Articles

Calendula

Plant Part Used

Flowers

Active Constituents

Polysaccharides (including arabinogalactan), triterpene glycosides, triterpene alcohols, flavonoids, sterols, carotenoids and essential oils.(1) Two ionone glucosides, two sesquiterpene oligoglycosides,(2) and four triterpene oligoglycosides(3) have also been identified.

This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.

This section is a list of chemical entities identified in this dietary supplement to possess pharmacological activity. This list does not imply that other, yet unidentified, constituents do not influence the pharmacological activity of this dietary supplement nor does it imply that any one constituent possesses greater influence on the overall pharmacological effect of this dietary supplement.

Introduction

Used since ancient times as a healing agent, Calendula (or Pot Marigold) is mentioned in herbal books 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, or during the new moon. Used historically as "poor man’s saffron," 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. Calendula is listed in the German Commission E Monographs for use as a mouthwash for the oral and pharyngeal mucosa as well as topically for the skin.(4) Calendula is also used in many homeopathic remedies, including would healing.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

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

Internally: 20-60 drops, 3-4 times a day of a 1:4 (w/v) liquid 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

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Not applicable

Uses

Frequently Reported Uses

  • Wound Healing Agent
Other Reported Uses
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Immune support
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • GI Ulcers

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Calendula is reported safe in recommended dosages.(17)

If used in wound healing and wound has not improved in 5-7 days, seek further medical attention.

Allergy

Caution with individuals allergic to plants in the daisy family (Compositae or Asteraceae). A study evaluated the contact sensitization to Calendula officinalis in over 440 patients. Two percent of the patients tested reacted to Calendula officinalis. Of the nine that reacted to the Calendula officinalis, only four reacted to a Compositae mix that contained both Calendula and Arnica.(5)

Side Effects

Discontinue topical use if rash or irritation develops.

Pharmacology

Wound healing activity

Calendula extracts have been used topically to promote wound healing, with several studies reporting a measurable effect. In a laboratory study, an ointment containing a 5% fractionated extract of Calendula flowers markedly stimulated the physiological regeneration and epithelialization of wound tissue, seemingly due to more intensive metabolism of glycoproteins, nucleoproteins, and collagen proteins during the regenerative period in the tissues.(6) Calendula extracts also have antioxidant activity as reported in laboratory studies.(18) Another study reported immune activation by Calendula extracts using in vitro granulocyte tests and in vivo carbon clearance tests, both laboratory determinants of immune activation.(7) Calendula extracts have also been reported to be anti-inflammatory, which also aids in wound repair and healing.(8),(9) The anti-inflammatory effect has been reported to be due to the triterpenoids (specifically faradiol) found in calendula.(10) There are various case reports of Calendula preparations healing wounds, including traumatic wounds and chronic wounds (pressure sores and diabetic ulcers).(11)

Other activity

Russian studies have reported that preparations of Calendula alleviated the signs of chronic conjunctivitis and other chronic ocular inflammatory conditions in laboratory animals.(12),(13) Some early clinical studies reported that combination preparations containing Calendula were effective in treating duodenal ulcers and gastroduodenitis.(14) A proprietary otic solution that contains herbal extracts including Allium sativum, Verbascum thapsus, Calendula flores, and Hypericum perforatum in olive oil, provided similar results in pain relief in cases of acute otitis media to a commercially available anesthetic otic solution containing ametocaine and phenazone in glycerin.(15)

Extracts of dried flowers from Calendula were also reported to inhibit the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in vitro, reducing HIV-1 reverse transcriptase in a dose and time dependent manner.(16) Further research needs to be performed to support these findings. Animal studies have indicated that some of the saponins isolated in Calendula have exhibited inhibitory effects on an increase in serum glucose levels in glucose-loaded rats, gastric emptying in mice, and ethanol- and indomethacin-induced gastric lesions in rats.(3)

Calendula extracts may also have anticancer activity. A laboratory study reported that an extract of Calendula had cytotoxic tumor cell activity and lymphocyte activation in vitr0.(19),(20)

References

  1. Masterova I, et al. Phytochemical overview of the components of Calendula officinalis L. and their therapeutic evaluation. Cesk Farm. Jul1992;41(4-5):173-6.
  2. View Abstract: Marukami T, Kishi A, Yoshikawa M. Medicinal flowers. IV. Marigold. (2): Structures of new ionone and sesquiterpene glycosides from Egyptian Calendula officinalis. Chem Pharm Bull. Tokyo. Aug2001;49(8):974-8.
  3. 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.
  4. View Abstract: Schmidgall J, et al. Evidence for bioadhesive effects of polysaccharides and polysaccharide-containing herbs in an ex vivo bioadhesion assay on buccal membranes. Planta Med. Feb2000;66(1):48-53.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. View Abstract: Wagner H, et al. Immunostimulating action of polysaccharides (heteroglycans) from higher plants. Arzneimittelforschung. 1985;35(7):1069-75.
  8. View Abstract: Akihisa T, et al. Triterpene alcohols from the flowers of compositae and their anti-inflammatory effects. Phytochemistry. Dec1996;43(6):1255-60.
  9. Bezakova L, et al. Inhibitory activity of isorhamnetin glycosides from Calendula officinalis L. on the activity of lipoxygenase.Pharmazie. Feb1996;51(2):126-7.
  10. 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.
  11. US Patent # US5266330: Method for treating pressure ulcers using calendula.
  12. Mozherenkov VP, et al. Treatment of chronic conjunctivitis with Calendula. Med Sestra. Apr1976;35(4):33-4.
  13. Marinchev VN, et al. Use of calendula for therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases of eyelids and conjunctiva. Oftalmol Zh. 1971;26(3):196-8.
  14. View Abstract: Iatsyno AL, et al. Pharmacology of calenduloside B, a new triterpene glycoside from the roots of Calendula officinalis. Farmakol Toksikol. Sep1978;41(5):556-60.
  15. 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.
  16. View Abstract: Kalvatchev Z, et al. Anti-HIV activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis flowers. Biomed Pharmacother. 1997;51(4):176-80.
  17. 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.
  18. Braga PC, Dal Sasso M, Culici M,et al. Antioxidant activity of Calendula officinalis extract: inhibitory effects on chemiluminescence of human neutrophil bursts and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Pharmacology. 2009;83(6):348-355. Epub 2009 May 7.
  19. Jiménez-Medina E, Garcia-Lora A, Paco L, Algarra I, Collado A, Garrido F. A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation. BMC Cancer. 5 May 2006 ;6:119.
  20. Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, Suzuki T, Kimura Y. Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of constituents of Marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers. J Nat Prod. Dec 2006;69(12):1692-1696.