MARIGOLD (Calendula officinalis L.)

Description
Herbaceous, annual, pubescent plant, 0.35-0.5 m. It has big pilose and sharp-cornered with oblongue-spatulate leaves, entire or with small and corneous teeth; the lower ones are displayed forming some kind of leafstalk, obtuse; the upper ones, without the leafstalk, are all fleshy and somewhat hairy. Terminal divisions for 4 to 7 cm in diameter, are tubular yellow-saffron flowers, except for the peripheral ones, which are ligulated. Before the flower dies, there’s another one coming, thus the plant is blooming all year long. The fruit is an achenia full of curved spines, boat-shaped and thorny in the back. It might also have membranous wings or the innermost ones, smaller, almost closed in a circle, have no pappus. The whole plant releases an unpleasant scent.

Blooming: June-August. The plant is indigenous of central and eastern Europe. It is very often cultivated as ornate in gardens. It grows in Mediterranean zones.

Part used
The flowers.

Marigold flowers consist of completely open flowers, separated from the receptacle, dried, whole or cut of cultivated variety and double blooming of Calendula officinalis L. contain no less than 0.4 % of flavonoids, figured out as a hyperoside (C21H20O12, Mr 464,4) in relation to the dried drug.


Indications
Internal use
> Menstrual disorders: amenorrhea, menstrual pains or dysmenorrhea, menopause symptoms.
> Hepatobiliary disorders: hepatobiliary dyskinesia, lack of bile, jaundice, hepatitis, etc.
> Digestive disorders: gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, gastrointestinal spasms, stomachaches, intestinal parasites, etc.
> Infectious diseases: urinary, respiratory infections.
> High blood pressure.

External use
> Skin disorders: acne, skin irritations, scalding, first degree burns, bruises, of insect or coelenterate bites, wound disinfectant and cicatrizant aid, freezing, skin ulcers, furuncles, abscesses, sebaceous cyst, eczema, impetigo (infectious dermatosis), fungi, athlete’s foot, herpes, varicose ulcer, chilblain, exfoliative dermatitis, fissures in feet, hands and nipples.
> Buccopharyngeal disorders: gingivitis, pharyngitis, alveolitis, periodontitis, pericoronaritis, marginal periodontal abscesses, etc.
> Genital disorders: vulvovaginitis, vulvovaginal mucosa dystrophy.
> Conjunctivitis and eye burning (eye washes).

It is used as a coloring in cosmetic products and in food processing as a natural fat coloring and saffron substitute. It is added to fowl feed to give more vivid color to yolks.


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