Calendula, more commonly know as Marigold, is one of the most common herbs and can be found growing in people's homes throughout North America and Europe. The colorful petals of the calendula have been used in herbal preparations for hundreds of years.In the past, calendula flowers have been used on injuries to reduce inflammation and as an antiseptic against infection. It has also been used as a remedy for a variety of skin problems ranging from skin ulcerations to eczema. Taken orally calendula has been used to sooth stomach ulcers and inflammation. It has been reported to be effective in fighting fever, boils, abscesses, and recurrent vomiting. As a tea, it has been used for relieving conjunctivitis. The salve or dilute tincture of calendula has and continues to be used in connection with bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, sores, and more.Medical indications of calendula
Calendula has been used to treat a variety of skin disorders, ranging from skin ulcerations to eczema. It has also been used to sooth stomach ulcers and inflammation. Today Calendula is still used by many for the medicinal and health related effects it offers. Flavonoids, found in high amounts in calendula, are thought to account for much of its anti-inflammatory activity as well as medicinal effects. Triterpene and caretonoids are two other constituents of calendula that may play an important role in the herbs medicinal applications.
More recently scientists have investigated calendula for possible anticancer and antiviral actions this herb may possess. However, there is not enough evidence at this time to recommend calendula for any type of treatment related to these conditions.
The following are list of calendula's reported medicinal applications:
- Wound healing
- Burns (minor, including sunburn)
- Injuries (minor)
- Peptic ulcer
- Ulcerative colitis
- Sore Throat
The oil extracted from the calendula herb serves many purposes. Externally applied to the ear, it has been reported to alleviate pain and discomfort from an earache. Taken internally, it may aid in eliminating fever, soothing a festering ulcer, and relieving discomfort of menstrual cramps. Calendula provides one of its greatest benefits in relieving eruptive skin disorders such as shingles, a viral infection. Calendula is considered by many to be an effective detoxifying herb that can help with the toxicity associated many severe fevers and infections. Calendula is also widely recognized as a cleanser for the liver, gallbladder, and other organs.Dosage and Administration
- To make calendula tea simply pour 200 ml of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of calendula flowers and let sit for 15 minutes. Calendula tea may be taken 3 times per day.
- Calendula tincture, which can be taken with water or tea, can be taken 3 times a day (in doses of 1-2 ml). To make calendul tincture soak a cup of flowers in .5 quarts of rectified alcohol or whiskey for 5 to 6 weeks. A tincture dose is 5 to 15 drops.
- To make calendula juice take 1 tsp of freshly pressed
- To create a calendula salve for external application boil 1 oz dried flowers or leaves with 1 oz lard.
As calendula may seal dirt into the body, make sure when using on a wound that the wound is thoroughly cleaned out. Do not use tincture on wounds as the alcohol base will burn the raw tissue. Calendula as a lotion is even less irritating than most over the counter external antiseptics.Possible Side Effects
For the general population calendula has no known side effects or interactions that we know of.Supporting LiteratureBogdanova NS, Nikolaeva IS, Shcherbakova LI. Study of antiviral properties of Calendula officinalis. Farmskolto Ksikol 1970;33:349-355.De Tommasi N, Conti C, Stein ML, et al. Structure and in vitro activity of triterpenoid saponins form Calendula arvensis. Della Loggia R, Tubaro A, Sosa S. The role of triterpenoids in the topical anti-inflammatory activity of Calendula officinalis flowers. Planta Med 1994;60:516-520.Foster S, Tyler V. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 3rd ed. New York: Pharmaceutical Products Press; 1999: 85-86.Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Christof J. PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 1998: 704-706. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum, 1988, 344.