Some common names include: marigold, garden marigold, gold-bloom, marybud, marygold, it’s latin is calendula officinalis.
Calendula has large yellow or orange flowers with many petals and grows as a common garden plant throughout Europe and North America. The stems and leaves are covered in fine hairs. It prefers well-drained, light and sandy soil and generally grows to a height of 2 feet.
The flowers have been used medicinally for centuries. The petals can be used as a tea or ointment. Where internal use is indicated professional supervision is recommended.
Either the whole flower tops or the petals are harvested from June to September. They are carefully dried to ensure no discoloration.
Calendula was used as an antiseptic, to reduce inflammation, and to treat wounds and a variety of skin diseases. Internally, the soothing effects of calendula have been used for stomach ulcers and inflammation. Used in the Middle Ages to treat varicose veins and bedsores.
- Triterpenes, pentacyclic alcohols such as faradol, brein, arnidiol, erythrodiol, calenduladiol, heliantriol C and F, ursatriol, logispinogenine, the calendulosides A-D, volatile oil
- Chlorogenic acid
- Flavonoids, found in high amounts in calendula, account for much of its anti-inflammatory activity.
Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, astringent, lymphatic and slightly stimulant.
- Calendula is available in several forms for both internal and external use: lotions, ointments, oils, tinctures, fluid extracts and fresh or dried leaves. It is high in carotenoids which assist in quick repair of skin damage and the effects of ageing.
- Used externally, calendula is one of the best herbs for treating burns, scalds, cuts, abrasions, and infections because of its antiseptic qualities, improving blood flow to the affected area. It can heal wounds very quickly. It can reduce the fluid inside blisters. Calendula cream is good for acne and nappy (diaper) rash, and can help relieve sore nipples in nursing mothers.
- Calendula can help small blood vessels to seal, stemming bleeding and preventing bruising. Used for healing common sores and bedsores, calendula is very effective for the same reasons on varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
- As an anti-fungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida.
- Internally it acts as a valuable herb for digestive inflammation and may be used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers as well as colitis.
- As a cholagogue it can aid in the relief of gall-bladder problems.
- Calendula tea has long been used as a remedy for gastritis, and is also recommended for women with painful menstruation or menopausal problems. Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water on to 2-3 teaspoonsful of the florets and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Take three times a day.
- A sterile tea has also been applied in cases of conjunctivitis, though it is recommended that you don’t try this at home but see a practitioner.
- Calendula gargle may help soothe toothache.
- An infusion of the petals can be used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair.
- Pot marigold can be grown in the garden to help with insect control.
- For digestive problems it may be used with marshmallow root.
- As a soothing external application it can be used with slippery elm.
Avoid use during pregnancy. Always take professional advice from a qualified practitioner before taking internally
There are no known drug interactions with calendula, although occasional interactions may occur in cases of allergic reaction.