The Mevagissey Soapery's Makers Blog

A Little Bit About Calendula (Marigold)

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Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis

Common Name: Marigold, Pot Marigold, Bull Flower, Butterwort, Cowbloom, Death-Flower, Golden Flower Of Mary, Holigold, Marsh Marigold, Mary Bud, Solis Sponsa, Solsequia, Water Dragon

Family: Asteraceae

Ayurvedic/ TCM Name  Jin Zhan Ju

Parts Used:  

Dried flower as a tea, tincture, or infused oil.

The fresh plant can be prepared as a tea or tincture.

The fresh flowers are edible. 

Native Region:

Cultivated for medicinal use in the Mediterranean countries, the Balkans, eastern Europe, Germany, India,4 Poland and Hungary. Smaller amounts are grown in North America, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. 

Botanical Description:

Annual herb bearing the characteristic daisy-like flowers of other members of the Asteraceae family, having bright orange or yellow terminal flower heads3 and pale green leaves. Native to Southern Europe, Egypt,2,4 the Mediterranean, and in the region spanning the Canary Islands to Iran,5 calendula is now naturalized in much of the world and is commonly grown in gardens. A variety of other Asteraceace genera have been commonly called "marigold" including Tagetes erecta, T. minuta, T. lucida, Baileya multiradiata, and Dyssodia pappossa, yet they have different properties.6 However, a related wild species, C. arvense, may have similar therapeutic properties. Calendula is said to be in bloom on the "calends" of every month, hence the name. The "calends", or in Latin "kalendae" referred to the first days of each month of the Roman calendar and signified the start of the new moon cycle. And the common name derives from an association with the Virgin Mary as this flower, or the similar looking flower, Tagetes sp., was used in various religious festivals and referred to as "Mary's gold". 


The best time to harvest flowers is in the summer, in the heat of the day when the resins are high and the dew has evaporated. Carefully dry flowers at low temperature in order to keep their vibrant colour. 


Triterpene glycosides and aglycones, essential oils, resin, sterols, flavanoids, calendic acid. Polysaccharides, Flavonol, Saponins, Lycopene, Triterpenoid Saponins, Carotenoids (Carotene, Calendulin, Lycopin), Bitters, Mucilage, Trace Minerals, Potassium chloride, Sulphate, Calcium sulphate.



Linoleic - 16.29%

Oleic - 74.48%

Palmitic - 4.38%

Stearic - 2.16%


The Taste of Calendula Petals can range from Spicy Pepper to Bitter 


Sweet, Bitter, resinous, warm, dry, moistening 


Gender, Masculine

Planet, Sun

Element, Fire

Powers, Protection, Prophetic dreams, Legal Matters, Psychic Powers

Lore: Marigolds picked at noon when the sun is at its hottest and strongest, will strengthen and comfort the heart. Marigolds carried in the pocket helps justice to smile favorably upon you in court.

ORGANS & SYSTEMS AFFECTED; Liver, Gallbladder, Digestive System, Skin

WORKS WELL WITH, In a tea Plantain, Yarrow, Shepherds Purse



Antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, diaphorhetic, vulnerary, lymphatic, emmenagogue, cholagogue, hepatic 


The calendula is a potent antiseptic herb. Several of the active chemical constituents found in the herb are fungicidal or mycotic toxins – especially the resins, in addition, these compounds are also bactericidal and anti-viral agents. The astringent quality of the herb also has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the capillaries, this property of the herb accounts for the effectiveness of the herb in the treatment of cuts, physical wounds, varicose veins, and various other inflammatory disorders that affect the human body.

The most beneficial actions of the calendula herb are for its positive effects on the skin, the herb is a very good remedy for all types of skin complaints. Calendula is a very effective herb for the treatment of most minor skin problems induced by different factors. The remedy made from the calendula can be employed to treat cuts, scrapes, and different kinds of minor wounds; it is excellent for alleviating reddened and inflamed skin. It is an excellent remedy for minor burns and for problems such as sunburn. It is a good remedy for acne and for the treatment of rashes. All types of infections caused by fungi including ringworm, the athlete’s foot, and thrush can be treated using the calendula. In addition, the calendula is excellent for treating diaper rash and cradle cap in infants. The herb also soothes nipples that are sore from prolonged breastfeeding sessions.

When the calendula remedy is consumed as the herbal infusion or in tincture form, the herb helps fight off all sorts of inflammatory problems affecting the digestive system, including problems such as gastritis, chronic peptic ulcers, regional ileitis, and colitis. The herb brings relief from these problems when used therapeutically over the long term.

The detoxification power of the calendula has been recognized for a long time in the herbal community. Calendula helps in treating the toxicity in the body, which is the reason for so many fevers and infections; it actively aids in the detoxification of the body and is a good remedy for the treatment of systemic skin disorders, including chronic problems such as eczema and acne. Due to its ability to detoxify the body, the calendula helps cleanse the liver and gallbladder of accumulated toxins, and a remedy made from the calendula can be employed for the treatment of problems affecting these two vital organs in the body. The mild estrogen-like action possesses by the calendula is often employed in treatment strategies that are directed at lowering menstrual pain and in order to help in the regulation of bleeding during normal menstruation in women. Calendula infusion can be used as an effective douche for treating yeast infections in the vaginal cavity.                     


As a culinary herb, the calendula is considered to be one of the safest herbs around. At the same time, a person can react badly to the calendula, for example, a person who has an allergic reaction to pollen of any plant species belonging to the daisy family of plants, like the ragweed, may experience an allergic reaction to the calendula as well, though the chances of this occurring are rare.

Being considered safe and moderately therapeutic, the calendula herb is very often used in preparing homemade skin remedies, which are used in treating a variety of skin complaints. Though quite rare, there are occasions when some individuals develop an allergic reaction to the calendula as a result of frequent use of the herbal calendula skin remedy.

The menstrual cycle is traditionally believed to be influenced by calendula herb. Due to these concerns, some authorities on herbs suggest that calendula must not be consumed by pregnant women and nursing mothers, however, no evidence of harm from the use of calendula in these women exist.

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