Calendula officinalis. N.O. Compositae.
Synonym ► Calendula, Caltha officinalis, Marygold.
Habitat ► Common in English gardens; native of South America.
Features ► Stem angular, hairy up to one foot high. Lower leaves stalked, spatulate, upper sessile, all hairy. Flower-heads yellow, the tubular florets sterile. Fruit semicircular, angular, rough, no pappus. Taste bitter, smell unpleasantly strong.
Part used ► Herb, flowers.
Action ► Diaphoretic, stimulant, antispasmodic.
The infusion of 1 ounce of the flowers or herb to 1 pint boiling water is prescribed both for internal use in 1-2 tablespoonful doses, and externally as a lotion for chronic ulcers and varicose veins. The infusion is also given to children (in doses according to age) suffering from measles and other feverish and eruptive complaints. Sprained muscles gain relief from the hot fomentation. Marigold is frequently combined with Witch Hazel when a lotion is required.