Calendula officinalis L. Asteraceae. Pot marigold, common marigold, ruds or ruddles. Calendula, because it was said to flower most commonly at the first of each month - the 'calends' (Coles, 1657). officinalis indicates that it was used in the 'offices' - the clinics - of the monks in medieval times. Annual herb. Distribution: Southern Europe. The Doctrine of Signatures, indicated that as the flowers resembled the pupil of the eye (along with Arnica, Inula and the ox-eye daisy), it was good for eye disorders (Porta, 1588). Coles (1658) writes '... the distilled water ... helpeth red and watery eyes, being washed therewith, which it does by Signature, as Crollius saith'. Culpeper writes: [recommending the leaves] '... loosen the belly, the juice held in the mouth helps the toothache and takes away any inflammation, or hot swelling being bathed with it mixed with a little vinegar.' The petals are used as a saffron substitute - ‘formerly much employed as a carminative

it is chiefly used now to adulterate saffron’ (Lindley, 1838). Avoid in pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant (Medicines Control Agency, 2002). Flowers are added to salads and stews, and edible (although it is never suggested that one eats more than one). The plant contains carotenoids, flavoxanthin, auroxanthin and lutein and beta-carotene saponins, sesquiterpene glycosides and triterpenes. Whil…