Calendula officinalis


Calendula officinalis


Names: Marigold, Marybud, Gold-bloom, Caltha officinalis.

Habitat : A common garden plant.

Collection : Either the whole flower tops or just the petals are collected between June and September. They should be dried with great care to ensure there is no discoloration.

Part Used: Petals, flowerheads.


  • Triterpenes, pentacyclic alcohols such as faradol, brein, arnidiol, erythrodiol, calenduladiol, heliantriol C and F, ursatriol, logispinogenine; the calendulosides A-D; [[alpha]] & [[beta]]-amyrin, taraxasterol, gamma-taraxasterol, and lupeolFlavonoids
  • Isorhamnetin glycosides including narcissin & quercitin glycosidesincluding rutin;
  • Volatile oil;
  • Chlorogenic acid.

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, lymphatic, astringent, vulnerary, emmenagogue, anti-microbial.

Indications: Calendula is one of the best herbs for treating local skin problems. It may be used safely wherever there is an inflammation on the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage. It may be used for any external bleeding or wound, bruising or strains. It will also be of benefit in slow-healing wounds and skin ulcers. It is ideal for first aid treatment of minor burns and scalds. Local treatments may be with a lotion, a poultice or compress, whichever is most appropriate. Internally it acts as a valuable herb for digestive inflammation and thus it may be used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. As acholagogue it will aid in the relief of gall-bladder problems and also through this process help in many of the vague digestive complaints that are called indigestion. Calendula has marked anti-fungal activity and may be used both internally and externally to combat such infections. As anemmenagogue it has a reputation of helping delayed menstruation and painful periods. It is in general a normalizer of the menstrual process.

It is a remedy long used throughout Europe for wound healing and ulcer treatments. Part of its healing power appears to be based on the presence of terpenes. A triterpene glycoside called calendulozide B exerts a marked anti-ulcerous and sedative action. In a broad spectrum check of physiological impact it did not have any negative effect on the cardiovascular system, the tone of intestinal smooth muscles, kidney function or on the biligenic function of the liver. The researchers say the drug is devoid of locally irritating properties and an insignificant toxicity. If this is the case with an extracted constituent, much more can be claimed for the whole plant!

Ellingwood recommends it for the following patholgies: varicoseveins, chronic ulcers, capillary engorgement, hepatic& splenic congestion, recent wounds and open sores, severe burns.

Combinations: For digestive problems it may be used with Marshmallow Root and American Cranesbill. As an external soothing application it can be used with Slippery Elm and any other relevant remedy. A useful anti-septiclotion will be produced by combining it with Golden Seal and Myrrh.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonsful of the florets and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. External use as a lotion or ointment for cuts, bruises, diaper rash, sore nipples, burns and scalds.

Tincture, l-4 ml three times a day.

Citations from the Medline database for the genus Calendula

Calendula (Marigold)Bogdanova NS Nikolaeva IS Shcherbakova LI Tolstova TI Moskalenko NIuPershin GN [Study of antiviral properties of Calendula officinalis]

Farmakol Toksikol (1970 May-Jun) 33(3):349-55Boucaud-Maitre Y Algernon O Raynaud J Cytotoxic and antitumoral activity of Calendula officinalis extracts.

Pharmazie (1988 Mar) 43(3):220-1Chakurski I Matev M Koichev A Angelova I Stefanov G [Treatment of chronic colitis with an herbal combination of Taraxacum officinale, Hypericum perforatum, Melissa officinalis, Calendula officinalis and Foeniculum vulgare]

Vutr Boles (1981) 20(6):51-4

A total of 170 patients were treated–137 only with the herb combination (78with duodenal ulcer and 59 with gastroduodenitis), 33- -with the herb combination together with antacid (21 with duodenal ulcer and 12 withgastroduodenitis). As a result from the treatment, the spontaneous pains disappeared in 90 per cent of the patients–in the group with and in the groupwithout antacid, the dyspeptic complaints faded in over 85 per cent but in the patients, treated with herbs and antacid the mentioned complaints disappeared several days earlier. The palpitation pains, in both groups, disappeared in more than 90 per cent of the patients within the same time. Gastric acidity, inboth groups, showed a statistically insignificant tendency to decrease prior and post treatment. The gastroscopically control revealed that the ulcer niche, in both groups, was healed in almost the same percentage of the patients.Dumenil G Chemli R Balansard C Guiraud H Lallemand M [Evaluation of antibacterial properties of marigold flowers (Calendulaofficinalis L.) and mother homeopathic tinctures of C. officinalis L. and C.arvensis L. (author’s transl)]

Ann Pharm Fr (1980) 38(6):493-9Elias R De Meo M Vidal-Ollivier E Laget M Balansard G Dumenil G Antimutagenic activity of some saponins
isolated from Calendula officinalisL., C. arvensis L. and Hedera helix L.

Mutagenesis (1990 Jul) 5(4):327-31Fleischner, A. M. Plant extracts: to accelerate healing and reduce inflammation

Cosmet. Toilet. 100:45-46, 48-51, 54-55, 58 (Oct) 1985

Potential anti-inflammatory constituents from the extracts of Calendula officinalis, Anthemis nobilis, Tilia sylvestris, Centaurea cyanus, Matricaria chamomilla and Hypericum perforatum are described, and an evaluation of wound healing activity in 5 healthy subjects with artificially induced skin abrasions is discussed. In all 5 volunteers theextracts accelerated healing time an average of 16% (3.4 days) vs the control.Gasiorowska I Jachimowicz M Patalas B Mlynarczyk A [The use of Calendula officinalis in the treatment of period onto pathies]

Czas Stomatol (1983 Apr) 36(4):307-11Kartikeyan S Chaturvedi RM Narkar SV Effect of calendula on trophic ulcers [letter; comment]

Lepr Rev (1990 Dec) 61(4):399Klouchek-Popova E Popov A Pavlova N Krusteva S Influence of the physiological regeneration and epithelialization using fractions isolated from Calendula officinalis.

Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg (1982) 8(4):63-7Marinchev VN Bychkova
LN Balvanovich NV Giraev AN Use of calendula for therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases of eyelids and conjunctiva]

Oftalmol Zh (1971) 26(3):196-8Mozherenkov VP Shubina LF Treatment of chronic conjunctivitis with Calendula]

Med Sestra (1976 Apr) 35(4):33-4Samochowiec E Urbanska L Manka W Stolarska E [Evaluation of the effect of Calendula officinalis and
Echinaceaangustifolia extracts of Trichomonas vaginalis in vitro]

Wiad Parazytol (1979) 25(1):77-81 Published in Polish

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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