Energetics: spicy, bitter, neutral Meridians/organs affected: liver, heart, lungs Parts used: the petals
Calendula flower has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years. Compounds, oils, creams, and tinctures of Calendula are one of the most trusted and widely used herbal remedies in an alternative practitioner’s toolbox. Calendula has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being a strong antiseptic and astringent.
You can infused the flower petals in oils to make a cream or an ointment to treat minor skin problems, such as rashes, diaper rash, minor burns, acne, and eczema. It is considered a vulnerary agent, a substance that promotes healing. It has been used for a variety of other skin problems such as skin ulcers and inflammation and for relieving conjunctivitis. It has been reported to be effective in fighting fever, boils, abscesses, and recurrent vomiting. In a salve or tincture, it has and continues to be used in connection with bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, sores and more. Earaches respond well to Calendula herbal extracts, which both soothe the pain and combats infection. Calendula flower extract is wonderful when rubbed in a cream onto the face and skin, which may prevent wrinkles by stimulating the collagen production by the body. Gargling with Calendula can soothe sore throats and stop infections and the same solution can be used as a mouthwash for infected gums and other mouth problems. The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences says that Calendula consumed seven days before a woman’s menstrual cycle may alleviate the pain of cramps. It can also relieve the discomfort associated with indigestion, colitis, and menopausal symptoms. There is some evidence that Calendula flower tincture can help treat certain types of cancers like Heren’s Carcinoma when used with other herbs such as Echinacea purpurea.
Calendula Flower in tincture form, taken internally, promotes healing of ailments in the digestive tract. Some report it to be effective as a treatment for recurrent vomiting. It has been used to lessen the effects of ulcers in the stomach, mouth or throat. Calendula works by stimulating the lymphatic system and by reducing swelling and cleansing of toxins in the body. Calendula flower tincture also aids the body by helping to digest food, especially food that is high in fat. Since it is a “bitter”, it will soothe indigestion and heartburn, as well as stimulate the liver and gallbladder, making it useful in treating hepatitis. Calendula is thought to be a great herbal remedy for colitis, stomach cramps, diarrhea and protects the lining of the stomach and intestines by inhibiting the cause of inflammation and swelling, and by limiting the effects of the bacteria associated with gastritis, peptic ulcers and stomach cancer and works against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium connected with peptic ulcer.
Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity and the most well-known health benefits are for those dealing with skin ailments of all kinds. Unless the user is allergic to this plant there have been no reports of side-effects or drug interactions when using this medicinal herb. It is often used topically for lacerations, abrasions, boils, lesions and other infections. Calendula flower used in creams is a wonderful treatment on the face and skin as well and may help reduce and prevent wrinkles by stimulating collagen production in the body. It can be used as a natural moisturizer and is very soothing to irritated chapped and sun-damaged skin. Calendula is also recommended for its use in treating varicose veins, chronic ulcers, capillary engorgement, and congestion.
Calendula provides one of its greatest benefits in relieving eruptive skin disorders such as shingles and warts from viral infections. Calendula is considered to be an effective detoxifying herb that can help with the toxicity associated with many severe fevers and infections. The fungicidal properties found in Calendula flower extract, making it a popular antiseptic herbal remedy. The astringent qualities help the capillaries function better; thus accelerating the treatment of physical wounds, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, muscle pains, bruises, varicose veins and other inflammatory disorders of the body. Calendula also helps alleviate skin infections such as fungi, ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush. Calendula extract is gentle enough for baby’s use to ease cradle cap, diaper rash, and nursing mother’s sore nipples. It has been used effectively in a sitz bath for genital inflammations or hemorrhoids. It has been recommended for use in an ointment for first-degree burns and sunburns. It has healthy influences on oily skin and normalizes the activity of the sebaceous glands and is useful for oily hair as well as, reducing dandruff. This plant has strong antibacterial properties that work against some pathogens particularly streptococci and staphylococci.
Calendula is often recommended as a treatment for an ear infection. Studies have shown the flower extracts can offer as much pain relief for an ear infection as some non-herbal eardrops. Earaches often respond well to a Calendula treatment which both eases the pain and combats infection. A few drops in the ear are a common and often effective treatment.
Not only is this herb considered a vulnerary, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory, but it is also useful as an emmenagogue, both regulating and balancing painful and irregular menstrual cycles. Of all the marigold benefits, this is perhaps the most interesting, as the flower blooms on a monthly basis. This tincture can also be an excellent herb for treating anemia.
Calendula’s high molecular weight polysaccharides stimulate the immune system activity. The herb’s properties have been researched and were determined to have some potential therapeutic activity against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) in vitro, and reduced HIV transcriptase in a dose and time-dependent manner.
More recently scientists have investigated Calendula tincture for possible anti-cancer and antiviral actions this herb may possess. The most recent studies involving marigold seek to isolate its role and there has been some evidence that Calendula flower can help treat some forms of cancers like Heren’s carcinoma. Researchers from Universidad de Granada, Spain demonstrated its effects on tumor cell lines derived from leukemias, melanomas, fibrosarcomas, breast, prostate, cervix, lung, pancreas and colorectal cancers. The inhibition of these cancer cells ranged from 70% to 100%. Also, tests suggested Calendula may help prevent dermatitis in breast cancer patients during radiation. In one small study of about 250 women undergoing radiation therapy after surgery for breast cancer, commercial Calendula ointment reduced the amount of skin irritation better than another commonly used commercial preparation. Women who used Calendula ointment also reported less pain from radiation.
Ingredients: Calendula flower, Distilled Water, 30% Alcohol.
Instructions: Use 6-12 drops in juice, water or under the tongue or as desired. May be taken three times daily. Store in a cool dark place. Keep out of reach of children.
Contraindications: Do not use while pregnant. Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to Asteraceae/Compositae family. Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during or after surgery and with sedatives.