Chemical Components

The major constituents are triterpene saponins (2-10%) based on oleanolic acid and flavonols (3-o-glycosides of isorhamnetin and quercetin), including astraglin, hyperoside, isoqueritrin and rutin, as well as the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (Bako et al 2002). The triterpendiol esters faradiol laurate, faradiol myristate and faradiol palmitate have been identified as the major active compounds, which are also used as marker compounds for standardisation of calendula extracts (Hamburger et al 2003, Zitterl-Eglseer et a I 2001). The terpenoids faradiol, amidiol and calenduladiol have been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity (Neukirch et al 2005).

Other constituents include essential oil, sesquiterpenes, including caryophyllene, and triterpenes, including amyrins, lupeol and lupenone. Calendula also contains

polysaccharides (WHO 2003), as well as minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese (Ahmed et al 2003).

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