentacyclic triterpenes, flavonoids, polysaccharides and mucilage.
It is used effectively to nourish and moisturize dry skin, chapped, delicate and easily reddening; in the presence of dermatoses, solar erythema, diaper rash, minor burns, allergic reactions to chemical agents or dermatitis caused by environmental factors, and finally it neutralizes the toxic substances and poisonous inoculated from insect bites.
Another use is the calendula cream. The calendula cream is indicated to moisturize and soften dry, cracked skin and to soothe skin irritations. You can prepare it and use it as a normal moisturizer in the case of rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, hives and burns caused by excessive exposure to the sun.
• 56 g of distilled water
• 20 g of hydrolat helychrisum
• 20 g of calendula oleolito> 3.5 g glyceryl stearate (emulsifier)
• 0.3 g of xanthan gum
• preservative according to data sheet
• 15 drops of lavender essential oil> 10 drops of essential oil of rose
Preparation: Mix in a pyrex glass container in the distilled water with the hydrolat helichrysum and xanthan gum; in another container in the pyrex united oleolito calendula and the emulsifier. Place the two containers in a water bath until the emulsifier is melted. Pour the oil phase (the oleolito and the emulsifier) ​​in the aqueous phase and stir vigorously until an emulsion.
When the mixture will appear creamy and dense, add the essential oils and preservatives. Store the cream at room temperature for three months, protected from heat and light sources.
If the previous recipe seems too complicated, you can achieve a body butter DIY calendula.
The soothing butter is used with the same indications of cream that we have already seen and also is also indicated to treat the skin of babies and children in case of irritation due to diapers, insect bites or dermatitis.
• 50 g of calendula oleolito
• 25 g of shea butter
• 25 g of mango butter
Preparation: Melt in a double boiler shea butter and mango butter; when the compound will remove liquid from the water bath and add the oleolito calendula. Mix the ingredients well, transferred the mixture into a clean jar and dry and let cool at room temperature for a few hours.
Store away from light and heat and consume the product within two to three months.
Finally, but important for its applications, the mother of calendula tincture. Obtained from the flowers of Calendula officinalis, the mother tincture of calendula, and among the extraordinary properties of this large yellow-orange daisy.
The mother tincture of calendula is prepared using fresh flowers, dried flowers because they lose some of their properties, with weight ratio drug: 1:10 solvent and 55% alcohol vol.
Ideal for both large as for children, the mother tincture of calendula is one of those products that should never miss in the pantry of the natural cures. Purchased or self-made, here are the main uses.
External uses of calendula tincture are as follows:
• soothing and anti-inflammatory action, fights fungus mild, eczema, acne, dermatitis;
• refreshing and emollient action, excellent care for chilblains or sunburn, for example, but also to make douches disinfected in case of vaginitis and candidiasis;
• Action healing, excellent for skin injuries, insect bites or jellyfish, skin irritations (including diaper for infants) and mouth, such as gingivitis.
For external use it is advisable to use it diluted in water to prepare 15- 30 drops of topical and localized wraps, using sterile gauze or cotton swab for less extensive areas, in the area to be treated. Before use it is advisable to seek the advice of a specialist.
The mother tincture of calendula internal use are:
antispasmodic action, ideal for menstrual pain, for example, because it calms and regulates the cycle;
Action decongestant and soothing to the throat;
emollient action for mucous membranes, therefore ideal in case of colitis, gastric ulcer (acts on the gastric mucosa, protecting the stomach) or internal inflammations;
digestive Action, for those suffering from poor digestion;
Hypotensive action, for those who have high blood pressure.
For internal use, we recommend an average of 10 to 40 drops, 2-3 times daily or as the case may be treated, prolonging the intake for a few months. Consult a specialist before intake.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Treben M., 2000. The Health from the Pharmacy of the Lord, tips and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Publisher
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Please note: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgici uses are indicated for information purposes only, do not represent in any way a medical prescription; it accepts no liability on their use for therapeutic purposes, cosmetic or food.

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