Marigold extract and supplement Calendula officinalis
January 8 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Marigold is a common herb or plant in the West. Limited research indicates marigold to be useful when used topically for dermatitis. Marigold has compounds in it that have antiinflammatory activity, and one study even found that marigold extracts may have anti HIV activity.

A typical marigold flower carotenoid profile is 80 percent lutein and 5 percent zeaxanthin. Marigold contains many substances, including carotenoids.

Clinical uses
At this time it is difficult to know which clinical conditions or diseases marigold could be helpful for. Perhaps due to it's high carotenoid content, marigold could be helpful in eye conditions.

J Tradit Chin Med. 2012. Antiglycation and antioxidation properties of Juglans regia and Calendula officinalis: possible role in reducing diabetic complications and slowing down ageing.

Lutein in marigold plant
Antioxidant activity, mutagenicity/anti-mutagenicity, and clastogenicity/anti-clastogenicity of lutein from marigold flowers.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2006. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biochemistry, College of Medical Science, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.
High dietary intake of lutein has been associated with risk reduction of many chronic diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Lutein in food is generally regarded as safe. However, information on the toxicological and beneficial effect of lutein at higher doses is limited. In this study, large amount of lutein was extracted and purified from marigold flower (Tagetes erecta L.). Lutein showed a greater antioxidant activity than the other two common carotenoids, beta-carotene and lycopene. Lutein was not only found to be non-mutagenic at all doses, but it showed an anti-mutagenic effect in a dose-dependent manner. Similar results were found in a chromosome aberration test using Chinese hamster ovary cells for the evaluation of clastogenicity and anti-clastogenicity of lutein. Our findings provided scientific evidence for the safe use and health beneficial effects of lutein.

Protection from chemotherapy
Ren Fail. 2015. Total antioxidant and oxidant status of plasma and renal tissue of cisplatin-induced nephrotoxic rats: protection by floral extracts of Calendula officinalis. The present study was aimed to determine the total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS) and oxidative stress index (OSI) of plasma and renal tissue in cisplatin (cDDP) induced nephrotoxic rats and its protection by treatments with floral extracts of marigold. Observations of the present study have shown that treatments with ethanolic floral extract of marigold protect cDDP induced nephrotoxicity by restoring antioxidant system of the renal tissue.

Marigold Plant Research
Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer.
J Clin Oncol. 2004.
The effectiveness of nonsteroid topical agents for the prevention of acute dermatitis during adjuvant radiotherapy for breast carcinoma has not been demonstrated. The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of calendula (Pommade au Calendula par Digestion; Boiron Ltd, Levallois-Perret, France) with that of trolamine (Biafine; Genmedix Ltd, France), which is considered in many institutions to be the reference topical agent. Between July 1999 and June 2001, 254 patients who had been operated on for breast cancer and who were to receive postoperative radiation therapy were randomly allocated to application of either trolamine (128 patients) or calendula (126 patients) on the irradiated fields after each session. The primary end point was the occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher. Prognostic factors, including treatment modalities and patient characteristics, were also investigated. Secondary end points were the occurrence of pain, the quantity of topical agent used, and patient satisfaction. The occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v 63%) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. Moreover, patients receiving calendula had less frequent interruption of radiotherapy and significantly reduced radiation-induced pain. Calendula was considered to be more difficult to apply, but self-assessed satisfaction was greater. Body mass index and adjuvant chemotherapy before radiotherapy after lumpectomy were significant prognostic factors for acute dermatitis. Marigold is highly effective for the prevention of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher and should be proposed for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast cancer.

Preparative purification of the major anti-inflammatory triterpenoid esters from Marigold flower
Fitoterapia. 2003.
A method for the efficient preparative purification of faradiol 3-O-laurate, palmitate and myristate, the major anti-inflammatory triterpenoid esters in the flower heads of the medicinal plant Calendula officinalis has been developed. Gram quantities of the individual compounds were obtained with 96 to 98% purity by a combination of supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), normal-phase and reversed-phase column chromatography. During the work-up of the faradiol esters, accompanying minor compounds of the triterpene ester fraction were purified and identified by spectroscopic means as maniladiol 3-O-laurate and myristate.

HPLC study on the carotenoid composition of Calendula products.
 J Biochem Biophys Methods. 20020.
The authors report on the HPLC investigation of the carotenoid composition of the steams, leaves, petals and pollens of Calendula officinalis In the petals and pollens, the main carotenoids were flavoxanthin and auroxanthin while the stem and leaves mostly contained lutein and beta-carotene.Five different herbal tea and two tinctures made from the flower of C. officinalis L. were also investigated and the carotenoid composition of the industrial products was compared to the starting material.

Protective properties of butanolic extract of the Calendula officinalis against lipid peroxidation of rat liver microsomes and action as free radical scavenger.
Redox Rep. 2002.
Calendula officinalis (marigold) has many pharmacological properties. It is used for the treatment of skin disorders, pain and also as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are known to participate in the pathogenesis of various human diseases and may be involved in the conditions which C. officinalis is used to treat. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the beneficial properties of this plant and its antioxidant action. The butanolic fraction (BF) was studied because it is non-cytotoxic and is rich in a variety of bioactive metabolites including flavonoids and terpenoids. The results obtained suggest that the butanolic fraction of C. officinalis possesses a significant free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity and that the proposed therapeutic efficacy of this plant could be due, in part, to these properties.

Final report on the safety assessment of Calendula officinalis extract and Calendula officinalis.
Int J Toxicol. 2001.
Calendula Officinalis Extract is an extract of the flowers of Calendula officinalis, the common marigold, whereas Calendula Officinalis is described as plant material derived from the flowers. Techniques for preparing Calendula Officinalis Extract include gentle disintegration in soybean oil. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol extractions were also reported. Components of these ingredients are variously reported to include sugars, carotenoids, phenolic acids, sterols, saponins, flavonoids, resins, sterins, quinones, mucilages, vitamins, polyprenylquinones, and essential oils. Calendula Officinalis Extract is reported to be used in almost 200 cosmetic formulations, over a wide range of product categories. There are no reported uses of Calendula Officinalis. Acute toxicity studies in rats and mice indicate that the extract is relatively nontoxic. Animal tests showed at most minimal skin irritation, and no sensitization or phototoxicity. Minimal ocular irritation was seen with one formulation and no irritation with others. Six saponins isolated from C. officinalis flowers were not mutagenic in an Ames test, and a tea derived from C. officinalis was not genotoxic in Drosophila melanogaster. No carcinogenicity or reproductive and developmental toxicity data were available. Clinical testing of cosmetic formulations containing the extract elicited little irritation or sensitization. Absent any basis for concluding that data on one member of a botanical ingredient group can be extrapolated to another in a group, or to the same ingredient extracted differently, these data were not considered sufficient to assess the safety of these ingredients. Additional data needs include current concentration of use data; function in cosmetics; ultraviolet (UV) absorption data; if absorption occurs in the UVA or UVB range, photosensitization data are needed; gross pathology and histopathology in skin and other major organ systems associated with repeated dermal exposures; dermal reproductive/developmental toxicity data; inhalation toxicity data, especially addressing the concentration, amount delivered, and particle size; and genotoxicity testing in a mammalian system; if positive, a 2-year dermal carcinogenicity assay performed using National Toxicology Program (NTP) methods is needed. Until these data are available, it is concluded that the available data are insufficient to support the safety of these ingredients in cosmetic formulations.

Anti-HIV activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis flowers.
Biomed Pharmacother. 19970.
Extracts of dried flowers were examined for their ability to inhibit the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. Both organic and aqueous extracts were relatively nontoxic to human lymphocytic Molt-4 cells, but only the organic one exhibited potent anti-HIV activity in an in vitro MTT/tetrazolium-based assay. In addition, in the presence of the organic extract (500 micrograms/mL), the uninfected Molt-4 cells were completely protected for up to 24 h from fusion and subsequent death, caused by cocultivation with persistently infected U-937/HIV-1 cells. It was also found that the organic extract from Calendula officinalis flowers caused a significant dose- and time-dependent reduction of HIV-1 reverse transcription (RT) activity. An 85% RT inhibition was achieved after a 30 min treatment of partially purified enzyme in a cell-free system. These results suggested that organic extract of flowers from Calendula officinalis possesses anti-HIV properties of therapeutic interest.

Cactus Botanics introduces Zeaxanthin Extracted From Marigold Flower - 2006-11-06 - Cactus Botanics Limited has announced that it has completed its technical research into Zeaxanthin, which is naturally extracted from the Marigold Flower. Beginning in November, Cactus Botanics has started to produce this raw material in bulk at the company's Chinese facility. The specification range is from 10% to 50%, as tested by HPLC. Now, Cactus Botanics is ready to provide its Zeaxanthin Powder to the Nutritional Market.

Marigold herbal extract questions
Q. Can marigold be taken the same day as saw palmetto or curcumin?
     A. I don't see why not.

Chrysantis corporation
Chrysantis, Inc. announces that it has been granted a United States patent for Tagetes erecta (Marigold) With Altered Carotenoid Compositions and Ratios. This patent is a continuation of Chrysantis’ US patents which cover not only zeaxanthin produced by marigolds, but also beta carotene, phytoene, phytofluene, cryptoxanthins and other carotenoids synthesized in the petals and leaves of Chrysantis marigolds. Chrysantis now has a marigold collection that offers a unique, sustainable and efficient means of producing carotenoids for human nutrition. “We are truly excited about the approval of this last patent for our marigolds,” says Manuel Pavon, General Manager for Chrysantis. “We have worked hard through natural selection and breeding to bring healthy, natural carotenoids to the nutritional market place that enhance human health safely and effectively." EZEyes zeaxanthin, made from marigolds, is the same form of zeaxanthin found naturally in fruits and vegetables. In August 2009, Chrysantis announced the formation of the Zeaxanthin Trade Association. Its primary goal is to increase global awareness and promote the use of dietary zeaxanthin, in combination with lutein, critical nutrients for eye health that can help guard against vision problems such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.