Plant Focus: Calendula
Scientific name: Calendula officinalis
Planetary correspondence: Sun
Corresponding element: Fire
Description: An annual or biennial aromatic plant growing to approximately 18 inches. It bears many-petaled orange or yellow flowering heads that are 2-3 inches in diameter. Be careful not to confuse this plant with African or French marigolds, which look similar but do not possess the same medicinal properties.
Parts used: Petals, flower heads
Habitat: Native to southern Europe, calendula is now widely cultivated in temperate regions around the world.
History & folklore: The name calendula refers to this plants tendency to bear flowers by the calendar, once a month in warm climates, usually during the new moon. Also known as pot marigold, it is also associated with the Virgin Mary and traditionally used in celebrations on her behalf. In Mexico, calendula flowers are placed on the gravesites of loved ones. This is believed to attract souls who have passed and bring them comfort and happiness.
Medicinal uses: One of the most well-known and versatile herbs in western medicine, calendula flower is an excellent remedy for a wide range of skin conditions. It is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, detoxifying, and mildly estrogenic. Health conditions it can specifically benefit include: Acne, allergies, bites, bowel disease, conjunctivitis, gastritis, mucus membrane and skin disorders, stings and varicose veins. It is excellent for healing wounds, rejuvenating the skin and reversing wrinkles as it helps the body stimulate the production of collagen. It is used both internally and externally and its pain killing agents can help to ease the discomfort of minor injuries.
Magical/Energetic uses: The bright yellow-orange petals of the calendula flower can be used in ritual to inspire optimism and vitality and to attract success in every area of life. Its protective energy dispels negativity and draws light and love into the energy field. Drinking tea made from the flowers of this magical plant can clear the aura of trauma fields and unwanted energetic attachments.