Separation and isolation of the genuine faradiol esters (1,2) from flower heads of Marigold (Calendula officinalis L., Asteraceae) could be achieved by means of repeated column chromatography (CC) and HPLC for the first time. Structure elucidation of faradiol-3-myristic acid ester 1, faradiol-3-palmitic acid ester 2 and psi-taraxasterol 3 has been also performed, without any previous degradation by means of MS, H-1-NMR, C-13-NMR and 2D-NMR experiments. The anti-oedematous activities of these three compounds were tested by means of inhibition of Croton oil-induced oedema of the mouse ear. Both faradiol esters showed nearly the same dose dependent anti-oedematous activity and no significant synergism appeared with their mixture. The free monol, psi-taraxasterol, had a slightly lower effect. Furthermore, faradiol was more active than its esters and than psi-taraxasterol and showed the same effect as an equimolar dose of indomethacin. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.