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The common marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a common flowering plant that comes in a variety of flower colors. Not only does it bring decorative and easy-care splashes of color to the garden, it is also edible due to the non-toxic flowers and seeds.

Marigolds are edible and also used in medicine

The traditional use of the marigold as a medicinal plant

Due to its ingredients and their positive effects on the human organism, the marigold has been a valued crop in monasteries and cottage gardens for centuries. In a pot or balcony box, the marigold can also simply be grown on the terrace or on the balcony. The marigold is traditionally used as a natural medicine against various clinical pictures:

  • in gastric and intestinal ulcers
  • against skin inflammation
  • for wound healing
  • against liver disease

The flowers of the marigold are administered after drying in the form of ointments, teas and tinctures.

Use the marigold in the kitchen

In the past, the intensively colored flowers of the perennial flowering marigold were used to adulterate saffron. Even today, the dried tongue flowers of the marigold are still used as a so-called decorative drug in tea mixtures in order to visually enhance the tea mixture. Although the leaves of the marigold are not poisonous, despite their somewhat tart taste, the flowers of the marigold are mainly used for fresh summer salads due to their attractive color and pleasant taste. If you want to use the marigold blossoms as an edible decoration on warm dishes, you should only add them just before serving. Otherwise, the heat of cooking will turn them brown and unsightly.

Harvest parts of the marigold for consumption

The marigold is usually well tolerated when consumed and allergy sufferers react less strongly to it than to many other daisy family. When harvesting for consumption, you should only use flowers that have not come into contact with pesticides in the garden. If you remove individual blossoms by hand during the flowering period, then more new blossoms will form on the calendula. For teas and watery extracts, you should gently air-dry the carefully plucked petals at around 45 degrees Celsius. For use as a decorative drug, a drying temperature of 85 degrees Celsius is better, as the flowers then retain their color better.


In rare cases, parts of the marigold can also be poisonous. Excessive consumption not only occasionally leads to diarrhea symptoms, but can also have an abortive effect in pregnant women.

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