Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, Zergul.
The calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or every new moon. The term "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, and marigolds are used in Catholic events honoring the Virgin Mary. The Egyptians considered them to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as a colorant in food, fabrics, and cosmetics, and of particular interest, in the 18th and 19th century calendula was used to color cheese. The calendula was originally used as food rather than as an herb. It adds flavor to cereals, rice, and soups. The petals can be added to salads. As recently as 70 years ago, American physicians used calendula to treat amenorrhea, conjunctivitis, fevers, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns, as well as minor infections of the skin.
Calendulin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, isoquercitrin, narcissin, rutin, amyrin, lupeol, sterols, and volatile oils. The flowers also contain complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties.
Creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes.
Calendula creams and washes are still used to disinfect minor wounds and to treat infections of the skin. The antibacterial and immunostimulant properties of the plant make it extremely useful in treating slow-healing cuts and cuts in people who have compromised immune systems. The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. Gargling calendula water may ease sore throat. Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought by many to posses many powers for the protection and benefit of humans. One of the more outlandish claims was that wearing and amulet or necklace made of calendula petals, a bay leaf, and a wolf's tooth would ensure that any words spoken to the wearer would be kind, peaceful and honest.
An often overlooked application of this herb is the treatment of post-mastectomy lymphedema. The herb will not reduce swelling, but it will reduce pain.