January 21, 2010

MARIGOLD - the calendar

Walking the preordained path
 - the Sun's Bride


If it's flowers fail to unfurl by seven o'clock in the morning, then you can expect some rain soon. Its Latin name  - Calendula, small calender is derived from the Roman word calendae, meaning first day of the month. One can tell the time of the day by examining the flower.

In some parts of the world it is called the 'Sun's Bride', because it follows the sun's course. Contradicting its representation, it is also known as the flower of the dead and is planted in graveyards.

The fourteenth-century Dutch hymn : "Marigold, comfort of the world, noble maid, help us towards salvation. Ave Maria", reflects an association of the flower with Virgin Mary, the popular name 'Mary's gold - Marigold'.

Calendula has been a valued plant since twelfth century. It has been used extensively for its medicinal properties. Marigold is a woman's best friend : drinking a brew concocted from the flower helps in regularizing periods. It has been used traditionally as an antiseptic to heal minor injuries.

The petals and leaves of this plant are edible. The bright yellow colored petal has been used as a food dye since the Middle Ages, an affordable alternate to saffron.

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