Scientific name: Calendula officinalis 

Common names: Garden Marigold, Poet’s Marigold, Pot Marigold 

Ayurvedic names: Zergul

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Gada Ful

Arabic names:    الآذريون (al adhriyoon)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Compositae (asteraceae???)

Approximate number of species known: 20

Common parts used: Flower

Collection: Early summer to early autumn

Annual/Perennial: Annual

Height: Up to 80cm

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, astrigent, cholagogue, emmenagogue, tonic, vulnerary

Known Constituents:  Carotenoids, usally >.4% flavanoids expressed as hyperoside (C21, H20, O12), mucilage, saponins, sterol

calendulin; saponins 

calendic acid: sometimes used in soaps

flavonol glycosides, triterpene oligoglycosides, oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, saponins, and a sesquiterpene glucoside 

triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils.[4] 

Constituents Explained:


Considered a very easy to grow plant.  The name comes from the latin word ‘kalendae’ which means ‘the first day of the month’ referring to the fact that calendula is in bloom on the first day of the month, most months of the year.   The name ‘marigold’ is believed to be a reference to the Virgin Mary.

The seeds grow best in full or part sun.

The leaves sit in a spiral, are 5-18cm long., and are oblong-lanceolate.  Both the upper and lower side are contain hair. Down the margins of the leaves are lilght teeth.

The flower ranges in colour from yellow to dark orange, is 2-7cm in width.  The petals on the flowers are sometimes used in salads. The smell is somehwat similar to hops.

While it grows best in most types of conditions it doesn’t like extreme cold.

Tends to be cultivated in warm parts of the world.  Yields a yellow dye. It’s name comes from the lantin word ‘calends’ meaning “through the months.”  This name drawsa reference to the fact the flowers stay in bloom for an extensive period of time.

Has erect stems.

The leaves are oblong

Some other plants are known as marigolds aswell, which are unrelated to Calendula such as corn marigolds or marshmarigolds.

Certain insects feed on Calednula so it’s best not to plant it in beet gardens.

Traditional Use:

A strong and effective herb, whether taken internally or externally.    Externally it has been used to treat skin conditions, including eczema, stings, bites, wounds and burns.  It has fame for being a wound healer and a disinfectant.

Its anti inflammtroy properties sees it used for a wide variety of complaints.

Internally it seems to have strong antiseptic properties.  When taken internally it seems to have a soothing effect on any inflammtion through the digestive area, which means it is used to relieve ulcers, indigestion and gall bladder problems.

Seems to have anti fungus properties.  Sometimes used to help delayed or painful menstruation.

Like horestail it is called an astrigent, but iit is not high in tannins.

Clinical Studies:

A study described the two cases of desquamative gingivitis (DG) that were treated with a topic gel containing clobetasol propionate and Calendula officinalis L in an acetate tray over two years.

Two patients with a diagnosis of lichen planus presenting as DG who had undergone previous treatments for this condition with no significant results, were treated by a handling gel containing clobetasol, nystatin, Calendula officinalis L and pectin in custom trays.

Both patients had remission of symptoms while using the trays and after they stopped the treatment, the symptomatic outbreaks were delayed and presented as less severe symptoms in the two years follow-up. The treatment is aimed primarily at reducing the length and severity of symptomatic outbreaks desquamative gingivitis.

This handling gel using a tray may be an efficacious treatment of desquamative gingivitis.

Another study evaluated the effects of newly formulated topical cream of Calendula officinalis extract on the mechanical parameters of the skin by using the cutometer. 

The Cutometer 580 MPA is a device that is designed to measure the mechanical properties of the skin in response to the application of negative pressure. This non-invasive method can be useful for objective and quantitative investigation of age related changes in skin, skin elasticity, skin fatigue, skin hydration, and evaluation of the effects of cosmetic and antiaging topical products.

Two creams were prepared for the study. Both the creams were applied to the cheeks of 21 healthy human volunteers for a period of eight weeks. Every individual was asked to come on week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and measurements were taken by using Cutometer MPA 580 every week. 

Different mechanical parameters of the skin measured by the cutometer were; R0, R1, R2, R5, R6, R7, and R8. These were then evaluated statistically to measure the effects produced by these creams. 

Using ANOVA, and t-test it was found that R0, and R6 were significant whereas R1, R2, R5, R7, R8 were insignificant. The instrumental measurements produced by formulation reflected significant improvements in hydration and firmness of skin.


Machado MA, Contar CM, Brustolim JA, Candido L, Azevedo-Alanis LR, Gregio AM, Trevillato PC, Soares de Lima AA. “Management Of Two Cases Of Desquamative Gingivitis With Clobetasol And Calendula Officinalis Gel.” 2010 December

Akhtar N, Zaman SU, Khan BA, Amir MN, Ebrahimzadeh MA. “Calendula Extract: Effects On Mechanical Parameters Of Human Skin.” 2011 September-October

Source material:

Herb Name: Calendula

Others names: Marigold, Pot Marigold, Goldbloom, Holligold, and Mary-bud

Latin name: Calendula officinalis

Family: Asteraceae

Common part used: Flower heads, Petals

Description: Calendula is a leafy herb with branched stems, lanceolate leaves, and yellow to orange flowers.

Properties: Calendula is an herb that is used in herbal medicine to heal broken skin, eczema, and menstrual problems. Calendula stimulates the liver, gallbladder, and uterus. It clears infections, soothes the digestive tract, and supports the heart. This herb is very beneficial for the skin, as it helps to soothe inflammation, to control bleeding and to heal damaged tissues (internally and externally). It helps to heal wounds by stimulating the granulation tissue development. It stimulates the immune system and has an estrogen-promoting effect.

Contents: It contains flavonoids, saponins, and triterpenes. The main ingredient of the essential oil is sesquiterpenoids (a-ionone, b-ionone, a dcardinol).

Internal use: Internally, it possesses an anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic effect. It is used for mouth/throat inflammation and ulcers. Calendula helps to boost digestion and to stimulate bile production, helping to heal gastric ulcers. It also helps to regulate menstrual disorders. Calendula is effective for treating colitis, swollen glands, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even hepatitis.

External use: Externally, it is used for treating conjunctivitis, gingivitis, eczema, burns, hemorrhoids, dry skin, yeast infections, ringworm, athlete’s foot, herpes, and varicose veins. Calendula helps to heal cradle cap and nappy rash in babies, as well as it is helpful for sore nipples in breast feeding mothers. It is perfect for dry, irritated and sensitive skin due to its moisturizing action. Its re-epithelizing properties make it ideal for fighting the early signs of aging. It has an antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-oxidizing effect, helpful for infections and acne.

Essential oil and aromatherapy use: The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for its topical skin healing properties. It can be steeped or diluted in regular base oil (almond oil, apricot kernel oil, etc.).

Safety precautions: Not noted. However, some people may be allergic to this plant. Calendula should be used in moderation and for moderate periods of time.