Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
by Robert Graves
...Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
They will ever yet return...
October's Flower, the Calendula, is said to have originated in Egypt, and is a member of the marigold family. Its Latin name, calendula, derives from the Latin word calendae (kalendae) "the first day of the month". Calendula also translates as "a little calendar" or "little clock". The name was appropriate since the flower bloomed throughout the entire calendar year and provided monastery gardens and altars with a constant supply of golden blooms.
Calundela afficinalis valued for its medicinal and culinary properties. The word officinalis means "medicinal" and the Latin word calendae means "throughout the months" meaning that the plant flowers for many months. It's colors are yellow and orange. It's common names include: Pot Marigold; Summer's Bride'; Husbandman's Dial; Mary's Gold; Souci; Marybud; Bulls eye; Garden marigold; and Holligold.
Calendula has been used to treat ulcers and other illnesses. It was used during the Civil War to help stop bleeding and help speed the healing of wounds. The Romans used Calendulaas a remedy for insect bites and stings. During the 1600’s it was highly regarded as a remedy for smallpox and measles and has been used as symbol of constancy in love as a flower for weddings or in love potions. Calendula is known for it spasmolytic, mild diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antihaemorrhagic, astringent, vulnerary, antifungal, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, menstrual regulator, antioxidant, antiviral, and mild antibacterial properties.
Some of the legends and folklore of the Calendula/Marigold:
*Eating Calendula was thought to make one see fairies, be easily induced to sleep, or to feel more amorous.
*During the nineteenth century the marigold, which represents the shining sun, became a symbol of life, yet, its strange smell caused it to be planted in graveyards as well.
*During the Victorian era these flowers meant "My thoughts are with you", i.e., symbolizing sorrow and sympathy .
*Dreaming of marigolds was indicative of future prosperity and riches
*Early Christians called the Calendula ~Mary's Gold~ and placed them by the statues of the virgin Mary.
*Considered to be one of the most sacred herbs of ancient India, it is still used in temples and weddings. The blossoms were strung into garlands and placed them around the necks of the gods.