I am Calendula. I am a wonderful creation.
I never fail my gardener. She spread a packet of seeds 6 years ago in the garden, and since then, I return every year. I am easy to grow, I am independent, pest resistant, tough, reliable and above all else, I am beautiful. My name comes from the Latin kalendae, which means the first day of the month; and they say it refers to my long flowering season. I bloom for so long that there are pictures of my bright yellow and orange blooms poking from under the snow.
The gardener’s boys pluck and eat my petals. The gardener decorates dishes with my blooms. She makes facial calendula water and calendula ice cubes. When her boys have cuts, scratches and bumps, they ask not for an ointment from a pharmacy, but for the calendula solution which is made with vodka and my dried or fresh blooms. When they have sore throats, they don’t ask for the pink gooey stuff, but instead gargle with my solution.
My gardener loves me because her mother and grandmother loved me. People in old Russia probably didn’t know such words as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, but they sure knew how to use me for treating wounds and skin problems. Before big companies started to include me as an ingredient in their skin creams, lotions, tonics, etc., ordinary people already knew how helpful I am.
Look at me! I have the warmth of the sun preserved in my petals. I have the happiness of summer absorbed in my blooms. I have healing power waiting to be released.
I am Calendula, and I am a wonder!
P.S. My formal name is Calendula officinalis. You might know me as Pot Marigold. I grow easily in sunny locations in most types of soils. I am a perennial, but I am treated as an annual in colder regions. You can find me in pale yellow, dark yellow, orange and even orange-red colors (there is a belief that only the common deep orange-flowered variety is of medicinal value), with single or double flower heads. My leaves and petals are edible. The petals can serve as a garnish to dishes , since they contain saffron. You can use my leaves in salads, although they can be bitter. I’ve been around and served people for ages. Ancient Romans, Greeks, Arabs and Indians used me as a medicinal herb and also as a dye for their fabrics, foods and cosmetics.
Copyright 2010 TatyanaS