Marigold, also known as Calendula, is a biennial, aromatic flower native to the Mediterranean, North and South America. Its flowers range from bright yellow-orange to white. Normally, Marigolds have a pungent odor.
While most people grow these aromatic flowers for their ornamental value as the flowers are vibrant, attractive and brighten up gardens and homes, only a handful know about Marigold’s therapeutic properties which are great for making home remedies.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
The name Marigold was coined in the early days of Christianity when people named it Mary’s Gold in honor of the Virgin Mary. Later the name was shortened to Marigold. The plant got its botanical name from Romans who discovered that it bloomed during the “calends” or first days of every month.
For years, ancient Romans had used Marigold for medicinal purposes including treating scorpion bites, burns, healing wounds and relieving skin irritations. The Aztecs, Indians and Pakistanis also used Marigold to flavor food, keep off bugs and for medicinal purposes.
Marigold Medicinal properties and uses
Today, just like during the ancient civilizations, botanical research has shown that Calendula flowers contain carotenoid, calcium, vitamin C and E, acids, essential oils, flavonoids and saponins. These properties are responsible for the flower’s pungent smell which repels bugs and fungi.
Marigold is packed with antioxidants, this explains why its extracts are used in ointments to soothe sunburns, relieve acne, manage dry skin, and heal blisters and wounds. In addition, salves made from Calendula are used to treat candida, anal tears and fungal infections in the genital area.
Calendula’s antioxidant properties are what give the petals bright yellow or orange colors. These properties are known to reduce inflammation by lowering cytokine levels and C-reactive protein in both animals and humans which protect cells from being destroyed by free radicals. The presence of free radicals is one of the leading causes of cell deterioration and aging. Calendula not only reduces oxidative deterioration of cells that affect delicate body tissues such as those in the eyes, but it also protects the body against infections.
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Treats bacterial and fungal infections
A study published in the National Library of Medicines indicates that Calendula extracts contain antiseptic and antibiotic properties. When applied in drop form to the inside of the ear canal, the extract is highly effective in treating bacterial ear infections and reducing pain. The extract is also effective in managing swelling and inflammation in the inner ear within 48 hours.
Protects against cancer
Antioxidants in Marigolds help the body to resist and combat growth of cancer cells. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, scientists from Washington State University concluded that lutein, extracted from Marigold, reduced breast cancer tumors significantly. In addition, the extract prevented new cancer cells from growing. Apart from breast cancer, Marigold is also effective against leukemia, colon and melanoma cancer cells.
Eases spasms and cramps
Marigold’s antispasmodic properties are highly beneficial for managing stomach cramps, muscle spasms and menstrual cramps. Extracts from the flower are known to improve blood flow to the irritated area, reduce cramping and inhibit the body’s response to inflammation.
Marigold tea for soothing the digestive system
Marigold tea has been used for generations to deal with digestive problems including relaxing constricted digestive muscles and easing bowel movement. To make Marigold tea, crush dry Marigold petals before adding them to boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for about 5 minutes and drink several cups daily based on the severity of your problem.
The Marigold medicinal properties and uses stipulated above prove that this brightly-colored flower is not only good for your eyes, but also great for your health.