POT MARIGOLD CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
FIELD MARIGOLD CALENDULA ARVENSIS
COMMON DAISY BELLIS PERENNIS
These three plants are very common in Europe.
POT MARIGOLD or COMMON MARIGOLD, widely cultivated, is annual or perennial but short-lived, the inflorescence is orange, sometimes yellow, 4 to 6 cm in diameter.
The flowering period is prolonged, mainly in summer but one can find pot marigol flowering almost all the year.
FIELD MARIGOLD is smaller in size; it is a ruderal plant that is often found on the edge of fields, in vineyards.
COMMON DAISY is perennial, small, with basal rosette leaves, it blooms most of the year (especially in spring and summer in the north), very common in grasslands, lawns, along roadsides and highways.
The flowers and to a lesser extent the leaves of these three plants are medicinal.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES
The composition of the flower head of marigolds and daisy is quite well known but does not explain clearly its medicinal properties :
- FLAVONOIDS including derivatives of quercetol: anti-inflammatory,
- triterpenic compounds (alcohols): anti-inflammatory,
- very little ESSENTIAL OIL (sesquiterpenes),
- SAPONOSIDES some of which are close to ginseng saponosides,
- CAROTENOIDS and xanthophylls,
- MUCILAGE (in the leaves)
The ALCOHOLIC TINCTURE is antibacterial in vitro.
The AQUEOUS EXTRACT (containing the saponosides) is anti-inflammatory in vivo.
In vitro, the marigold extracts accelerate the maturation and multiplication of lymphocytes, are ANTIVIRAL inluded on AIDS virus (at 500 micrograms per ml) and reduce the activity of reverse transcriptase (important enzyme in the infection by the AIDS virus).
Marigold has been known as a medicinal plant since Greek antiquity, later it was cultivated in Medievals medicinal gardens .
It was already known as antipyretic, healing, topical for hemorrhoids, anti-icteric, "anti-cancer".
In the 19th century, North American surgeons advocated its use to accelerate healing, prevent infection and prevent surgical wound pain.
Now it is essentially used topically.
- torpid wounds, chronic ulcers,
- bruises with abrasions of the skin,
- skin inflammations with or without infections,
- superficial burns eveninfected, post-radiotherapy dermatitis,
- as disinfectant of the oropharynx in mouthwash or gargle,
- as a genital disinfectant in women (vaginitis, leucorrhoea),
- as anti-inflammatory eye drops.
Internal use is more limited and should be limited to a few days, max 15 days (marigolds and daisy are slightly toxic):
- inflammation-infection of the digestive tract (colitis, gastroduodenitis),
- in addition to external treatment for bruises.
in 2006, Spanish researchers studied the properties of a new calendula extract: an aqueous extract that has undergone prolonged laser radiation (LACE). In this study, marigold extract proved inhibitory on several types of cancer cells in mice. Inhibition of tumor development is between 70 and 100%, cancer cells are stopped in their growth and multiplication, some self-destruct (apoptosis). This study remains isolated and, to my knowledge, without clinical applications.
The marigold flower can be eaten, it brings original color and flavor to salads.
EXTERNAL USE , to clean wounds, antisepsis of the oropharynx and the genital tract:
- infusion of the fresh plant: a handle in 1/2 liter of hot water, 10 to 15 minutes infusion,
- infusion of the dry plant: 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of hot water, 10 to 15 minutes infusion,
- alcoholic tincture diluted 1/10 in distilled water or 1/3 on sterile gauze swabs, in case of infection and tissue dilaceration
INTERNAL USE (limited to 15 days):
-infusion: One to three cups a day,
- alcoholic tincture: 20 drops one to three times a day
Calendula preparations are commercially available: cream, eye drops, sometimes with other dermatologically targeted plants (eg St John's wort, Echinacea).
Calendula (marigold) is used in many cosmetic products: soothing, protecting, against sunburn, dermatitis due to RADIOTHERAPY, as a skin regenerator.
Field marigold has the same medicinal properties as pot marigols.
Common daisy is essentially used to clean wounds and facilitate healing (infusion, tincture).
TO TREAT CONTUSIONS AND WOUNDS
Pot marigold, field marigold and daisies are excellent vulneraries for external use, they are very useful to help heal wounds and ulcers, to mitigate the effects of the sun (sunburn) and ionizing radiation (radiotherapy ), to disinfect the oropharynx and as decorative garden plants always ready for medicinal use.
Copyright 2019: Dr Jean-Michel Hurtel