The marigold(Calendula officinalis) has been used as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. Its use as a medicinal plant is reflected in its name: "officinalis" - from the Latin term officina for workshop and the name of the room in which medicines were produced.


Marigold is rich in secondary plant substances. The dried ray florets contain up to 1% flavonoids (mainly quercetin and isorhamnetin glycosides), up to 5% triterpene alcohols (e.g. taraxasterol, faradiol), 2-10% triterpene saponins (e.g. calendulosides), carotenoids, polysaccharides and a small amount of essential oil.

Thanks to its content of fat-soluble carotenoids, marigold is used in the food industry as a natural colouring agent, for example in cheese and butter, and also as a decorative element in tea blends.

Scientific studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of triterpene alcohols. In several test models, faradiol showed similar effects to the chemically synthesised active ingredient indomethacin. This effect is supported by some of the calendulosides.

Only fully blossomed single flowers of the cultivated, filled variety (which only forms ray florets) may be used for medicinal purposes. Knowledge of its medicinal use is based on many years of traditional use. Today, preparations are recommended for mild inflammation of the skin (such as mild sunburn), inflammation of the mouth and throat and to support wound healing.

As the relevant ingredients are not particularly soluble in water, extracts for use on the skin are mainly made with alcohol-water mixtures or even with fatty oils or paraffin. A standard tea infusion with water is recommended for use in the oral cavity.

In cosmetics, marigold is used for the care of sensitive, normal and dry skin as well as for infant care.


The marigold belongs to the composite family and is an annual plant that reaches a height of 30 to 50 centimetres. Its stem is upright, slightly branched and has short downy hairs. The spindle-shaped taproot is rich in fibres. The leaves are sessile, hairy, almost entire and have an elongated lanceolate to obovate shape. The flower heads, which vary in colour from light yellow to bright orange, appear on the stem from June. The plant attracts pollinators such as bees, bumblebees and hoverflies.


The exact origin of the marigold is unknown, but it is thought to come from the Mediterranean region. The plant is widely cultivated and can be found wild throughout Europe. It can easily run wild, but this does not always happen permanently. In Central Europe, it grows on rubble and nutrient-rich, loose soils in higher areas. The marigold is undemanding in terms of location, but thrives best on well-supplied loamy soil. Excessive nitrogen fertilisation or a lack of phosphorus and potassium can lead to reduced flower formation.


The preservation of diversity is very important to us, which is why we store around 5,400 samples of seeds and plants in our gene bank . With the gene bank for agricultural crops, medicinal and aromatic plants, we are making a significant contribution to the preservation of biodiversity.

Last updated: 12.07.2024

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