Calendula officinalis L. - Asteraceae - common marigold, pot marigold, Scotch marigold, ruddles, calendula, Garten-Ringelblume, Calendula
Annual to biennial herb, 0.20-0.50m high; possibly of Mediterranean origin, naturalized in Eurasia, North America; flowers yellow-orange, rays orange, 4-5(-7)cm in diameter.
The anti-inflammatory activity of Calendula officinalis CO2 extracts is directly proportional to their faradiol-3-monoester content:
„By means of a bioassay-oriented fractionation of the CO2 extract of Calendula flowers, the triterpenoids are shown as the most important anti-inflammatory principles of the drug. Among them, the faradiol monoester appears to be the most relevant principle for the activity of the drug, due to its quantitative prevalence. The unesterified faradiol, not present in the extract, is the most active of the tested compounds and equals indomethacin in activity, whereas the monools ψ-taraxasterol, lupeol, taraxasterol, and β-amyrin are less active than the free diol. The anti-inflammatory activity of different CO2 extracts is proportional to their content of faradiol monoester, which can be taken as a suitable parameter for the quality control of Calendula preparations.“
[The Role of Triterpenoids in the Topical Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Calendula officinalis flowers, Della Loggia, R., Tubaro, A., Sosa, S., Becker, H., & Isaac, O., Planta medica, Vol.60(06), 1994, 516-520]
The flowers of C.officinalis are rich in pentacyclic triterpene alcoholes, free and esterified. With a content of about 19%, faradiol-3-O-myristate and -palmitate are the main components of the lipophilic extracts and together with ψ-taraxasterol responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect.
„The main compounds of lipophilic extracts of flower heads of marigold (Calendula officinalis L.) are triterpendiol esters, mainly faradiol laurate, faradiol myristate and faradiol palmitate. These faradiol-3-O-monoesters have been quantified for the first time by means of reversed phase HPLC with internal standardisation in different parts of C. officinalis plants, namely ray florets, disk florets, involucral bracts, receptacles, leaves and seeds. The amounts of the esters were highest in ray florets, approximately 10 times lower in disk florets than in the ray florets, and approximately 10 times lower in involucral bracts than in the disk florets. In the leaves only traces of the esters could be detected, and in the receptacles no esters could be detected at all. Quantification in the seed was not possible using this method because of interfering fatty compounds. Concerning the faradiol esters, the dried ray and disk florets only should be preferred as primary products for remedies as demanded in the recently published supplement of the Pharmacopoeia Europaea (1999).“
[Morphogenetic variability of faradiol monoesters in marigold Calendula officinalis L., Karin Zitterl-Eglseer, Gottfried Reznicek, Johann Jurenitsch, Johannes Novak, Werner Zitterl and Chlodwig Franz, Phytochemical Analysis, Vol.12(3), 2001, 199-201]
„…petals only (Calendulae flos sine calycibus) or flower heads (calendulae flos cum calyce) [and especially products thereof, like extracts made with fat, are] … mainly used for external and local application to treat slow healing wounds, burns, dry skin, eczema, oral trush and haemorrhoids… The saponins, triterpenes and flavanoids appear to be responsible for the wound-healing effects as they show anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.“
[Medicinal Plants of the World. Ben-Erik Van Wyk and Michael Wink, Pretoria 2004, 74]
Köhler,F.E., Medizinal Pflanzen, vol.3 t 61 (1890)