A glimpse at marigold and you know it’s sunshine packed in a flower. While the flower may not be exotic or romantic like orchids or roses, it sure does have its appeal for festivities. Be it a religious ceremony, a wedding, or any occasion – these flowers make their presence felt. However, marigold flower uses extend far beyond decor, as these flowers are a treasure trove of health and wellness.
Ancient herbal healers spoke highly of marigold flower uses for thousands of years, and now, medical science also recognises their health benefits. This everyday, household flower holds so much in it and yet, people know so little about it. Here, we tell you the history and the amazing medicinal uses of marigold.
Peek Into The Past Of Marigold
The earliest known use of marigolds was by the Aztec people who attributed magical, religious, and medicinal properties to marigolds, medically known as Calendula Officinalis. The first mention of the flower as a herb or medicine is considered to be in the De La Cruz-Badiano Aztec Herbal of 1552 where it was used to treat hiccups and the after-effects of being struck by lightning.
The ancient Greeks used it for other purposes such as food coloring, make-up, fabric dye, and decor. The ancient Egyptians used it to rejuvenate their skin and as a culinary garnish. Indians see these flowers as festive and are often seen at weddings and religious rituals. However, Ayurveda goes beyond its visual appeal and lists many health benefits.
Marigold Flower Uses At Home
Marigold plants can be easily grown at home if you have your own garden or flower pots with moderate sunlight and fertile soil. While it works as a decorative garden plant, the petals are extremely handy and can be used in your cooking and also to make teas. Of course, growing your own marigold can be rather impractical for most of us, so it’s a lot more convenient to use marigold oil or balms and ointments that contain the oil. Still better, you can tap into all of the marigold flower benefits with tinctures and capsules that contain the ingredient.
You should also keep in mind that in order to really experience the medicinal uses of marigold that are listed below, you need to be consistent and patient in your use of marigold. While some conditions like skin diseases respond fairly quickly, other conditions may require more time.
Medicinal Wonders Of Marigold
Marigold has been highly valued by herbal healers for centuries, as its medicinal properties cured a number of health conditions and diseases. Here are a few of the common medicinal properties and uses of marigold.
Natural Antiseptic/Anti-Inflammatory: During the American Civil War and the First World War, marigold was used as antiseptic on wounds. The main compound found in the flower, triterpenoids, is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-edematous in nature .
Antioxidant Properties: Calendula oil is an excellent source of antioxidants that help fight toxins and rouge chemicals in the body. It is rich in carotenes and carotenoids – the two compounds responsible for the flower’s radiant color and many medicinal properties. These compounds also act as precursors for the production of antioxidant vitamin A .
Skin Healing: Perhaps the most popular use of calendula, from ancient times to modern-day, would be for healing the skin of wounds, burns, rashes, itchiness, bites, and swelling. Studies say that marigold has the ability to promote the growth of new and healthy tissues, increase blood flow to the affected area, hydrate dry skin, boost skin-strengthening collagen production, and speed up the process of skin repair. These benefits come from the magic of glycoproteins and nucleoproteins present in this flower .
Treating Eye Inflammation: Research shows that calendula extract is effective in the treatment of conjunctivitis and other eye inflammations. The extract demonstrates antibacterial, anti-viral, antifungal, and immuno-stimulating properties that help reduce eye infections .
Solution For Sore Throat: The flower’s antimicrobial and antiseptic qualities are effective in treating sore throats and mouth ulcers. Gargling with marigold tea helps soothe the mucus membranes of the throat and eases the pain .
Treats Fungal Infections: One of the many marigold flower benefits that is largely unknown is that can fight off some common fungal infections, providing for a safe and effective natural treatment. Researchers found that oil from the flower was able to inhibit growth of 23 strains of candida, which is responsible for infections like thrush, yeast infection, and so on .
Fights Gingivitis: The same anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that make the herb effective at relieving sore throats can also help to fight gum infections. If you’re looking for marigold flower uses for oral health, you’ll need to use a calendula-based mouthwash.
Relieves Piles or Hemorrhoids: Another one of the lesser known marigold flower uses is as a treatment for hemorrhoids, particularly bleeding hemorrhoids. The flowering herb can be used in the form of topical treatments that may be applied over the region to stop the bleeding. The herb is effective for the purpose as it causes the blood vessels to constrict.
Relieves Cramps And Indigestion: Whether your abdominal cramps and pain are the result of menstruation or indigestion, you can count on those marigold flower benefits to help. Its efficacy is most likely linked to proven antispasmodic effects . You can use the flower petals to make your own herbal tea or consume it in the form of a supplement.
Natural Bug Repellant: Most organic farmers would be aware of marigold flower uses as a natural pesticide and it can also be used to repel bugs and prevent insect bites. Bug sprays and ointments that contain marigold naturally repel many of these insects due to their pungent odor, antioxidants, and volatile oils.
Cancer Prevention: Although research into the efficacy of the herb for cancer prevention is still lacking, this is one of the most promising medicinal uses of marigold. There is interest in this application of marigold as a study found that the herb extract can activate certain proteins to destroy cancer cells, while blocking those that can protect cancer cells .
Marigold & Eye Vitamin
Marigold has an abundance of essential nutrients that promote good eye health – lutein. Also known as an eye vitamin, lutein is a powerful and essential antioxidant that helps provide protection from UV rays and the blue light emitted by laptop and phone screens. It also holds the potential of improving your vision and may lower the chances of age-related eye diseases.
Sadly for us, our body doesn’t produce lutein itself, which makes us dependent on food to get a sufficient amount of this nutrient. But due to hectic lifestyles and inappropriate eating habits, we don’t get the required quantity of lutein from food. The little that we get does not touch the bar of ideal bioavailability. Therefore, dietary supplements are the ideal way to get a sufficient amount of the ‘eye vitamin’. And marigold-based supplements are the best bet.
Speaking of lutein and food supplements, Setu produces some of the best. With our patented and clinically tested ingredient – Lutemax2020 we ensure maximum bioavailability of lutein in our products.
Our product suite includes Lutein Gummies, Eye Max, and Lutein & Zeaxanthin supplements that use the goodness of naturally extracted lutein from marigold to help improve ocular health, provide protection to the eyes, improve skin health and enhance mental performance.