Herbs & Plants

Pot Marigold

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Botanical Name:Calendula officinalis
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Calenduleae
Genus:    Calendula
Species: C. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names: Pot Marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold

Habitat :Pot Marigold  is most probably native to southern Europe, though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and it may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.

Pot Marigold is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2–7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.

Pot Marigold or English Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a plant in the Calendula genus. It was used in ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics.

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The leaves and petals of the Pot Marigold are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves can be sweet but are more commonly bitter, and may be used as or as part of salad.

It is also used in homeopathic medicine (in a gel form) as a way to promote the healing of minor burns, scrapes and skin irritations.

Marigold is easy to grow. It likes the hot summer sun and keeps most bugs away. It is a native of Argentina and Northern Mexico.


Seeds may be sown directly in the bed, border, or flower box throughout spring and summer. The plant prefers a rich, light soil and a sunny location. Add compost to the soil if necessary, then sidedress with additional compost when the plants are well extablished. Water deeply during dry spells. It will seed itself readily.

Edible Uses:
Pot marigold florets are edible. They are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves are edible but are often not palatable. They have a history of use as a potherb and in salads.

The petals, with their slight aromatic bitterness are used in fish and meat soups, rice dishes, salads, and as a coloring for cheese and butter. The whole flower was used as a garnish in medieval times.

Marigold Wine

2 quarts marigolds (use Calendula officinalis only)
1 gallon boiling water
1 campden tablet, crushed (sterilizer)
thinly pared peel and juice of 3 tangerines or other soft citrus fruit
thinly pared peel and juice of 1 lemon
5½ cups sugar
1¼ cups white raisins, finely chopped
wine yeast
yeast nutrient

Wash the flowers and put into a large container. Add the boiling water and stir in the Campden tablet. Leave for 24 hours.

Draw off 1 cup of the liquid, add citrus peel and heat to just on the point of boiling. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cool to body temperature, then pour back into the original container. Add raisins, citrus juice, yeast, and nutrient. Cover and leave 5 days to ferment, stirring twice each day.

Strain through a double thickness of muslin. Pour into a fermenting jar fitted with a fermentation lock and leave to continue fermenting. Rack the wine as it begins to clear.

When completely clear, store in a cool, dark, dry place for six months to mature.


The main constituents of the herb are carotenaids resins,essentialoil,flavonodis,sterolk,sterol,saponins and mucilage.

It is a bitter tonic. It induces copious perspiration and is very useful in killing intestinal worms.

Plants are used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The petals and pollen contain 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 zeaxanthan (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. Organic extracts have even been tentatively shown to inhibit HIV-1.

Medicinal Use

Calendula heals wounds as well as internal and external ulcers. It is an antiseptic, and improves blood flow to the affected area. As an antifungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing . Calendula cream is good for acne and diaper rash. An infusion is good for digestion and relieves colitis and symptoms of menopause.

Flowers harvested between June and September are most potent.

Hot calendula tea helps soothe ulcers. Gargle with cool tea for inflamed tonsils or canker sores.

To make the tea:

-Pour 10 oz of boiling water over 2/3 cup of dried flowers and let steep for 15 minutes.


-Add 5-10 drops of calendula tincture to a cup of hot water.

Ointment is used on scabs, eczema and psoriasis.

To make the ointment:

-Melt 1/2 cup of petroleum jelly over low heat in a double boiler

-Add a handful of dried calendula flowers

-Heat on low for an hour

-Strain out herb and pour into glass jar

Tincture or spray can be applied to rashes, cuts, scrapes, or acne with a cotton ball. Spraying is good for sunburns, vaginitis and pinworms.

To dry the flowers themselves, put it on a mesh in direct sun for 1-2 weeks. Afterwards, store in an air tight container.

Stomach problems: The herb stimulates the flow of bile and is a beneficial remedy in the treatment of gastritis,gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Skin disorders:Marigold flowers are an excelent remedy for inflamed or ulcerated conditions of the skin . It can be used externally , as in varicose ulcers.

Eye problems: A cold infusion of the herb can be used as an eye wash, gives reliefe in conjunctivitis. A lotion of the flowers is also an useful wash for inflamed and sore eyes.

Tuberculosis: The leaves of marigold is very useful in the treatment of tuberculosis of the lymphatic gland in children, specially in neck. As a remedy its leaves should be eaten as vegetable.

Circulatory disorders: It is beneficial in the treatment of certain circulatory disorders. A compress of the herb can be applied beneficially in the treatment of various veins and chilblains , which is an inflamed condition of the skin of hands, feet and sometimes ears and nose caused by poor circulation and cold weather.

Other Uses

Merigold belongs to the same family of as arnica and has wound- healing properties. It is antiseptic and antibacterial. The poultice of the flower form an excellent first aid for burns,scalds,stings and highly contagious bactrial skin infections. The juice of the leaves can be applied beneficially over warts.The sap of the stem is useful fow warts,corns and callouses.An infusion of the petals can be used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair. The petals also make a nourishing cream for the skin. Pot marigold makes an attractive cut flower and can be grown in the vegetable garden to help with insect control.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Miracles of Herbs

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