Bur marigold is a common name for a variety of herbs found within the Bidens genus. Though there are around 200 species of Bidens, only six of them are used in medicine, one of the most common being Bidens aristosa.1 Any one of these species can be referred to as bur marigold. This plant produces yellow flowers and is found in moist soils throughout the midwest and eastern United States. The annual herb stands about 1-5 feet tall and flowers in September to October. Leaves, flowers, and other parts of the plant can be used in herbal medicine.1,2
Bur Marigold Uses and Health Benefits
Bur marigold is said to have many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. It’s long been used for the treatment of various conditions like conjunctivitis, diarrhea, fever, food poisoning, sore throat and cough, hepatitis, fractures, jaundice, and toothache.1 Other bur marigold uses include for:
- Angina - Angina is a term that refers to chest pain caused by restricted blood flow to the heart. Bur marigold is believed to have cardiovascular benefits and may help with angina, but more research is needed.
- Diabetes - In Chinese and Caribbean cultures, bur marigold is used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) - In traditional medicine, bur marigold has also been used for the treatment of high blood pressure.
- Menstrual Problems - It’s suggested that among bur marigold benefits, it may be useful in combating various menstrual symptoms.
- Peptic Ulcer - A peptic ulcer refers to an open sore in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. With its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, bur marigold may be able to help.
- Ulcerative Colitis - Ulcerative colitis is just one of the many forms of inflammatory bowel disease, which affects the digestive system and leads to chronic inflammation.5 Studies done on rats show that among bur marigold uses, it may help in providing gastrointestinal protection, though more research is needed.
Bur Marigold Side Effects and Precautions
Bur marigold has long been used in folk medicine, but clinical research is lacking. Because of this, it’s important to proceed with caution and start with small doses. There is little known about potential interactions with other drugs, but it’s suggested that bur marigold side effects may include calcium channel antagonists, beta-blockers, and cardiac glycosides interactions.1
There is not sufficient evidence about the safety of bur marigold for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, so it is best for these women to avoid the herb altogether. Bur marigold side effects can also include allergic reaction, especially in individuals with known allergies to other plants in the Asteraceae family.1 Airway inflammation may occur for people who have allergies or asthma.1 Always talk to your doctor before starting on an herbal remedy.