SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, March 7, 2022

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Calendula

calendula, herbalism, herbal remedy, magic, witchcraft, herb magic, green witchcraft, hedgewitch, herb magic, herb magick, magick, magic, occult, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Powers: Healing, Legal Matters, Love, Prophetic Dreams, Protection, Psychic Powers
Magical Uses and History: Calendula, not to be confused with marigold (French marigold) which looks similar, comes from the Latin kalendae meaning "the first." This is an ode to the plant supposedly blooming at the beginning of the summer months or during the New Moon (it doesn't). This, however, resulted in it often being associated with the menstrual cycle, despite being masculine in nature. Calendula was often used to induce menstruation and relieve menstrual cramps, and therefore can be used in spells regarding women's health. However, because it can induce menstruation, it should not be used by women who may be pregnant and therefore should not be used in spells regarding fertility. Its blooming at the beginning of the month later led to calendula becoming the symbol of the Roman calendar, being used to note the beginning of each lunar phase. As such, calendula can be used during New Moon spells and rituals to bring prosperity, luck, protection, confidence, prophetic dreams, or to see through illusions.

While the exact origins of calendula are lost to history, we do know that it was used in Ancient Greece, Egypt, India, and Arabic empires as a fabric dye, cosmetic, medicine, and to flavor food. By the Middle Ages, calendula became extremely popular among Europeans who nicknamed it "Mary-Gold," hence its confusion with marigold, and dedicated the flower to the Virgin Mary. It was often used to flavor soups and stews to boost health and protect against disease. This led to it being given the name "Pot Marigold," as it was thrown into just about every pot. In the Americas, early colonists heavily relied on calendula for its healing and protective properties, using it in a similar manner as their European ancestors. It protected against the damp and cold common during the winter. Later, during the American Civil War, doctors carries dried calendula flowers to staunch bleeding and promote healing of wounds.  As such, calendula is deeply associated with healing and protection. Calendula, being associated with fire due to its bright yellow-orange petals, can be used in spells to gently 'burn' away illness, disease, and unwanted negative energies while nourishing the body during healing and cleansing spells and rituals.

Apart from healing, calendula was also believed to be highly protective, not just against disease, but also bad luck, negative energies, and people will ill-intent. Garlands of calendula were sometimes hung from door handles to protect the family inside or strewn underneath the bed to protect against robbers while the family slept. If you happened to be robbed anyway, it was believed that calendula would induce prophetic dreams identifying the culprit. As such, calendula can be used in protection spells or during legal matters to ensure victory.

Calendula is also associated with love and happiness, likely due to its bright yellow-orange color. It was often incorporated into flower crowns worn by brides or, again, placed under the bed to ensure a happy marriage. In some instances, it was believed that placing calendula under your pillow or bed could also induce prophetic dreams of a future lover. It was also believed that bathing in a bath of calendula petals would make people see you more favorably. As such, use calendula in spells to attract a lover or maintain a happy, successful marriage.

Finally, there are some folklore references to calendula being used to dispel illusions and bring the truth to light. Burning calendula is thought to remove glamour and reveal faeries. It has also been used in truth spells and to prevent rumors from spreading by getting your enemy to shut their mouth. I had difficulty finding where these superstitions originated from, but its association with Fire is likely part of the reason. Not only can it burn through illness and disease, but also deception and lies. If picked on Saint John's Day, the powers of calendula are said to double.

Calendula can be used in a number of spells including:
    Protection Spells
    Love Spells
    Dream Magic
    Healing Spells
    Truth Spells

Medicinal Uses: Calendula is renowned for its healing properties, especially for treating skin problems due to its being anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and natural astringent. It is used to treat mild skin infections, cuts, bruises, bug bites, ulcers, sprains, scalds, and burns. It can also be used as a compress or poultice to stop external bleeding, just as doctors did during the Civil War. Internally it can be taken to calm stomach ulcers and digestive inflammation. As an emmenagogue, it can stimulate menstruation, especially if late, and aid in period-related cramps. It combines well with marshmallow root to soothe stomach problems or slippery elm and goldenseal to treat external wounds.

Preparation and Dosage: Calendula can be taken internally or externally. To create an infusion, pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of florets and leaves. Infuse for 10-15 minutes and drink up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters up to three times a day. Externally, calendula can be used as a salve, police, or compress. If you are looking to create a salve, try my recipe! Look for more recipes, check out The Herbal Academy's Calendula Uses: Our 14 Favorite Recipes and Remedies.


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