This review includes 84 references on the genus Calendula (Asteraceae) and comprises ethnopharmacology, morphology and microscopy, phytoconstituents, pharmacological reports, clinical studies and toxicology of the prominent species of Calendula. Triterpene alcohols, triterpene saponins, flavonoids, carotenoids and polysaccharides constitute major classes of phytoconstituents of the genus. A few species of this genus have medicinal value, among these Calendula officinalis Linn., has been traditionally used in the treatment of various skin tumors, dermatological lesions, ulcers, swellings and nervous disorders as well as almost 200 cosmetic formulations, i.e., creams, lotions, shampoos. Despite a long tradition of use of some species, the genus has not been explored properly. In the concluding part, the future scope of Calendula species has been emphasized with a view to establish their multifarious biological activities and mode of action.
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