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is a genus of about 15–20 species
in the daisy
that are often known as marigolds.
:771 They are
to southwestern Asia, western Europe,
, and the
. Other plants are also known as
, such as
, and plants of the genus
The genus name Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning “little calendar”, “little clock” or possibly “little weather-glass”.
The common name “marigold”
refers to the
. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is
, the pot marigold. Popular herbal and cosmetic products named “Calendula” invariably derive from C. officinalis.
] is one of the two
for the month of October, the other being Cosmos.
Calendula was not a major medicinal herb but it was used in historic times for headaches, red eye, fever and toothaches. As late as the 17th century
claimed Calendula benefited the heart, but it wasn’t considered an especially efficacious medicine.
In historic times Calendula was more often used for magical purposes than medicinal ones. One 16th-century potion containing Calendula claimed to reveal
. An unmarried woman with two suitors would take a blend of powdered Calendula,
simmered in honey and white wine used as an ointment in a ritual to reveal her true match.
Romans and Greeks used the golden Calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is “Mary’s Gold,” referring to the flowers’ use in early Catholic events in some countries. Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.
However, the most common use in historic times was culinary, and the plant was used for both its color and its flavor. They were used for
Calendula were often cooked in the same pot with spinach, or used to flavor stewed birds. According to sixteenth-century Englishman
, every proper soup of
in his era would include Calendula petals.
The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to color cheese or as a substitute for
It can be used to add color to soups, stews, poultry dishes,
The common name for Calendula officinalis in
is ‘pot-marigold,’ named so because of its use in
can be extracted from the flower and produce shades of honey, gold oranges, light browns, and vibrant yellows.
The flowers of C. officinalis contain
-type triterpene glycosides,
, and a
Calendula officinalis oil is still used medicinally is use as an
and a remedy for healing wounds.
Calendula ointments are skin products available for use on minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation;
however, evidence of their effectiveness is weak.
Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have antiviral, anti
, and anti-inflammatory properties
, Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically for treating
, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding, and soothing irritated tissue.
Limited evidence indicates Calendula cream or ointment is effective in treating
Topical application of C. officinalis ointment has helped to prevent dermatitis and pain; thus reducing the incidence rate of skipped radiation treatments in
Calendula has been used traditionally for abdominal cramps and constipation.
In experiments with rabbit
, the aqueous-ethanol extract of C. officinalis flowers was shown to have both spasmolytic and spasmogenic effects, thus providing a scientific rationale for this traditional use.
An aqueous extract of C. officinalis obtained by a novel extraction method has demonstrated antitumor (cytotoxic) activity and immunomodulatory properties (lymphocyte activation) in vitro, as well as antitumor activity in mice.
Calendula plants are known to cause allergic reactions,
and should be avoided during pregnancy.
(Vaill.) L. – field marigold, wild marigold
Schousb. ex Willd.
- Calendula incana subsp. algarbiensis (Boiss.) Ohle
- Calendula incana subsp. maderensis (DC.) Ohle – Madeiran marigold
Calendula incana subsp. maritima
(Guss.) Ohle – sea marigold
- Calendula incana subsp. microphylla (Lange) Ohle
Guss. – sea marigold
- Calendula maroccana subsp. maroccana
- Calendula maroccana subsp. murbeckii (Lanza) Ohle
L. – pot marigold, garden marigold, ruddles, Scottish marigold
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. balansae (Boiss. & Reut.) Ohle
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. boissieri Lanza
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. fulgida (Raf.) Guadagno
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. lusitanica (Boiss.) Ohle
Calendula suffruticosa subsp. maritima
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. monardii (Boiss. & Reut.) Ohle
- Calendula suffruticosa subsp. tomentosa Murb.
C. officinalis from Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, by Thomé, 1885
C. arvensis seeds
in full bloom
- Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
Flora of China.
Stace, C. A.
(2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
- Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th ed.). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 2007. p. 3804.
- Almanac, Old Farmer’s.
“Birth Month Flowers”
. Old Farmer’s Almanac. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs
- Doctor, Vikram (20 October 2017).
“Marigold: The Mexican flower that has become a part of Indian festivals”
. Economic Times Blog. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
Spotlight on Marigold.
The Complete Herbal – Herbs and Herbal Remedies.
- MACHT, DAVID I. (1955).
“CALENDULA OR MARIGOLD IN MEDICAL HISTORY AND IN SHAKESPEARE”
. Bulletin of the History of Medicine. 29 (6): 491–502.
- McLaughlin, Chris.
“Homemade Calendula Dye”
. Mother Earth News. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
- Ukiya, M., et al. (2006). Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of constituents of pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers. J Nat Prod. 69 1692-96.
- Yoshikawa, M., et al. (2001). Medicinal flowers. III. Marigold.(1): hypoglycemic, gastric emptying inhibitory, and gastroprotective principles and new oleanane-type triterpene oligolycosides, calendasaponins A, B, C, and D, from Egyptian Calendula officinalis. Chem Pharm Bull. 49 863-70.
- Okoh, O. O., et al. (2008).
The effects of drying on the chemical components of essential oils of Calendula officinalis L.
African Journal of Biotechnology 7(10) 1500-02.
entry in the public domain NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
- Matthew J. Leach (2008).
“Calendula officinalis and Wound Healing: A Systematic Review”
. Wounds. 20 (8).
- Jimenez-Medina, E., et al. (2006). A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation. BMC Cancer. 6:6.
- Duran, V; Matic, M; Jovanovć, M; Mimica, N; Gajinov, Z; Poljacki, M; Boza, P (2005). “Results of the clinical examination of an ointment with marigold (Calendula officinalis) extract in the treatment of venous leg ulcers”. Int J Tissue React. 27 (3): 101–6.
- Pommier, P., et al. (2004).
Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 22(8) 1447-53.
- McQuestion, M. (2006). Evidence-based skin care management in radiation therapy. Semin Oncol Nurs. 22 163-73.
- Bolderston, A., et al. (2006). The prevention and management of acute skin reactions related to radiation therapy: a systematic review and practice guideline. Support Care Cancer. 14 802-17
- Bashir S, Janbaz KH, Jabeen Q et al. (2006). Studies on spasmogenic and spasmolytic activities of Calendula officinalis flowers. Phytother Res. 20:906-910.
“About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products: Calendula”
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Reider, N; Komericki, P; Hausen, BM; Fritsch, P; Aberer, W (2001). “The seamy side of natural medicines: Contact sensitization to arnica (Arnica montana L.) and marigold (Calendula officinalis L.)”. Contact Dermatitis. 45 (5): 269–72.
- Flann, C (ed.).
“Species of Calendula“
. Global Compositae Checklist. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
Flora Europaea: Calendula
Germplasm Resources Information Network: Calendula
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