Calendula officinalis: Plant description

Calendula officinalis

Introduction

Calendula officinalis belongs to the family Asteraceae is commonly known as Pot Marigold and is an annual plant having a maximum height of 12-24 inches. This plant is having beautiful yellow edible flowers and is very easy to grow and maintain.

Thi plant is having various types of important secondary metabolites which are useful to treat many diseases like saponins, flavonoids, steroids, etc. Its extract is having a wide range of pharmaceutical properties and is used as antiseptic, antipyretic, and antiviral. This plant does not only keep us healthy but also has the ability to attracts bees for pollination and its scent helps in keeping insects away from its vicinity thus provides a healthy environment to the other plants which are growing with it.

Botanical description

Plant type: Hairy, erect hispidly pubescent (fine layer of hairs).

Leaves: Alternate, upper leaves lanceolate (shape is like lancehead) and lower spathulate entire. and 1-3 inches

Flowers: Yellow or orange

Stem: 12-18 inches, corymbosely branched above

Fruit/Seeds: Incurved and narrowly beaked 2-2.5 cms, Boat shaped in structure.

Medicinal uses

medicinal importance of these plants is because of their secondary metabolites mainly salicylic acid and inulin in the roots. The extract of pot marigold posses a wide range of pharmacological effects and is used as an antiseptic, stimulant, diaphoretic and antipyretic agent (1). The Health benefits of this plant are

1. Protects the liver from damage

The extracts of these flowers help in reducing the CCl4 toxicity. Thus calendula flower hot water extracts anti-hepatoma activity against 5 types of liver cancer. The active biological components help in reducing the hydroxyl and superoxide radicals produced from CCl4 toxicity.

2. Anti-inflammatory activity

Calenduloside B of the calendula roots shows effective properties against inflammation. It also acts as a sedative.

3. Anti-bacterial and antifungal activity

Used for the treatment of abrasions, ulcers, inflammation, eczema, and wound.

4. Anthelmintic activities

The dries flowers and leaves in water extract show anthelmintic potential because of the secondary metabolite saponins (2).

How to grow and take care of Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

The propagation of this plant is mainly via seeds. Soak the seeds overnight before sowi g them. Then sow seeds and cover a thin layer of soil and moisten them with water. Not too much and not too less. Better spray water on the top thin layer of soil. After 10-15 days we can see little baby plants germinate then pick them and arrange them in a row.

Taking care of Calendula officinalis

Taking care of Calendula officinalis is relatively easy all it needs is good light and proper water.  Water when the top layer becomes dry. Do not requires too much care. This plant once established can be propagated via self-seed germination.

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