Marigold is a hairy annual herb with large, solitary and stout flower heads; flat and spreading flowers of the outer whorl, with color varying from light yellow to deep orange. The lower leaves surround the stem. The fruits are curved, with the lower part having sharp point and upper parts crested and slightly beaked. The plant grows up to about 50 cm in height.
The main constituents of the herb are carotenoids, resin, essential oil, flavonoids, sterol, saponins and mucilage.
Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Indian Name: Saldbargh or Zergul
Below are some of the medicinal properties of marigold:
- Marigold stimulates the flow of bile, and is a beneficial remedy in the treatment of gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcers.
- Marigold is antiseptic and anti-bacterial and has excellent wound healing properties. A compress or poultice of the flowers forms an excellent first aid for burns, scalds, stings and impetigo, a highly contagious bacterial skin infection. The juice of the leaves can be applied beneficially over warts. The sap from the stem is useful for warts, corns and callouses.
The flowers are valuable remedy for inflamed or ulcerated conditions of the skin when used externally, as in varicose ulcers.
- A cold infusion of marigold, used as eyewash, gives relief in conjunctivitis. A lotion of the flowers is also a useful wash for inflamed and sore eyes.
- The leaves of marigold are beneficial in treating scrofula or tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands in children, especially in the neck. As a remedy the leaves should be taken as a vegetable.
- The herb is useful in the treatment of certain circulatory disorders. A compress of the herb can be applied beneficially in the treatment of varicose veins and chilblains, which is an inflamed condition of the skin of the hands, feet and sometimes ears and nose caused by poor circulation and cold weather.