Marigold - Best Herb for Skin Problems


Calendula officinalis Asteraceae/Compositae Also called Calendula.

Originally from the Mediterranean region, marigold has been cultivated for its ornamental, culinary and medicinal qualities for many centuries. The ancient Romans used it in a broth that was said to uplift the spirits. Sift, green leaves spring from its robust, angular stems, and the vivid, orangey gold flowers appear from early June right up to the time of the first winter frosts.

Parts used

  • Flowers
  • The flowers are gathered from June onwards, just as they begin to bloom, and are left to dry on racks in a dark, well-ventilated place.
  • Dried marigold flowers are used in ointments, gargles and compresses. . Occasionally, marigold is used internally as an infusion or tincture.


Marigold flowers contain flavonoids, carotenoid pigments, which give them their orange colour, and an essential oil, rich in triterpenoidsthought to be responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Medicinal uses

Applied externally marigold has long been an effective treatment for skin problems such as cuts, itching, cracked skin, sunburn and insect bites, and is used in many skin cosmetics. It is also recommended as a treatment for mouth infections.A number of investigations into the healing powers of marigold flowers have highlighted not only their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, but also their ability to fight off infection caused by viruses and parasites.

Research in Italy in 1994 found that triterpenoids in the plant are responsible for its anti-inflammatory powers, and trials have shown that these compounds can help to ease swelling caused by fluid retention.Marigold is also reputed to be capable of staunching bleeding and calming muscular spasms.


Preparations containing marigold should only be taken internally under the supervision of a medical herbalist.


Marigold grows easily from seeds. Plant in spring in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil, preferably in a sunny or lightly shaded location.


For external use

TO TREAT cracked skin, cuts, insect bites, sunburn COMPRESS Put 5g dried flowerheads into 1 litre of boiling water. Infuse for 5 minutes, then strain. Apply to the affected area as a compress three or four times a day.

TO TREAT mouth infections GARGLE Prepare the infusion as described above for a compress. Leave until just warm; use as a gargle two or three times a day.



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