Calendula comes from the Latin word calendae, meaning “throughout the months.” It is a member of the marigold family and has been valued for its medicinal and culinary uses throughout history. The blossoms were used in ancient beverages to cure indigestion; the petals were used in ointments to cure skin irritations, sore eyes, and toothaches.
It was also known as the “poor man’s saffron” in the Middle Ages, and was used to add flavor and color to dishes. Calendula is sometimes called “summer’s bride” or ‘husbandman’s dial’ since often flower’s head seems to follow the path of the sun. Yet another name is Pot Marigold as it does well in container gardens.
The color for October is orange and means winning grace as well as grief, jealousy and sacred affection.
Early Christians placed calendula around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins, and called them Mary’s Gold.
image from Wikimedia.org