Common Names: Garden Marigold, Holigold, Marigold, Mary Bud, Pot Marigold.
Medicinal Parts: Leaves, Flowers
Description: Calendula is an annual garden plant with an angular, branched, hairy stem 1 to 2 feet high. From June to October the plant bears large, yellow or orange flower heads.
Properties and Uses: Antispasmodic, aperient, cholagogue, diaphoretic, vulnerary. An infusion of the flowers (either the ray flowers alone or the whole head) can be used for such gastrointestinal problems as ulcers, stomach cramps, colitis and diarrhea. It is also useful taken internally for fever, boils, abscesses, and to prevent recurrent vomiting. The fresh juice of the herbs or flowers can substitute for the infusions. For external use, a very good salve for wounds can be made from the dried flowers or leaves, from the juice pressed out of the fresh flowers, or from the tincture. The salve or dilute tincture is also good for bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, sores, and boils. To get rid of warts, rub on the fresh juice. The tincture is often used internally for gastritis and for menstrual difficulties.
When an individual first begins exploring the use of herbs to treat common ailments, many are frightened off by statements from the FDA and the medical community, which insist that the healing properties of specific herbs have not been scientifically documented.
While this is true, you might want to bear in mind that clinical studies cost money. There is little or no incentive for any medical company to thoroughly investigate the healing properties of herbs simply because they cannot be patented and the FDA approval process is lengthy and expensive.
Pot Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) has been utilized for centuries for healing all manner of wounds and skin inflammation. And has been used by many to help heal painful lesions caused by dry eczema. Its’ use was well documented during the American Civil War. Doctors on the battlefield used the flowers on a large scale to treat open wounds. It proved to be an effective antiseptic, staunching bleeding, preventing infection, and speeding the healing of wounds. The practice continued by doctors during WWI.
According to Wm. Boericke’s Materia Medica with Repertory: “Calendula Officinalis is a remarkable healing agent, applied locally it is useful for open wounds, parts that will not heal, ulcers, etc. It promotes healthy granulations and rapid healing. For all wounds, the greatest healing agent. ”
Marigold Infusion can be used to soothe chapped hands and may be used in infusion form in the bath to reduce body scars and soothe varicose veins. For inflamed areas prepare a strong marigold tea with equal parts of apple cider vinegar. Apply this with a compress to the effected area.
A few drops of Tincture of Calendula can be added to a cup or more of boiling water and applied as a compress to treat cuts, bruises and even open wounds.
A Special Note: This discussion refers only to Pot Marigold or Calendula Officinalis, not to be mistaken with the non-herb marigolds, dwarf French Marigolds and African Marigolds. This is one herb that should not be used if you are pregnant.
1. “The Herb Book, " by John Lust, Benedict Lust Pub. , May 1974
2. ”Herbal Medicine, The Natural Way to Get Well and Stay Well, ” Dian Dincin Buchman, Gramercy Publishing Company, Gramercy 1980 Edition.
MK Welty hosts an informational site for herbs enthusiasts at: http://usingherbs.com Join us for regular discussions on herbs, their history, properties and uses.