Monday, October 7, 2013

Calendula- My New Love..

I was introduced to this truly remarkable flower by the "Gardening Girls " ,my friends Susan and Christel. During one of our numerous cooking sessions, captivated by her hue, I started adding Calendula as a highlight garnish and ingredient to sorbets, salads and soups alike.It might be a good idea to refer to her as a lady.
Get to know her: Other names :Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, Zergul.
Introduction: 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 with every new moon. The term "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, and the flowers are used to honor her during Catholic events. The Egyptians considered calendula flowers to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of Gods and Goddesses in our 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.
Constituents: Calendulin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, isoquercitrin, narcissin, rutin, amyrin, lupeol, sterols, and volatile oils. The flowers also contain complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties.
Parts Used: Dried flowers and I use them fresh as well..
Typical Preparations: Creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes.
Summary: Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought to possess powers for the protection and benefit of humans. One of the more outlandish claims was that wearing an 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. The German Commission E has approved calendula to support mild inflammation of the oral mucosa. It is externally approved to support the skin and assist with minor wounds. Its efficacy in supporting healthy skin has been supported in additional clinical trials. It is traditionally used to support healthy skin, and is a common ingredient for herbal oils, salves and lip balms.
I am a student again learning all about Western uses of herbs with a wonderful teacher called Bridget.It is a true joy to learn more of how the West views herbs, for us in Kerala, it was as commonplace as salt and pepper.Not surprisingly,there are so many similar uses.More to come on the blog as I explore..
Love and Blessings,
Vaidya Priyanka