English Garden Marigold,
It was formerly esteemed as a domestic remedy and grew as a weed in northern India. It was used as a substitute for Taraxacum. The flowers were most popular in the middle ages when they were commonly used to color food, mostly soups. They were believed to have wound healing properties.
It is cultivated throughout India, and often met with as an escape (originally cultivated, but self-propagating plant).
It is an aromatic and erect annual herb. Stem is angular, glandular and hairy. The leaves are simple, lower spathulate, entire, and upper one is lanceolate, with cordate-amplexical base. The flower heads are terminal and heterogamous. Flowers are light yellow to deep orange in colour. Ray florets are fertile. The achenes are boat-shaped and faintly ribbed. Several cultivars have been developed based on the size, colour, and degree of doubling and quilling.
The flowers contain calenduline, which is the major constituent.
It has an antiphlogistic (anti-inflammation) effect in animal models1. The aqueous extract has uterotonic effect2. The extract of flower heads shows estrogenic property3. It also has spasmolytic activity.
There is no adverse effect is reported on usage of this plant.
Medicinally, it is credited with tonic, stimulant and astringent properties. It is used in gastrointestinal and genitourinary complaints.
- Vet. Med. Nauki., 1981, Vol. 18, pp.87.
- Vet. Med. Nauki., 1981, Vol. 18, pp.94.
- Anonymous, Wealth Asia CD, CSIR, New Delhi.