Caltha palustris
The whole plant is anodyne, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant & rubefacient.
It can be used to remove warts &  in the treatment of fits & anaemia.

The root is antirheumatic, diaphoretic, emetic & expectorant.
A poultice of the boiled & mashed roots has been applied to sores.
A decoction is used in the treatment of colds.

A tea made from the leaves is diuretic & laxative.
Marsh marigold can be taken for pain, cramps, menstrual disorders, bronchitis, jaundice & liver disorders.
Can also be used for constipation, fluid retention, high cholesterol & low blood sugar.


The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemonin which is destroyed by heat.
Plant juices can cause blistering or inflammation on skin or mucous membranes on contact & gastric illness if ingested.
The consumption of raw leaves or buds without proper preparation will result in irritation & burning of the mucous membranes of the throat & nasal passages.
Leaves are toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include burning of the throat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, fainting & convulsions.


Marsh Marigolds are considered edible with caution & careful preparation; they are mildly toxic which contributes to their apparent utility as herbal medicine.

Root must be well cooked. The raw root should not be eaten.

The tightly closed buds can be pickled & used on salads much like capers.
The buds must be stored for at least a month before consumption; the pickling fluid should not be ingested.
Do not boil.

Cooked, early spring greens are edible.
Cover the young leaves with 2-3 changes of boiling water until barely tender; cut into bite-sized pieces, salt lightly & cover with butter & some vinegar.


It has been an unlucky plant to bring into the house prior to the first of May.
Bunches were hung in houses during May as a protection against lightening & picked with a certain ritual & carried on the person, it has been believed that the bearer will be protected from having angry words spoken of him or her.
Also protection against witchcraft on Mayday Eve of Beltane.

In England, there was also a belief that it was protective against malignant fairies & other little folk of bad intent & Marsh Marigolds would be picked on the evening of 30th April & dropped through every letter box to dissuade the fey folk from any mischief.
Cattle were also garlanded in Marsh Marigolds as a protection against the evil eye, even though it is actually poisonous to cattle.

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