The main compounds of lipophilic extracts of flower heads of marigold (Calendula officinalis L.) are triterpendiol esters, mainly faradiol laurate, faradiol myristate and faradiol palmitate. These faradiol-3-O-monoesters have been quantified for the first time by means of reversed phase HPLC with internal standardisation in different parts of C. officinalis plants, namely ray florets, disk florests, involucral bracts, receptacles, levaes and seeds. The amounts of the esters were highest in ray florets, approximately 10 times lower in disk florets than in the ray florets, and approximately 10 times lower in involucral bracts than in the disk florets. In the leaves only traces of the esters could be detected, and in the receptacles no esters could be detected at all. Quantification in the seed was not possible using this method because of interfering fatty compounds. Concerning the faradiol esters, the dried ray and disk florets only should be preferred as primary products for remedies as demanded in the recently published supplement of the Pharmacopoiea Europaea (1999). Breeding work should focus on varieties with a greater number of ray florets in order to improve the quality of herbal medicinal products derived from marigoid.
Calendula/chemistry* Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, Thin Layer Esters Reproducibility of Results Triterpenes/chemistry* Triterpenes/isolation & purification