Week 5 – Calendula

Calendula  (Calendula officinalis)

 by Morgana Moonfire

Also known as Calendula, Holigold, Pot Marigold, Garden Marigold and Bride of the Sun, “mother of skin” among herbalists. Its scientific name, Calendula officinalis, gives us a hint of what ancient physicians felt about its powers to heal and maintain skin in perfect health. Calendula refers to the calendar, as the plant blooms every month of the year. The second word, officinalis, refers to the workshop of an alchemist, a place where lead was said to be converted into gold. Turning lead into gold is no small feat, but the ancients felt that calendula could perform an equally amazing transformation on the skin, hence the name.

Associations: Mabon, the zodiac signs Leo, Aries and Sagittarius, the sun, the element of fire, business and legal matters, the goddess Xochiquetzal, symbolic qualities: fidelity, longevity, loving sacrifice.


***’Marigold’ can be Calendula officinalis, a medicinal herb; or Tagetes erecta, an annual used as a bedding plant. For this reason, particularly when we are talking about medicinal herbs, we must use the scientific name when discussing and, most important, when purchasing our plants.

  • One of the oldest wound healers known: used since Roman times, calendula has a centuries-old reputation as a wound healer.
  • It is a Druid sacred herb.
  • Known as “summer’s bride”, the yellow calendula embodies the Sun’s fire and life sustaining virtue. The ancients believed that the marigold’s power to turn with the sun was a highly magickal property.
  • The Maya would decorate the graves of their loved ones and line the paths for the grave to their homes with the petals of marigolds so that the dead may be guided.
  • During the 17th century, calendula petals were used in the treatment of small pox and measles, as well as animal and insect bites.
  • Pick in full sun.
  • Always gather this flower in August when the sun is in Leo.
  • If a marigold is left in your circle, or church, it is said that no woman that has committed adultery against a wronged and faithful husband will be able to leave the spot where they stand or sit.
  • Calendula is an annual or perennial depending on the severity of the winter it must endure. People living in climates with temperatures well below freezing for months on end will have to plant calendula as an annual, but in more moderate climes, calendula will keep on going year after year.
  • Calendula is a member of the daisy family, along with chrysanthemums, sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, elecampane, asters, thistles, chamomile, dandelion, burdock, and globe artichokes. A number of members of this family, most notably chamomile, elecampane, dandelion and burdock, are used to treat skin problems.
  • The Romans, who called calendula verrucaria, the wart-curing plant, noticed that skin eruptions of a periodic nature, like herpes and warts, were effectively eradicated by the plant.
  • Calendula is above all a remedy for the skin, providing effective treatment for most skin problems. In fact, it is an all-purpose skin-healing agent. Look for it in a spray or salve formula that adds the soothing qualities of olive oil, aloe or Vitamin E. calendula really is the all-around best skin treatment because it addresses the symptoms as well as their causes.
  • The biggest drawback to calendula is that insects like them and they are subject to plant disease.
  • Aphids are the most common insect problem. They are readily treated with an insecticidal soap or repellent. Sevin should also work well.




Calendula is a very common, annual garden plant that is prolific and easy to grow.

–> Calendula can be direct seeded in the spring or even summer. Sow calendula seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4″ of garden soil. They germinate easily and will grow quickly, producing their first of a continual display of blooms by mid-summer. Most plants begin blooming within 2 months of seeding.

*Calendula plants like a full sun location and rich, well drained soil, but they will adapt to most any soil conditions and they are very tolerant of average to slightly poor soils. Improving your soil quality will produce much healthier plants and flowers, so add plenty of compost. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

*Once your calendula is established in your garden, they will grow well (even if left unattended) and self-seed, but they don’t generally become a nuisance. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.

*Add mulch around the plants to keep weeds down.

*Pick dead blooms to encourage new blooms.



*Select a location in your garden where they can grow undisturbed for years, as these flowers will drop their seeds and reseed your flowerbed each year.

*Space plants 15″ apart.



*They make great indoor arrangements, but need to be checked for aphids before bringing them in. They would be more popular, but they give off an unpleasant odour that is sometimes too strong indoors.


–> Harvest while flowering.

–> Collect calendula flowers in late morning, after the dew has dried. Pick flowers when they are fully open and check often, because they come and go quickly.

*Calendula blooms for a very long time: from mid-summer all the way until frost.

*Calendula is a somewhat hardy annual. It will not be harmed by a light frost either in the spring or fall and it will continually produce flowers even after the first light frost. It will succumb to heavy frosts or freezes.

* Do not be afraid to cut blooms from your calendula. It will only encourage more budding.


You can use fresh flowers or you can dry and store the blossoms for later use. Cut the flower heads off and spread them out on a screen, in a shady, dry spot. Turn them occasionally until they are papery dry and store in canning jars until ready to use.


Parts used: flower (petals), leaves

Magickal uses

* If any spell demands that the marigold is eaten, make sure that this is done at breakfast time ONLY!

v  Calendula is carried into court for a favorable verdict.

v  Divination, enhanced psychic powers, prophetic dreams

  • In the mattress it encourages prophetic dreams.
  • Smudge for prophecy of legal matters.

v  Marriage and love spells

  • Used with love sachets to attract, bathe in tea for 5 days to find “Mr. Right”

v  Added to bathwater it helps gain you the respect and admiration of everyone you meet.

v  Rightly used it would ensure perfect peace and prosperity to the bearer.

v  Protection; will also guard against nightmares, psychic attacks, and baleful phantoms of the night.

  • Garlands of marigolds strung on the doorposts stop evil from entering the house.
  • Marigold is a powerful oil used for protection.
  • Wrap the head from one of the flowers in a Laurel leaf or in the leaves of the May tree or Hawthorn.  Add a wolf’s tooth. No one will say a bad word against the wearer of this charm. Let him sleep with this small parcel under the pillow and if any man secretly wrongs him the enemy’s identity will be made known.
  • Spiritual protection: sleep with marigold flowers underneath your pillow.


Medicinal uses

The bright yellow and orange blossoms contain volatile oils, tannins and resins that calm inflammation; speed healing and have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Calendula is an immune-activating herb and an astringent; it is antiseptic, detoxifying and lymphatic and it contains hormone and vitamin A precursors.

*Calendula is perfectly safe.

v  Skin: calendula is a gentle, soothing herb used for lumps and bumps, mosquito bites, cuts, scrapes, scratches and wounds; for red and inflamed skin, including minor burns and sunburns; for acne, eczema, chapped lips, many rashes (including rashes in small children) and for fungal conditions such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush. It is very helpful for diaper rash and cradle cap and soothes nipples that are sore from breastfeeding. Calendula is also useful to treat skin eruptions or lesions caused by viruses, e.g. herpes sores, skin ulcers, warts, chicken pox and shingles.

  • A healing herb for rough or problem skin.
  • Generous application of the cream will greatly diminish the discomfort of itchy skin. This is probably due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Use to soothe irritated, chapped skin on the hands.
  • *Will help skin heal faster and hurt less (whether applied in tincture or cream form). Calendula has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal actions, which will eliminate infection on the wound site, as well as an anti-inflammatory action, which will reduce pain.
  • Increases epithelialization (the skin’s ability to knit itself back together): a chemical in the plant stimulates the rejoining of broken skin, so it is wonderful for abrasions.
  • As an injury remedy, calendula helps the body clean up the debris that results from trauma to a joint.  It helps to resolve the swelling of injuries by facilitating lymphatic cleanup. 
  • Formerly just the flowers of calendula were used in skin ointments, but recent discoveries hint that some of the best parts of the plant can be found in the stem!
  • Where the skin is scarred (like from chicken pox, acne, cuts or more severe wounds) try and use calendula oil as a carrier. In many cases, it has significantly reduced the appearance of scar tissue. (aromatherapy)
  • It is softening and encouraging for the skin’s normal growth. (aromatherapy)
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can be used separately or together for an astringent bath that is especially helpful for those with oily or blemished skin.
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can also be infused and mixed with a decoction of distilled water and witch hazel to make a facial cleanser.
  • Calendula and chamomile are particularly useful for young children and babies (a couple drops in the bath of chamomile can soothe and help sleep, as with lavender.)
  • In recent studies, calendula has been proven to help heal venous leg ulcers, which are notoriously slow-healing wounds caused by poor circulation.
  • Eczema: calendula cream works to keep the condition under control. Part of the syndrome is terrible itching which leads to scratching which leads to scabs which leads to scratching, and so on. Calendula cream both soothes the itching and speeds the healing of the broken tissue, thus ending the itch cycle.
  • Gum disease: start gargling with a light tea made with calendula flowers.
  • Calendula is also wonderful for healing any sort of ulcer in the mouth, be it from the herpes virus or another source.
  • Warts: break open marigold leaves and apply the plant juice directly to wart. Do this daily until wart is gone.
  • Sunburn: bathe the sunburn with an infusion of calendula. It repairs damaged skin cells.
  • An infusion of calendula can be used as an effective douche or wash to remedy vaginal thrush.
  • Herpes: sensing an outbreak before it happens is critical when planning to use calendula to avert an actual breakout. Herbalists have found that if herpes sufferers apply calendula cream at the first warning signs, they can avoid a full-blown case of ulcers. Some herbalists feel that it is best to take calendula internally as well as externally, and they recommend a tea of the flowers as well as generous applications of the cream on the areas usually affected.
  • Herpes: due to its combination of anti-inflammatory, antiulcerous and antiviral capacities.

v  Stimulates the liver: the daisy family is famous for containing a number of bitter elements that stimulate the liver. The liver’s function is to remove toxins from the body. When it cannot do its job (for instance due to alcoholism), toxins that would otherwise be flushed from the system just sit around, making the skin look bad. I.e. a poorly functioning liver is at the root of many skin conditions. Thus using dandelion, burdock, and globe artichoke to successfully treat liver also helps to improve skin conditions.

v  Toothaches

  • Taken as a mouthwash, this is an ancient remedy for a toothache.

v  Colitis, intestinal problems

v  Gastric ulcers

v  Speed the healing of nerve damage

v  Neuritis, pink eye

  • Antiseptic agents are great for eye irritation and helps with inflammation and itching. Calundula possesses antiseptic properties and works well as an eye wash or a warm compress over the eye.

v  Hair

  • Redheads and blonds: to enrich the natural colours of your hair try a hair oil or try using a calendula infusions as a final rinse after washing your hair. Calendula combines well with chamomile – another skin-caring herb.

v  Muscle spasms

v  Abdominal cramps, helps to regulate the menstrual cycle

v  Constipation, aids digestion

v  Cleans lymph and blood

  • Lymphatic herbs are used to decongest or otherwise improve the flow of the lymph within the body.  Lymphatic fluid is responsible for supplying the cells with nutrition, cleaning up metabolic wastes, acting as the environment in which immune activity takes place and pretty much makes up most of the interstitial fluid of the body. Lymphatic fluid is not circulated by a pump as is the blood (though it does travel with the blood on its way to the cells), but rather relies on movement of the body to circulate.  Inactivity – which more or less comes along with most injuries – impairs lymphatic flow, and thus an herb like Calendula can be useful to prevent stagnation.  Dose of tincture would be 5-30 drops. 

v  Lessens fever

  • The herb can be used fresh, dry, or in tincture.

v  Cancer

  • From the Romans forward, calendula has been used to treat carcinoma, and recent evidence indicates that it may in fact contain chemicals that are both antitumor and anticancer. With the plant’s anticancer and immunostimulating powers, a daily once-over with calendula cream may be the answer to protect the skin from the sun. This is particularly true for people who work outdoors.

v  Pets

  • Use a calendula infusion for dogs and cats as a natural way to remedy a flea or mite infestation or skin irritation.
  • If your pet is suffering from ulcers, give him two drops each of calendula, comfrey, knotgrass and nettle twice per day. Couple this with a bland, easy to digest diet until the ulcer has healed.
  • Cuts can be simply disinfected and healing promoted by spraying a tea made from calendula flowers onto the injured area or alternatively you can have a salve made with calendula flowers. When using a salve you will need to cover the area with a bandage as pets are likely to lick it off.


*Our skin is a barometer of our overall health. Using calendula or any other cream on skin that is indicating bad health is a complete waste of time. You need to determine whether or not your skin troubles are rooted in poor general health or some other underlying condition. If your skin is bad because you do not take care of yourself, using calendula in combination with improving your overall health routine will truly make a difference.

*Skin is permeable. What you put on your skin can and will make its way into your body. For this reason, calendula cream is much healthier than steroid cream.

*Doctors used to wonder why at times it seemed that calendula cream worked and at other times it did not. The solution to the query lies in the manner in which the calendula cream was prepared. Calendula cream is prepared from either a water extract or an alcohol extract. Recently, it has been discovered that calendula has two kinds of components: some of which are water-soluble and others which are alcohol-soluble. Modern research has discovered that the water-soluble ingredients are the elements that treat viral infections and the alcohol-soluble ingredients are those that treat bacterial infection. This is why sometimes calendula creams worked on for instance herpes sores and other times it did not: if the cream was not made with a water extract, the viral-suppressing chemicals would not be present.

Marigold medicine


* A tea can be used as a compress for external application, as can an oil, tincture or salve.

*Tincture: There are four types of poisons in plants: alkaloids, glycosides, essential oils and resins. The first three are fairly easy to move from plants to a tincture. Resins, because they “fear” water (hydrophobic) are difficult to tincture. Use high proof alcohol in order to tincture a resin, for example in order to obtain calendula flower tincture.

  • Astringent for Acne (Wysti’s Notes) 


This works best for oily skin types.

6 drops peppermint e.o.

15 drops benzoin tincture

1 T. yarrow

1 T. calendula (or chamomile)

2 c. distilled water

Bring the water to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the herbs.  Cover & steep for about 30 minutes.  Now add the benzoin tincture and peppermint e.o.  Store in the refrigerator.

To use:  Shake well before each use.  Use 1 t. for each application.  Always use a good moisturizer afterwards.

Makes about 96 treatments.

  • Marigold balm (author unknown) 


This is a recipe for a simple Marigold ointment, which is excellent for cuts, sores or minor burns.

Take 60g/2oz (about a handful) of freshly picked Marigold flowers, add to 200g/7oz melted petroleum jelly and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer it very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring well. Then sift it through fine gauze and press out all the liquid from the flowers. Pour the liquid into a container and seal it after it has cooled.

  • Calendula salves: The healing properties of calendula are a good addition to any salve. It is particularly appropriate for salves designed to treat sores or ulcers that have not responded very well to other methods or that have shown a resistance to healing.


  • Formula No. 135: Calendula Compound Salve for Eyes


Calendula Flowers 5

Spanish Saffron 1/2

Yellow Precipitate 8

Camphor 10

White Petrolatum 1 ounce

Melt No. 5, then add Nos. I and 2 and heat for about 5 minutes, then strain and add Nos. 3 and 4, rubbing well until a smooth salve is obtained.

Directions: Apply to eye lids morning and night.

This salve is also good for cloudy eyes and may be applied to the eye itself, as it has the tendency of removing film. This formula is very effective for sore, inflamed, granulated eyelids and also for the small furuncular abscesses on the eyelids, called styes.

  • All purpose salve:


Mix together 1 ounce comfrey (aids in cell production, relieves pain), 1 ounce plantain leaves (also promotes healing), and 1 ounce calendula leaves (another great aid in preventing bacteria, healing.)

  • (strong) Calendula tea: Herbs rich in colouring compounds – such as calendula- make enticing and tasty teas.


v  Remedies

  • Nettle rash, skin problems
  • Digestive infections
  • Fungal problems. E.g thrush
  • An excellent footbath for athlete’s foot
  • A facial wash for acne
  • An eyewash for conjunctivitis
  • A mouth rinse for aphthous ulcers (canker sores)
  • A vaginal wash for yeast infections


v  Recipe: steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes, take one teaspoon per hour.



Tincture (1:5, 25% alcohol): 2.5ml 3 times daily

Spray (1:5, 25% alcohol): Apply to affected area 3 times daily


  • To help gain faerie sight:

Rub a wash of marigold water rubbed on the eyelids.

  • The faeries and nature spirits associated with this flower can help you develop clairaudience. You will find that as begin to attune to them, you will actually start hearing them.
    • They hold the mysteries and magic of thunderstorms.
    • They also hold great knowledge of the power of words – especially those used in the healing process.
    • They have knowledge of the mysteries of love and sacrifice.



Homemade Herbal Oils by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

Aromatherapy Massage Oils

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1: an article by Susun S. Weed

Healing Flowers by Laurel Vukovic (The Herb Companion)

May/June 2008

Herbal Preparations by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Teas by Gillie Whitewolf

Using Herbs Simply and Safely: an article by Susun S. Weed

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs

http://www.herbalre mediesinfo. com/pet-herbs. html

http://www.naturala rk.com/herbpet. Html

http://www.magdalin .com/herbs/

Actions of herbs

Smudging Herbs

HERBOLOGY by Bruce Burnett, Chartered Herbalist

What is herbal medicine?

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism


Skye’s Realm 1999-2007

http://pages. prodigy.net/ groovyskye/ 2.html

http://EzineArticle s.com/?expert= Khal_Nuwar

http://www.herbcraft. org

http://www.cure- back-pain. org/herbs- for-back- pain.html

Astringent for Acne – Wysti’s Notes

Sunburn Help – Farmer’s Almanac

For Natural Hair Color, Color Your Hair with Natural Dyes by DON SCHMIDT

Book; Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Williams, MH

Herbs for ridding of evil, hexes & curses

http://www.freewebs .com/magicalpath /herbalteaplants .htm

Herbs of Divination

http://botanical. com/site/ column_rita/ hexing.html

Sacred Herbs Of The Goddess

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

The Magick Pantry – Marigold

Symbolic Qualities of Flowers & Trees

50 Wart Home Remedies & Treatments

http://www.beyondwe ird.com/occult/ larder.html

Herbal Dreamcraft

Lucky Flowers For Your Zodiac Sign

http://www.spiritno w.com/article/ horoscopes/ lucky_flowers_ for_your_ zodiac_sign_ 501


http://www.llewelly n.com/free/ spell.php? spellid=1617

Herbal Sleep Recipes – These are all From The Farmer’s Almanac Book of Traditional Home

Home Remedies To Treat Pink Eye

AUGUST 26, 2010

http://naturalhealt hezine.com/ home-remedies- to-treat- pink-eye/

Natural Sun Protection

Kathi Keville

http://www.ageless. co.za/herbal_ remedies. Htm

Ailments and their Herbal Remedies

Plant Poisons

Aromatherapy Massage Oils










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Copyright notice

All entered text is ©2010 of the author, unless otherwise stated.

In order to reproduce any material, permission needs to granted by the author, either Morgana Moonfire or Archangel Amitiel.

Dark Moon Circle

As a sister of the DMC, Morgana aka Funky Chicken would like to honour this wonderfully supportive circle of sisters who never hesitate to offer guidance and share their wisdom.
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