True Marigold – Calendula officinalis
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
The plant contains several oleanolic acid glycosides. Flavonol and triterpene glycosides have been isolated from C. officinalis via high pressure chromatography. Calendulin (also known as bassorin) has been identified in the plant as have sterols and fatty acids such as calendic acid. Additionally, the plant contains triterpenoid in free and ester forms, tocopherols, mucilage, and a volatile oil. Enzymatic activity of calendula extracts has been described. The carotenoid pigments have been used as coloring agents in cosmetics and the volatile oil has been used in perfumes.
The major chemical constituents of Calendula oil are a-cadinol, limonene, a-cadinene, p-cymene, 1, 8-cineol along with other flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, flavonol glycosides, carotenoids, sesquiterpene glucoside, amino acids, triterpene oligoglycosides, saponins, and oleanane-type triterpene glycosides.
Anti-bacterial, 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.
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.
Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used to treat conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eczema, gastritis, minor burns including sunburns, warts, and minor injuries such as sprains and wounds. It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. Calendula has a high content of flavonoids, 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, natural chemicals that may suppress immune function.
Calendula flower is used to prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), and inflammation of the lining of the eyelid (conjunctivitis).
Don’t confuse calendula with ornamental marigolds of the Tagets genus, which are commonly grown in vegetable gardens.
The plant has been grown in European gardens since the 12th century, and its folkloric uses are almost as old. Tinctures and extracts of the florets were used topically to promote wound healing and to reduce inflammation; systemically, they have been used to reduce fever, control dysmenorrhea, and treat cancer. The plant is listed in the German Commission E Monographs for wound healing and anti-inflammatory actions.
The dried petals have been used like saffron as a seasoning and have been used to adulterate saffron. The pungent odor of the Calendula has been used as an effective pesticide. Calendula flowers are often interspersed among vegetable plants to repel insects.
Medicinal Uses and Indications
Today, calendula is not usually taken by mouth. The exception is when it is used in extremely small amounts in homeopathic preparations. Calendula is usually applied topically, to the skin.
Burns, cuts, and bruises: Calendula tinctures, ointments, and washes are often applied to the skin to help burns, bruises, and cuts heal faster, and to fight the minor infections they cause. Calendula cream is also used to treat hemorrhoids. Animal studies show that calendula helps wounds heal faster, maybe by increasing blood flow to the wounded area and by helping the body make new tissue. There are no scientific studies looking at whether calendula works in humans, but using it on your skin is considered safe. Professional homeopaths often recommend using ointments with calendula to heal first-degree burns and sunburns.
Dermatitis: Early evidence suggests that calendula may help prevent dermatitis, skin inflammation, in people with breast cancer who are undergoing radiation therapy, however, other studies show no effect. Calendula is also a safe and effective remedy for diaper rash.
Ear infection (otitis media): Ear drops containing calendula are sometimes used to treat ear infections in children. A few scientific studies have found no side effects. More research is needed to determine whether calendula helps treat ear infections.
Oral Health: There are also certain antibacterial properties of calendula that have made it very popular in recent years. You will often find it on the ingredients list of various herbal health and hygiene products, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, and shampoos. In terms of oral health, toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain calendula are very effective in killing bacteria that cause everything from gingivitis to cavities.
Skin Care: Aside from stimulating healing, calendula oil can significantly boost the appearance of your skin. It can affect blood flow to the skin cells, provide antioxidant protection that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and ages spots, and even the visibility of scars. If you want smooth, even-toned skin that glows with youthful vitality, consider adding some organic products that contain calendula or consume calendula in another form, such as tea.
Vision Health: Research has shown that calendula contains certain antioxidant compounds that directly impact your vision. Beta-carotene is essential for the health and functioning of your eyes, and it is a wonderful source of this compound. You can prevent macular degeneration and the development of cataracts in this way.
Reduced Inflammation: Regardless of where you inflammation is occurring, calendula can significantly reduce the discomfort. If you are suffering from a cough or congestion, calendula tea can be a wonderful remedy. If your joints are hurting from arthritis or gout, add some calendula oil to a skin balm and enjoy a rapid reduction in pain. Finally, if your stomach is upset, calendula can help normalize your gastrointestinal system and eliminate any inflammation that may be causing discomfort.
Cancer Prevention: Calendula oil has certain anti-tumor properties that make it very valuable in new cancer research exploring natural solutions to this global epidemic. Cancer remains one of the great mysteries of our species in terms of collective health, and compounds like those found in calendula offer an interesting new angle on this critical issue.
Reduced Cramping: There are also some anti-spasmodic properties of calendula that are also taken advantage of by many people. If you suffer from a nervous system disorder, have painful cramping in relation to menstruation, or some other type of spasmodic condition, adding calendula to your diet may be a wise choice.
Fresh or dried calendula petals are available in tinctures, liquid extracts, infusions, ointments, and creams.
Calendula products should always be protected from light and moisture, and should not be used after 3 years of storage.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take calendula by mouth if you are pregnant. It is LIKELY UNSAFE. There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid topical use as well until more is known.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking calendula.
Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.