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                                                                                                Calendula officinalis

Calendula

Botanical name: Calendula officinalis

Common name: Calendula, Marigold, Pot Marigold


Part used: Flower

Native to Mediterranean Europe, but grown in Australia and New Zealand, self-sows freely in the garden. The flowers maybe yellow or orange disc florets, the plant has branching stems that are slightly or moderately hairy or sticky. The seeds are crescent shaped or circular.


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Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, antifungal, lymphatic, astringent, antiviral, antimicrobial, cholagogue (bitter), emmenagogue, antispasmodic.

It is beneficial for stomach and duodenal ulcers, leaky gut and for its antimicrobial effect on the gut, liver and gallbladder. Calendula tincture can be used for viral infections of the liver and liver disorders. As an immune and lymphatic stimulant to aid the bodies fight against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitical infections. A hot infusion stimulates the circulation aiding in the fight against infection. Calendula helps in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids, also artery and capillary haemorrhage due to the presence of bioflavonoids and carotenoids.

External Uses: For treating vaginal infections or inflammations, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, shingles, chicken pox, measles, ringworm, athletes foot, mumps, sore inflamed eyes, conjunctivitis, styes, breast congestion and inflammation, insect bites and toothache. According to the British Herbal Pharmacopea, Calendula is a specific for enlarged lymph nodes, sebaceous cysts, duodenal ulcers and inflammatory skin lesions of both a chronic and acute nature.

1. Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Capabilities

Calendula has been found to have strong anti-inflammatory properties via powerful flavonoids. These plant-based antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage and pro-inflammatory compounds like C-reactive protein and cytokines. 

Anti-inflammatory linoleic acid is also found in high concentrations in calendula.  Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a potent remedy for all kinds of inflammatory, issues like diaper rash, dermatitis, ear infections, ulcers, sore throats and more. Ear drops containing calendula are sometimes used to treat ear infections in children as well.

2. Calms Muscle Spasms

Calendula can help prevent and relax muscle spasms. Data from one study conducted by the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan showed that the crude extract of its flowers relaxed spontaneous muscle contractions. This research additionally provided a scientific base for this herb’s traditional use in abdominal cramps and constipation. 

3. Heals Ulcers, Wounds & Hemorrhoids

In studies done for slow-healing wounds and various exposed ulcers, it was found that using calendula-based gels and topical ointments helped speed up recovery rate and healing. In one study, it was found that animals treated within an eight-day window using the treatment had a 90 percent closure of their wounds, as compared to only 51 percent of those who had not used the plant-based topical treatment. 

Calendula is also used to improve skin firmness and hydration. Even more impressive, it helps increase blood flow and oxygen to wounds and infected areas, which helps the body grow new tissue and heal more rapidly. For this reason, it can also be effective for at fighting hemorrhoids. Many creams and ointments, such as Boiron Calendula Cream, exist today to provide effective natural relief for these external ailments. When taken as a tea, it can also be helpful for internal duodenal and gastric ulcer symptoms.

4. Aids Menstruation

Drinking calendula tea may help induce the menstruation cycle, as well as ease the painful side effects of menstruation in women, primarily PMS cramps. The large flavonoids presence helps relax muscles, blood flow and information, all promoting an ease of the menstruation. It can also even alleviate hot flashes.

5. Contains Antimicrobial & Antiviral Components

The acids held within the oils of this plant have powerful antimicrobial and antiviral effects, especially when fortified with sunflower oil. The oils and acids within the plant have shown to be effective in fighting pathogens, as well as candida symptoms and even antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria! This is a big reason why it’s used in antiseptic topical products today. 

6. Improves Oral Health

Calendula has become a popular additive in toothpastes and mouthwashes over the past years due to its powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It helps reduce gum inflammation as well as fight against gingivitis, cavities, plaque and more. It’s also an astringent, which helps fight mouth bacteria and promote a healthy oral environment. 

7. Discourages Cancer

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula can help fight against cancer and irritation due to cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Animal studies have shown that it not only fights carcinogenic activity within tumors, but it also activates the lymphocytes, which fight against foreign and infectious invaders. 

According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, calendula appears more effective than typically recommended topical agents at reducing and preventing the incidence of dermatitis caused by radiation used for breast cancer treatment.


Cautions:

Preparations of calendula flower are LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

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.

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of using calendula if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

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.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with CALENDULA

Calendula might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking calendula along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.