Calendula / Marigold

Marigold, (Calendula officinalis), is a flowering plant in the daisy family (Asteraceae). It is native to southwestern Asia, western Europe and the Mediterranean region but is now grown Worldwide for its ornamental and medicinal properties.

Calendula Flowers

Marigold has bright orange or yellow flowers which are known for their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and skin-soothing properties. Marigold flowers have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including; wounds, cuts, burns and skin irritations.

Marigold extracts and essential oils are also used in skincare products, herbal remedies and culinary applications.

Active Ingredients in Calendula

The key medicinal components are found in the colorful petals of the flower. The vibrant orange or yellow petals of the calendula flower contain various bioactive compounds, including; flavonoids, carotenoids, saponins and essential oils.

Flavonoids are chemicals that act as anti-oxidants in the body. Anti-oxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals, which are natural chemicals that may suppress immune function.

These compounds contribute to the herb’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Calendula petals are often used in the preparation of infusions, tinctures and topical products.

Health Benefits of Calendula

Marigold, more commonly known as Calendula, has been used medicinally for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used to treat; conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eczema, gastritis, snake bites, minor burns including sunburn, wounds, warts, sprains, cramps and coughs.

Below we will explore some of these health benefits in more detail:

Calendula for Skin and Wound Healing

Calendula has been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation and promoting wound healing. It contains flavonoids which have been shown in animal studies to aid the healing of wounds and internal and external ulcers. It is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, improves blood flow to the affected area and promotes the production of collagen proteins.

Calendula has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases including; skin ulcerations, eczema, juvenile acne, nappy rash and dry phthiriasis. Improvements have been seen in as little as 3-4 days of treatment, according to the Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie. Some clinical studies validate the early treatment of stomach ulcers, although further research is needed (Chakurski 1981; Krivenko 1989).

Anti-Fungal Effects of Calendula

Results from recent animal and laboratory studies show that Calendula may be able to guard against fungal infections. As an anti-fungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm and candida. Calendula tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing.

Calendula exhibits antifungal properties due to several bioactive compounds present in its flowers, including flavonoids, triterpenoids, and saponins.

Here’s how calendula may act as an anti-fungal agent:

Disruption of Fungal Cell Membranes: Calendula extracts contain saponins, which can disrupt the cell membranes of fungi. This disruption compromises the integrity of fungal cells, leading to leakage of cellular contents and ultimately cell death.

Inhibition of Fungal Growth: Certain components of calendula, such as flavonoids and triterpenoids, have been shown to inhibit the growth of fungi by interfering with essential cellular processes. For example, they may disrupt fungal metabolism or inhibit the synthesis of fungal cell components, thereby preventing fungal proliferation.

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Calendula possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation associated with fungal infections. By alleviating inflammation, calendula may create an environment less conducive to fungal growth and colonization.

Enhancement of Immune Response: Calendula has immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can modulate the immune system’s response. By stimulating immune activity, calendula may help the body’s natural defenses better combat fungal infections.

Wound Healing: Calendula’s wound-healing properties may indirectly contribute to its antifungal activity. By promoting the rapid healing of skin wounds and lesions, calendula can prevent the entry of fungal pathogens through compromised skin barriers, reducing the risk of fungal infections.

Overall, calendula’s multifaceted pharmacological profile makes it a promising natural remedy for combating fungal infections. It can be applied topically in the form of creams, ointments, or tinctures to treat various fungal skin conditions like athlete’s foot, ringworm, or candidiasis. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before using calendula for fungal infections for persistent or severe cases.

Calendula to Treat Eye Infections

Calendula is one of several herbs used traditionally to treat conjunctivitis and other eye inflammations as it helps to reduce the swelling and redness of eye infections.

Calendula to Relieve Stomach Cramps

It is believed that Calendula may have some anti-spasmodic action, and as such, it has been used to relieve menstrual cramps. An infusion is good for digestion, and to relieve colitis.

Calendula as a Mouthwash

In mouthwashes and gargles, Calendula soothes sore throat and mouth tissue.

Calendula can act as a mouthwash due to its various properties:

Antimicrobial: Calendula contains compounds with antimicrobial properties, which can help kill bacteria and fungi in the mouth. Rinsing with calendula mouthwash may reduce the buildup of harmful microorganisms, promoting oral hygiene and preventing infections like gingivitis.

Anti-inflammatory: Calendula possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated gums. Using calendula mouthwash may provide relief from symptoms of gum inflammation, such as redness, swelling, and discomfort.

Wound Healing: Calendula is known for its ability to promote wound healing. Rinsing with calendula mouthwash may aid in the healing of minor mouth sores, cuts or abrasions by stimulating tissue repair and regeneration.

Gentle and Natural: Calendula mouthwash is often preferred by individuals seeking natural oral care products. It is generally gentle on the mouth’s delicate tissues and may be suitable for those with sensitivities or allergies to conventional mouthwashes containing harsh chemicals.

To use calendula as a mouthwash, you can prepare a solution by steeping calendula flowers or using calendula extract in warm water. Allow the mixture to cool to a comfortable temperature before swishing it around in your mouth for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then spit it out.

You can use calendula mouthwash once or twice daily as part of your oral hygiene routine.

Calendula for Haemorrhoids and Veins

Calendula offers several properties that can be helpful for veins and haemorrhoids:

Anti-inflammatory: Calendula contains compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Applying calendula topically in the form of creams or ointments may provide relief from discomfort and promote healing.

Wound Healing: Calendula has long been used for its wound-healing properties. It can help stimulate tissue regeneration and repair damaged skin, which is beneficial for treating minor cuts, scratches, and abrasions associated with hemorrhoids.

Soothing and Cooling: Calendula has a soothing and cooling effect on the skin, which can provide relief from itching, burning, and irritation commonly experienced with hemorrhoids. Applying calendula topically can help alleviate these symptoms and promote comfort.

Antioxidant Activity: Calendula contains antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Incorporating calendula into your skincare routine for vein health or hemorrhoid management may help protect the skin and promote overall skin health.

Antimicrobial: Calendula possesses antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and promote cleanliness in areas prone to irritation, such as hemorrhoids. Using calendula-infused products may help reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.

Overall, calendula’s anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, soothing and antimicrobial properties make it a valuable natural remedy for promoting vein health and providing relief from hemorrhoid symptoms.

Whether applied topically or used in other forms such as herbal teas or supplements, calendula can offer gentle and effective support for managing these conditions.

Calendula as an Immune Booster

Results from recent animal and laboratory studies show that Calendula may protect against viruses.

Calendula’s high-molecular weight polysaccharides stimulate immune system activity (Wagner 1985) and has been researched for immune system activity. It has some potential therapeutic activity against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): extracts significantly inhibited HIV-1 in vitro, and reduced HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in a dose- and time-dependent manner (Kalvatchev 1997).

Anti-Cancer Properties of Calendula

Calendula is being investigated for its anti-cancer properties. In conjunction with other herbs such as Echinacea purpurea, Scorzonera humilis L., and Aconitum moldavicum, there has been evidence of success in treating certain cancers (Heren’s Carcinoma) according to the Fedkovich Chernivtsi State University in the Ukraine.

In one small study of about 250 women undergoing radiation therapy after surgery for breast cancer, a commercial Calendula ointment reduced the amount of skin irritation better than another commonly-used commercial preparation. Women who used the Calendula ointment also reported less pain from the radiation. Investigations into anti-cancer and anti-viral actions continue.

Calendula for Menopause

Calendula may offer relief from menopausal symptoms through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hormone-balancing properties.

Here’s a summary of how Calendula can relieve menopause:

Hormone Regulation: Calendula contains phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. During menopause, when estrogen levels decline, phytoestrogens in calendula may help balance hormone levels, potentially reducing symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings.

Anti-inflammatory Effects: Menopausal symptoms such as joint pain, muscle aches, and vaginal dryness can result from inflammation. Calendula’s anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate these symptoms, promoting overall comfort and well-being during menopause.

Skin Health: Calendula is commonly used topically to soothe irritated skin and promote wound healing. During menopause, changes in hormone levels can lead to dryness, itchiness, and skin sensitivity. Applying calendula-infused creams or ointments may help moisturize the skin and reduce discomfort associated with these changes.

Emotional Support: Menopause can bring about emotional challenges such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Calendula’s calming properties may offer emotional support, helping to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being during this transition.

Immune Support: Calendula contains compounds that support immune function, which may be beneficial during menopause when the immune system may become weakened. Strengthening the immune system can help the body better cope with the physiological changes associated with menopause.

While further research is needed to fully understand Calendula’s effects on menopause, its anti-inflammatory, hormone-balancing and soothing properties suggest that it may be a valuable natural remedy for managing menopausal symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

Calendula Essential Oil

Calendula essential oil is a versatile natural remedy that can benefit the skin in numerous ways, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products and home remedies. Calendula essential oil is derived from the flowers of the Calendula plant, also known as marigold.

It offers various health benefits, including:

Skin Healing: Calendula oil is renowned for its skin-healing properties. It can soothe and alleviate various skin conditions such as cuts, burns, wounds, rashes, and insect bites. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties help reduce inflammation and prevent infections.

Moisturizing: The oil is moisturizing and helps hydrate dry or chapped skin. It can be used in skincare formulations to promote soft, supple skin.

Anti-Aging: Calendula oil contains antioxidants that can help combat free radicals, which contribute to aging. Regular use of calendula oil may help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

Eczema and Dermatitis: Calendula oil’s soothing properties make it beneficial for individuals suffering from eczema, dermatitis, or other inflammatory skin conditions. It can help calm itching, redness, and irritation associated with these conditions.

Sunburn Relief: The cooling and anti-inflammatory properties of calendula oil make it effective in soothing sunburned skin. It can help reduce redness, pain, and inflammation caused by excessive sun exposure.

Anti-fungal Properties: Calendula oil has antifungal properties that make it effective against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. It can help alleviate itching and discomfort associated with these infections.

Wound Healing: When applied topically, calendula oil promotes faster wound healing by stimulating cell regeneration and tissue repair. It can be used on minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions to facilitate the healing process.

Anti-Inflammatory: Calendula oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with various skin conditions and injuries.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Calendula Herb Notes / Side Effects

It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using calendula if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

In animal studies, Calendula has shown a tightening effect on the uterus. Although no miscarriages have been reported in pregnant women taking Calendula, it is advisable to avoid taking Calendula by mouth during pregnancy. In addition, further animal studies suggest that chemicals in Calendula may be toxic to sperm and may prevent a fertilised egg from implanting properly. Therefore, couples trying to conceive a child should not take Calendula.

Very little information is available on how Calendula might affect an infant or a small child. Therefore, its use is not recommended while breast-feeding or during early childhood.

Calendula belongs to the same family of plants that also includes chrysanthemums, daisies, and ragweed. Individuals who are sensitive to any of these types of plants may also be sensitive to Calendula.

Calendula Essential Oil Side Effects

While calendula essential oil is generally considered safe for most people when used topically, some individuals may experience allergic reactions or skin irritation. As with any essential oil or skincare product, it’s essential to perform a patch test before using it extensively and discontinue use if you experience any adverse reactions.

Here are potential side effects and considerations of Calendula essential oil:

Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to calendula or other plants in the Asteraceae family, such as ragweed, daisies, or chrysanthemums. If you have known allergies to these plants, it’s advisable to perform a patch test before using calendula oil extensively.

Skin Irritation: In rare cases, calendula oil may cause skin irritation, redness, or rash, especially in individuals with sensitive skin. It’s essential to dilute calendula oil properly before applying it to the skin and avoid using it on broken skin or open wounds.

Photosensitivity: While calendula oil itself is not considered phototoxic, prolonged exposure to the sun after applying any essential oil to the skin can increase the risk of sunburn or skin sensitivity. It’s advisable to avoid prolonged sun exposure or use sunscreen if you’ve applied calendula oil to your skin.

Interaction with Medications: There is limited information available on potential interactions between calendula oil and medications. If you’re taking any medications or have underlying health conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using calendula oil, especially in large quantities or for an extended period.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: While there is limited research on the safety of using calendula oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s generally recommended to avoid using essential oils internally or topically in large amounts during these periods. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should consult with a healthcare provider before using calendula oil.

Children and Infants: Calendula oil is generally considered safe for use on children when properly diluted. However, it’s essential to use caution and consult with a pediatrician before applying essential oils to infants or young children, as their skin may be more sensitive.

Quality and Purity: Ensure that you purchase high-quality, pure calendula essential oil from reputable sources to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. Dilute essential oils properly before applying them to the skin, and discontinue use if you experience any adverse effects.

If you have any concerns or experience severe side effects, seek medical attention promptly.

Latin Name

Calendula officinalis

Common Names

Aklelmulk, Atunjaq, Calendula, Chin Chan Hua, Garden Marigold, Gold Bloom, Holligold, Kamisha Bahar, Maravilla, Marigold, Marybud, Mercadela, Oqhuwan, Poet’s marigold, Pot Marigold, Qaraqus, Tibbi Nergis, To-Kinsen-Ka, Tuingoudsbloem, Virreina, lily, broth, calendula, officinal calendula, calta, caréndula, carnation, orchard carnation, carnation, carnations, wild carnation, king’s crown, king’s crowns, espantanovios, wife of the sun, flamencuela, flamenquilla, flower of the deceased, flower of dead, shepherd’s flower, flower of all months, pennywort, pruner’s herb, marigold, garden marigold, marigolds, Mexican marigolds, Turkish marigolds, daisy, marquise, mercadela, merchants, golden merchants, honeyed merchants, royal merchants, curly merchants, mexican, pippin, warbler, rose of the dead, rose of the dead, tarantula, tudescas

Properties of Calendula

Antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-phlogistic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, detoxifier, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, estrogenic, hemostatic, immunostimulant, vulnerary.

Calendula is Indicated for:

Acne, athlete’s foot, blepharitis, candida, cold sores, conjunctivitis, coughs, cramps, eczema, fungal infections, gastritis, good digestion, hemorrhoids, HIV, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, minor burns, phthiriasis (dry), relieving colitis, ringworm, sore throats, skin ulcerations, snake bites, sprains, sunburns, varicose veins, viral infections, warts, wounds.

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