Discovery of Calendula


The ancients considered the Calendula a dcobstruent remedy, exerting a great influence on the circulation.

Dioscorides recommends it in cancer ; and Fuchsius {Hist. Stirp., 1546) prescribed the juice of it against toothache.

Gerarde, also, in describing its virtues remarks, “that the flowers and leaves of Marigold being distilled, and the water dropped into red and watery eyes, ceaseth the inflammation and taketh away the pains.”

Calendula was formerly in much request as a medicine, and was used more especially in carcinoma and scirrhus ; according to Westring, with great effect in the third stage, particularly in diminishing the pain, and rendering the pus less corroding; but on further experiment by others, the same effects were not produced, and therefore it was thrown aside. It was also used in chlorosis, hysteria, epilepsy, jaundice, and some kinds of dropsy.

Schneider found it of great efficacy as a lotion to fresh wounds, inducing union by the first intention. Zorn considered Calendula of great service in throwing out the eruption of measles and small-pox ; and as a topical application to stop the bleeding in hemorrhoides fluentes. It was a favourite remedy with Boerhaave, who employed it in uterine diseases, in diseases of the kidney, and jaundice.

Its chief use, however, was for cancer, and it was the principal ingredient in the famous Eust Pill, which consisted of oxide of iron, colewort,
and extract of Marigold. W. Carter found the extract of Calendula of great assistance in obstinate vomiting; and De Camp, in a case of cardialgia, where all medicines, etc., were vomited up, owing to a great irritability of the stomach.

Muhrbeck used the extract of Marigold, in chronic vomiting, with great success, in a case where violent pains were felt at the same time in the region of the uterus ; it was remarked that these pains increased when the dose exceeded thirty-four grains in the twenty-four hours. It is interesting to note that Elgafaki states that violent vomiting ensues after taking four drachms of the juice of Marigold,

Dr. Stein extols the efficacy of this plant in cancer of the skin ; he prepares the juice from the green plant and its blossoms, and makes an ointment with butter and charcoal, which is applied to the ulcer.

The chief employment of Calendula has been as an external application on incised wounds, bloody and serous infiltrations of the cellular tissue in open wounds and ulcers. It also deserves notice in treatment of diseases of the glands ; in traumatic inflammation of the eyes ; and, according to Dr. Thorer, Marigold is useful in scrofulous and sclerotic tumours. He notices some interesting cases of the healing virtues of Calendula in extensive laceration of the soft parts. One case involving the tendons ; others, the skin, cellular tissue, and muscles. He considers the Marigold far superior to Arnica in healing recent wounds and lacerations, with or without loss of substance ; and
Arnica more specific in contusions, bruises, and sprains. Another important character of Calendula is, that it effects the healing of wounds without leaving any prominent scar.

The following interesting case, treated by Dr. Thorer, will exemplify the beneficial use of Marigold.

1. A boy, aged sixteen years, was caught in the cogs of a wheel in a mill. The following injuries were received : a compound fracture of the left upper arm, the ends of the bone protruding through the skin; a deep flesh-wound in the bend of the elbow; the forearm was entirely deprived of its muscular coating, so that the ulna and radius were laid bare for about six inches ; the hand was nearly torn off, and was adhering to the arm by a small piece of flesh; the skin and anterior muscles of the right leg were torn ofi”, exhibiting a large and deep flesh-wound which penetrated to the bone ; there were a number of small flesh-wounds on the face. The arm was amputated at once above the splintered part ; and the fleshy parts of the right leg were covered with compresses moistened with Calendula tea. These compresses were continued till the cure was completed. Granulation took place without suppuration; whereas the usual suppurative process set in in the stump of the upper arm, which had been subjected to the usual surgical treatment. On seeing the effects of the Calendula on the leg, Dr. Thorer applied it to the arm, and the cicatrizing process at once commenced and went on as favourably as it did in the leg. Every wound healed admirably, closed by granulation, and was covered with a new skin. The boy entirely recovered in seven weeks.

Dr. Schulz has used the Calendula with the most satisfactory results, in compound fractures of the limbs, etc. It will suffice to remark, that in all cases where the fleshy parts have been carried away, and the edges of the wound cannot be brought together by plaster, the Aqua Calendula is the best application as a wash. The suppurative process, which is so exhausting in large wounds, is either entirely prevented or very much shortened and diminished by the Calendula wash.

Calendula may also be useful in induration of stomach and uterus.




  1. Comes in liquid, cream or salve, and is the most healing item ever found for skin injuries.



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