Only the flower heads of marigolds are used medicinally. They are well known for their wound healing and antiseptic properties, but modern herbalists have found a wide variety of uses for them, including: an alternative analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent, bactericide, carminative, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stomachic, styptic, and tonic. The petals of the marigold have been made into an infusion that is useful as an eyewash. They are also good as a natural fabric dye and for food coloring.
Botanical research shows that calendula marigolds contain many active constituents, including various antioxidants and volatile oils. These are responsible for the flowers’ bright color and strong smell; ability to repel certain fungi, pests and insects; and also its capability of improving blood flow and controlling inflammation.
Due to their antioxidant properties, uses for marigolds include:
Ointment can be used to soothe sunburns, warts, bites, acne and ulcerations, in addition to healing wounds, dry skin and blisters.
Digestive – Soothing Tea
Tea can be made with marigold flowers to lower symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel diseases/colitis. Marigold tea is also beneficial for treating gastritis, acid reflux and ulcers, as well as reducing stomach or menstrual cramps.
Marigold (calendula) drops or extract are sometimes used to manage symptoms of coughs, sore throats, or fevers.
Eye, Genital or Skin Infection Treatment
Salves made with marigold have long been used to treat fungal infections of the genitals, feet, eyes, mouth, skin, and also to lower hemorrhoids, anal tears and candida.
Some of the active ingredients found in marigolds (calendula) that give it these capabilities include:
- Plant sterols known as calendulin
- Calendic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Triterpenes saponins, such as triterpenoid
- Oleanolic acid glycosides
Marigolds In Pregnancy and Childbirth:
Pregnant women should not use internal preparations as it is believed to stimulate labor and may thus bring on delivery too early. However, it is safe to use it externally throughout pregnancy and may be especially helpful after childbirth. It has long been used to promote healing of rips to the perineum and likewise any incisions needed to allow for the baby’s entry into the world. It can be alternated with arnica treatments or used alone.
Ointment of Marigold on birthing scars has been used to reduce their visibility and using it on sore, cracked nipples due to nursing offers relief to many when gently rubbed into the area. This same ointment is useful for treating mastitis after birth or during breast-feeding. If a high fever develops after childbirth, a diluted tincture of marigold, in combination with a strong infusion, used three times daily will help reduce the fever and flu-like symptoms that may accompany it.