Pot marigold

Part of the plant used for medicinal purposes: marigold flower (Calendulae flos)

Other common names: calendula, common marigold, garden marigold, ruddles, Mary’s gold, Scotch marigold.

Description and harvesting

Pot marigold is an annual plant in the daisy family (Asteraceae). It grows up to 60 cm tall, with angular stems and longitudinal, hairy leaves. The inflorescence are yellow to orange and comprise a 3 to 8 cm flowerhead. The plant blooms from June to the first frost. Flowers are picked in a sunny weather and dried in a well-ventilated area. The plant is a weather forecaster – if the flowers are still closed after 7 a.m., it means that it will rain on that day.

Constituents and medicinal use

The structure of marigold leaves has been well researched. The petals contain flavonoids (such as oligosaccharides quercetin), carotenoids (lycopene and lutein), saponins, which account for 2 to 10% (calendulosoids), xanthophyll, essential oil and polysaccharides. It contains plenty triterpenes (β-amyrin, faradiol).
In traditional medicine, it is used to stimulate bile production, activate gastric emptying, and help with digestive and gastric diseases and ulcerative colitis – to this end it is added to tea blends for digestion health.
Externally, it is used in the form of ointments or drops to treat acne, warts, and eczema. It also helps with frostbite, wounds, burns and insect bites. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, especially faradiol in the plant. β-amyrin (also found in black elder flowers) has been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties by blocking the production of cytokines. Pot marigold promotes wound healing and is also antibacterial, which is good because as it heals a wound, it also reduces the possibility of wound infection. Flavonols in flowers are antiviral.
In small doses, it has a cancer preventive effect and protects the genetic material. Laboratory tests on mice have shown that marigold extract reduced tumour cell division.
In traditional medicine, wet compresses can be used on skin (pot marigold drops) to treat scratches, wounds, cuts, skin ulcers (especially those that do not heal well). Drops are also used for strained muscles, bruising, contusions and swelling.
Pot marigold does not contain toxic sesquiterpene lactones (which are contained in arnica, for example, thus it is not used for treatments on mucosa), hence it can be used to treat inflammatory processes on mucosa, such as in the oral cavity and the oesophagus. Pot marigold can be added to mouthwashes to help reduce the production of tartar on teeth, caries, and bad breath.
In traditional medicine, pot marigold is used to regulate the menstrual cycle. It regulates bleeding in the premenopausal period and has a diuretic effect.
Several clinical studies have confirmed the effectiveness of pot marigold, one of which has proven that pot marigold ointment is an effective preparation to prevent acute dermatitis of the second or higher level. Another study has proven that pot marigold ointment helps to reduce inflammation from contact dermatitis if applied in the initial inflammatory phase (e.g. contact dermatitis caused by contact with rue). A clinical trial was made to estimate the effect of pot marigold on the healing of wounds resulting from chronic venous insufficiency in the legs on 34 patients. Pot marigold ointment was applied on the legs of 21 patients (with 33 wounds) twice a day and after three weeks, the wound surface reduced by 42 %.


Monk Simon Ašič’s product containing pot marigold flower:


1. Ašič, S. in Kukman, J. (2011) Domača lekarna patra Simona Ašiča. Priročnik za nabiranje zdravilnih zelišč. Prenovljena izdaja. Celje: Celjska Mohorjeva Družba.
2. Galle-Toplak, K. (2002) Zdravilne rastline na Slovenskem. Ljubljana: Založba Mladinska knjiga.
3. Kreft, S. in Kočevar Glavač, N. (2013) Sodobna fitoterapija. Ljubljana: Slovensko farmacevtsko društvo.
4. Karlin, M. Slovenska imena naših zdravilnih rastlin. Priloga Farmacevtskega vestnika, št.1-3/XV.

Calendula officinalis L.

Product containing pot marigold flower:

Pot marigold