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Lovingly called as ‘pot marigold’, Calendula officinalis is an arm of the daisy family, Asteraceae. Indigenous to southwest Asia and West Europe including the Mediterranean.
The word ‘Calendula’ is extracted from the Latin word ‘calendae’, which means ‘little calendar’, ‘little weather-glass’ or ‘little clock’, mainly due to its promptness in blossoming on the new moon or on the beginning of the calendar month.
The word ‘Marigold’ means ‘Virgin Mary’ and is trusted to possess divine healing properties and even today, these flowers are used to honor Mother Mary during numerous Catholic occasions. It is also used to decorate the deities during auspicious religious gatherings in the Hindu tradition in India.
Calendula is still remembered for its cordial use during the World War I and the American Civil War as a natural healing agent for treating open wounds. Calendula dressing helped in healing wounds much quicker with its antiseptic and anti-hemorrhagic properties. These flowers were dabbed directly on wounds and cuts to promoter faster healing, control bleeding and to arrest infectious growths.
Being a vital part of the Traditional and alternative medicine, Calendula has been etched in certain oldest medical scripts for cleansing toxins in the gall bladder and liver and was prescribed to treat associated digestive disorders. Till today, the world sings the glory of Calendula tea, attributed to its appetizing taste and enormous healing benefits.
Pharmacological effects and chemical constituents of Calendula oil:
Calendula oil is said to possess antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, stimulant, detoxifying, carminative, anti-tumor, anti-hemorrhagic, antiviral, antifungal, hepatoprotective and emmenagogue properties.
The major chemical constituents of Calendula oil are a-cadinol, limonene, a-cadinene, p-cymene, 1, 8-cineol along with other flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, flavonol glycosides, carotenoids, sesquiterpene glucoside, amino acids, triterpene oligoglycosides, saponins, and oleanane-type triterpene glycosides.