This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Caltha vulgaris C. B. Calendula officinalis Linn, Single marigold: a plant, with oblong undivided leaves, joined close to the stalk, widening from thence to the extremity, juicy, and somewhat clammy to the touch; and moderately large, bright yellow or gold coloured flowers, composed of a number of indented petals standing round a middle disk, on which, after the flower has fallen, several rough crooked seeds lie naked. It is annual, common in gardens, propagates itself by seeds, and flowers from May to the end of autumn.
Marigold flowers have been recommended as aperients in uterine obstructions and icteric disorders; as sudorifics, alexipharmacs, and for promoting eruption in malignant and exanthe-matous fevers. They appear, from their sensi-ble qualities, to be of little activity: when fresh, they have a faint unpleasant smell, which is loft in drying: their taste is chiefly mucilaginous, with a slight bitterishness. They give a pale yellow tincture to water, and a deeper yellow to spirit: the watery infusion has the most smell, and the spirituous the most taste of the flowers. The extract obtained by infpiffating the spirituous tincture, is bitterish and slightly roughish: the watery extract is a tenacious mucilage, of less taste than the other.
The leaves of the plant appear to be of greater virtue than the flowers. Chewed, they im-press at first a viscid sweetness, which is followed by a penetrating pungency, very durable in the mouth, not of the hot or aromatic, but rather of the subsaline kind. Their expres-sed juice, which concains great part of the pungent matter of the herb, has been given, in doses of two or three ounces or more, as an aperient; and is said to loosen the belly, and promote the natural secretions in general.