Calendula officinalis – English Marigold/Pot Marigold

Herbs for Health English Marigold nov ed134

Marigold in South Africa is often confused with the African Marigold Tagetes erecta. Such confusion is dangerous, as although both plants are herbs, their usage is entirely different and could cause harm. Tagetes species are not edible and should never be taken internally.

These annuals grow up to 50cm tall with Large flower heads in bright yellow or orange, and can be doubled headed.

Originating in Southern Europe they like full sun and most soils, with medium watering but not being waterlogged. Propagate from seed sown in late summer for planting out in winter. They will continue to flower throughout even in the coldest climate. Deadhead flowers to prolong the flowering. If flowers are closed after 07.00 am it usually means that it will rain.

A Greek legend tells how Caltha a young maiden, fell in love with the sun god and lived to see him reappear each day. Watching him travel across the sky each day, she was consumed by her passion and finally wasted away. To commemorate her devotion, the first marigold appeared on the spot where she carried out her daily vigil.

The flower petals are used medicinally as astringents, antiseptics, antifungals and as an anti-inflammatory. Calendula will also heal wounds, and is used in skin-care products for its healing properties.

Taken internally for food-poisoning as a mild detox, it will also stimulate bile production.

Make an infusion for inflammations, to promote bile flow and to aid digestion.

For skin problems – make a cream and apply 2 – 4 times daily.

In cooking calendula is used to colour food naturally, and has a slightly pungent taste.

It can be sprinkled on salads or added to custard for extra colour and flavour.

Mix together 1/ 2 to 3 /4 cup grated cheese (your choice)
1 /4 cup chopped parsley
1 /2 cup fresh calendula petals

Make an omelette in the usual way, just before turning add the cheese mixture, allow to set for a minute or two, turn out onto a plate and decorate with some more petals.

Excellent for the digestion.

Until next time.
Yours in herbs,
Diane Aldworth 082 808 1519