Calendula officinalis

I wanted to start my herbal blog with a striking image of a herb that never fails to bring cheer into my life. Some people get a little confused about the name. So just to make it clear Marigold and Calendula are the same plant. Calendula is just the latin name.

Marigold is one of my favourite herbs, and in fact if you were to say to me that I could only use one herb, I would choose marigold. It is an anti-flammatory herb that I use very frequently for a wide range of patients. Sometimes to heal and soothe a troubled digestion, sometimes to bring harmony to hormones and sometimes to bring calm to inflamed skin. It never fails me.

I love the fact that it blossoms through out the year, admittedly in the winter it is more subdued, but you do still get the ood flower. Even in the depths of winter it bravely carries on. Marigolds are associated with the sun and the element of fire. According to the language of flowers, it has the message of constancy, cheer, and hope.

Culpeper associated the marigold with the lion, an animal legendary for its courage and “heart.” “an herb of the Sun, and under Leo, they strengthen the heart exceedingly.”

If you feel you need a little heart strengthening at the end of the winter, so why not get some dried marigold from your local health food shop and make yourself a herbal tea. I find using a caffetiere the best way to make my herbal teas with dried herbs, because then you don’t have trouble de-clogging the spout of your tea pot. Put in one teaspoon of dried herb per cup, pour on boiling water and let infuse for at least 10 minutes. If you find it too bitter, you can add honey.

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