Magickal and Medicinal Herbs: Calendula 101

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(Calendula officinalis)

Any herb or plant which is given the name “officinalis” is recognized as having significant medicinal benefits. It means “used in medicine”.

In medieval times, calendula was regarded as a magickal herb as well as a medicinal and culinary one. It has been used to produce dyes, flavor food, heal wounds, and even help celebrate the rebirth of the sun god at the winter solstice.

Just as the flowers open to follow the sun in its path across the sky each day, they also follow celebrations across the world, showing up as a symbol of joy to the Romans, in the garlands that adorn the deities of the Hindu faith, and even in offerings to ancestors on the Day of the Dead in Central America. Calendula holds a place among the most significant spiritual herbs. It is a flower of both Sun and Fire.

It always cracks me up how often herbs that have been traditionally given as offerings to the gods are herbs that I naturally lean toward to give my children. Our favorite use of calendula is in a healing salve that we make called Fairy Magic. More than any other herbal remedy, this is the one that my kids reach for the most.

For all medicinal preparations, be sure that you use the whole dried flowers, as the medicinal oils are found mostly in the resinous green bases of the flower heads. Also take care that the dried petals are bright yellow or orange, which is another indication of quality and freshness. Sometimes calendula is sold as petals only, but this is weaker medicine.

Other Names: marigold, pot marigold, garden marigold, holigold, mary bud

Composition: Calendula includes the flower heads and petals of the plant, which contain triterpene glycosides and aglycones, as well as carotenoids and essential oils.

Parts Used: Whole flowers (be sure to use the entire flower head, including the green base, rather than the petals alone)

Safety and Contraindications: Calendula is generally considered safe. Do not use calendula internally during pregnancy since it has traditionally been used to bring on menses. As calendula is in the aster family, it may cause a reaction for people who are highly sensitive to plants like ragweed (Ambrosia spp.) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita); this possibility is rare, but sensitive individuals should proceed with caution when using calendula for the first time. Rare incidences of allergic contact dermatitis have occurred with the topical use of calendula.

Medical Properties

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • anti-fungal
  • antioxidant
  • immune support
  • lymphagogue
  • vulnerary
  • emmenagogue
  • cholagogue

Holistic Uses

  • poorly healing wounds
  • venous insufficiency
  • inflammation
  • acne
  • eczema
  • surgical wounds
  • rashes, stings, wounds, and burns
  • swelling
  • insect bites
  • scrapes, bruises, and abrasions
  • chickenpox
  • cold sores
  • cervical dysplasia
  • cracked nipples from breastfeeding
  • postpartum perineal tears
  • diaper rash
  • periodontal disease (mouthwash)
  • thrush (mouthwash)
  • bleeding gums (mouthwash)
  • to stimulate menstrual flow
  • to stimulate bile
  • peptic ulcers
  • GERD
  • acute or chronically swollen lymph nodes resulting from respiratory infections, localized infections
  • builds immunity by helping to prevent infection through activation of the lymphatic system
  • grief and sadness

Medicinal Preparations: Tea, tincture, infused oil, salve, broth, compress, poultice, vaginal douches and suppositories, sitz baths


Tincture ratios and dosage: Fresh flowers 1:2 95%; dried flowers 1:6 70%. Both preparations 2–3 ml (⅖ to ⅗ teaspoon) three times a day

Infusion ratios and dosage: 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of the dried flowers infused in 1 cup (240 ml) of water three times a day; 3 to 12 grams of the dried flower a day by infusion

Magickal Associations

Sun Gods

Magickal Correspondences

Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire

Magickal Properties

  • consecration
  • protection
  • prophecy
  • sun energy
  • beauty and youth
  • healing
  • strength
  • positive outcomes
  • reclaiming boundaries
  • nurturing potential
  • wealth
  • love spells
  • marriage
  • spiritual growth
  • legal matters

Simple Spells

  • Garlands of calendula are used as a protective charm.
  • The blossoms can be used for protection against nightmares.
  • Scatter calendula under your bed to protect yourself from robbers and thieves.
  • Scatter calendula under your pillow to give you prophetic dreams.
  • Carry calendula in your pocket when facing legal matters to encourage a positive outcome.
  • Cast calendula into the fire on the summer solstice to illuminate your spiritual journey.
  • Infuse calendula into olive or sunflower oil to create a consecration oil that can be used to add positive intent.
  • Dried petals can be strewn to consecrate an area or burned in consecration incense. They are also a good addition to dream pillows.
  • Wreaths of calendula hung over a door are said to keep evil and negativity from entering.

To purchase dried calendula flowers, visit the APOTHECARY.

Increase your herbal education by Digging Deeper into other herbs and essential oils.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am a not medical professional and everything written here is a product of my own research. Don’t take any advice given here over that of a trained doctor. If you ingest any herbs, always make sure that you’re 100% sure that they’re safe. If you’re pregnant or giving to a child, always consult a doctor before ingesting herbs and plant you aren’t familiar with. Magickal instruction and spells are for personal entertainment purposes only. The desired result/outcome cannot be guaranteed as a result of using any magickal item, and should not be used as a replacement for medical/professional assistance.

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