Calendula

Plant Part Used

Flowers

Introduction

Calendula has been used for centuries. It is mentioned in herbal medical texts that date back to 1373. The name, calendula refers to the plant’s tendency to bloom in accordance with the calendar – every month in some regions of the Mediterranean. Historically, calendula was used both as a culinary herb and spice as well as a medicinal agent. Extracts of calendula flowers are popular as ingredients in various first aid and cosmetic formulations in Europe.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

Topically: Use a topical preparation 3-4 times daily as needed on affected area(s).

Internally: 20-60 drops, 3-4 times a day of a 1:1w/v fluid extract.

Most Common Dosage

Topically: 3 times a day as needed on affected area(s).

Internally: 40 drops, 3 times a day of a 1:1w/v fluid extract.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

Not applicable

Reported Uses

Studies suggest that topical use of calendula may offer benefit for wound healing by helping the body regenerate damaged tissues, and by acting as an anti-inflammatory. (1) , (2) A more recent study suggests that internal use of calendula may stimulate the immune system. (3) This may partially explain why calendula has been used historically as an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent.

Other potential applications that aren’t fully supported by scientific study include the use of calendula preparations in the treatment of gastric ulcers, pain associated with ear infections, and as a means of inhibiting the HIV virus. (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

If used in wound healing and the wound has not improved in five to seven days, seek further medical attention.

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. If you are allergic to plants in the daisy family, consult a doctor before use. Two percent of patients tested had a skin allergy to a calendula extract. (9) Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Side Effects

Side effects are possible with any dietary supplement. Topical use of this dietary supplement may cause a rash or irritation. Discontinue the use of this dietary supplement if this develops. Tell your doctor if these side effects become severe or do not go away.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. View Abstract: Klouchek-Popova E, et al. Influence of the physiological regeneration and epithelialization using fractions isolated from Calendula officinalis. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1982;8(4):63-7.
  2. View Abstract: Della Loggia R, et al. The role of triterpenoids in the topical anti-inflammatory activity of Calendula officinalis flowers.Planta Med. Dec1994;60(6):516-20.
  3. View Abstract: Wagner H, et al. Immunostimulating action of polysaccharides (heteroglycans) from higher plants. Arzneimittelforschung. 1985;35(7):1069-75.
  4. Mozherenkov VP, et al. Treatment of chronic conjunctivitis with Calendula. Med Sestra. Apr1976;35(4):33-4.
  5. Marinchev VN, et al. Use of calendula for therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases of eyelids and conjunctiva. Oftalmol Zh. 1971;26(3):196-8.
  6. View Abstract: Kalvatchev Z, et al. Anti-HIV activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis flowers. Biomed Pharmacother. 1997;51(4):176-80.
  7. View Abstract: Sarrell EM, Mandelberg A, Cohen HA. Efficacy of naturopathic extracts in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Jul2001;155(7):796-9.
  8. View Abstract: Yoshikawa M, Murakami T, Kishi A, Kageura T, Matsuda H. Medicinal flowers. III. Marigold. (1): hypoglycemic, gastric emptying inhibitory, and gastroprotective principles and new oleanane-type triterpene oligoglycosides, calendasaponins A, B, C, and D, from Egyptian Calendula officinalis. Chem Pharm Bull. Tokyo. Jul2001;49(7):863-70.
  9. View Abstract: Reider N, Komericki P, Hausen BM, Fritsch P, Aberer W. The seamy side of natural medicines: contact sensitization to arnica (Arnica montana L.) and marigold (Calendula officinalis L.). Contact Dermatitis. Nov2001;45(5):269-72.