14th
May
2014

Posted in Kafevend Blog

There are almost two dozen species of Marigold, or Calendula. Its Latin name means little calendar or clock. Whilst the name marigold is thought to have links to the Virgin Mary and Queen Mary, it was originally derived from the Anglo Saxon merso meargealla meaning marsh marigold. Given the right conditions, marigold will flower almost all year, opening during the day and closing at night, rather like dandelions on the lawn. Apparently you can tell if it's going to rain later if it doesn't bother opening up again at daybreak.

Marigold is thought to be native to the south of Europe and areas around the Mediterranean, but its widespread cultivation makes nailing down a specific point of origin rather tricky. It was used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans both medicinally and in ritual, and its use has continued through to the present day thanks to various references made in texts. The strong colour led to its use as a dye, and was even added to cheeses to give them a stronger colour.

The presence of certain chemical compounds within the marigold flower which bestow it with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties have led to its use throughout the ages for a variety of internal and external maladies. The leaves can be mixed with other substances to make a salve which can be applied to things like bruises and areas of sunburn and eczema. As a tea, it can be drunk to soothe sore stomachs or gargled as a mouthwash to help with gingivitis and bad breath. As ever, please consult a medical professional before necking it.

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