Annual - Compositae
Common names: Marigold, Pot Marigold, Ruddes, Mary Gowles, Holligold, Goldbloom, Golds
This native of southern Europe is a popular garden plant, but only the variety with deep orange flowers have any medicinal value. All varieties however, will yield a yellow to orange dye when the flowers are boiled in water. The leaves, although somewhat bitter, are sometimes used in salads. Young leaves are most suited for this purpose.
Calendula is reputed to be a stimulant and diaphoretic. At one time it was used to treat jaundice, smallpox and measles. In China, some herbalists use marigold to treat irregular menstruation and, in Russia, the herb is used to check strep throat. The flowers harbor terpene alkaloids and flavones that have anti-microbial properties. Studies have demonstrated that these agents are effective against Straphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Sarcina lutea and Candida monosa. Organic extracts of the dried flowers also demonstrate anti-HIV activity in vitro.
Calendula is useful in generating wound and tissue repair. In one study, surgically induced wounds in rats responded to treatment with 5% calendula ointment. Results were measured 8, 24 and 48 hours after application and each time indicated significant epitherial cell generation. Another study demonstrated the ability of calendula to promote new blood cell formation in vitro.
Calendula has been approved by the Commission E to treat wounds, burns, and inflammation of the mouth and pharynx.
For Certified Organic Calendula Flowers, Essential Oil and other products, please visit the Organic Herbs & Spices page.