Marigold Oil


Botanical Name: Calendula Officinalis
Family Name: Asteraceae
Common Name: Indian Marigold, marigold, little calendar
Part Used: Flowers

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Calendula is a type of about 15 to 20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plant in the daisy family Asteraceae and these genuses are often known as marigolds. This plant is originally a native of Southwestern Asia, Western Europe, Macaronesia and the Mediterranean region. The other plants known as marigolds are corn marigold, desert marigold, marsh marigold and plants in the genus of Tagetes. The common name marigold refers to Virgin Mary and the most commonly cultivated and used member of the family is the pot marigold (Calendula Officinalis). Calendula species of marigold is traditionally and widely uses as culinary and medicinal herbs

The petals of these types of marigold are edible and can be used in salads. It can also be dried and used and used to colour cheese or as replacement for saffron. A yellow dye is extracted from the flowers of marigold. Traditionally Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many religious rituals and ceremonies. They used to make crowns or garlands made out of marigold flowers and wear it during ceremonies. The other name of marigold is Mary's Gold and this is reference to the flower's use in early Catholic events in some countries. It is widely used in India also and is considered as a sacred flower and is sued for decorating the Hindu deities since olden times.

Flowers Add Colour

The flowers of marigold contain flavonolglycosides, triterpeneoligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and asesquiterpene glucoside. Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries and the flowers are the common ingredients in German soups and stews and this is how it got the name pot marigold. The colourful lovely petals of the flower are used to add colour to butter and cheese and is also found in Mediterranean and Middle East dishes. In olden times the flowers were used as source of dye in fabrics.

Marigold oil is distilled from the petals of the pot marigold and the flowers bloom from May until the first frosts. The name marigold is derived from the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla or marsh marigold. The flower is associated with the Virgin Mary and Queen Mary in the 17th century. There are many folktales connected to the marigold flower. It is believed that the flowers if cut when the sun is at its highest the flowers act as heart tonic and fortifier. In France people believes that by merely looking at the flowers for a few minutes each the eye sight can be improved. Garlands of calendula were once attached to door handles to keep evil out of the house, especially pollution.

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