Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Other common names: English marigold, Scottish marigold, ruddes, pot

calendula

Diagram courtesy of http://www.plant-pictures.de / Wikimedia Commons.

marigold, oculus christi, solis sponsa, bride of the sun, ringelblume, butterwort, kings cup

*Not to be confused with the ornamental marigolds commonly found in garden supply stores

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Asteraceae

Actions:

Antimicrobial, vulnerary, antifungal, astringent, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, circulatory stimulant, febrifuge, hepatic tonic, aperient, stimulant, hormone balancer.

Harvest:

Harvest blooms in the morning as soon as the dew dries. Try to take them as soon as possible after they open (usually starting around June). Be sure to remove dying flower heads regularly to promote continuous blooming.

Part used: Flower petals

Constituents:

calendula

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons User:TeunSpaans

Beta-carotene, auroxanthin, flavoxanthin, triterpenoid esters, lutein, saponins, resins, volatile oils, zeaxanthin, flavonol glycosides, triterpene glycosides, sesquiterpene glucoside, flavonoids, mucilage and others.

Indications:

Used to treat bacterial, viral and fungal infections (topically or internally), eczema, acne, colds and flus, respiratory conditions, stomach ulcers, digestive complaints, swelling, inflammatory pain, varicose veins, insect bites,  jaundice, ear infections, dermatitis, hemorrhoids, fevers, burns (including sunburns and burns caused by radiation), diaper rash, menstrual problems and many other conditions.

Medicinal preparations:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Internal

Calendula is commonly used in tea infusions, extracts, ear drops, tinctures, capsules and other internal preparations (including culinary). The resins are difficult to extract, and to achieve the full spectrum of medicinal value, it is necessary to use a high-percentage alcohol to extract all the constituents. That being said, even a standard infusion pulls out enough medicinal constituents to do a significant benefit.

External

Calendula has long been used in ointments, creams, washes, suppositories, hair rinses and other topical use. It is generally considered a gentle and safe remedy for almost any topical use.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Contraindications:

If you are allergic to daisies or others in the same family, you may also have an allergic reaction to calendula.

If using topically, make sure the wound is thoroughly cleaned. Calendula heals tissues quickly and can cause skin to heal on top of a deeper infection if the wound is not disinfected completely.

Do not use internally if pregnant or nursing, or if you are attempting to become pregnant (it can interfere with conception). Consult with a doctor before use if you are taking any medications, especially drugs for diabetes, psychiatric disorders and blood pressure regulation. Unless advised otherwise by a qualified herbal medicine practitioner, do not use internally on a daily basis for long term (longer than three months) without taking a few days off.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:

Calendula was used in many military hospitals during the first and second World Wars, and was considered one of the best antiseptics available all the way up until the invention of penicillin. Now that some microbes are evolving into so-called “super-bugs”, there has been renewed interest in calendula and other herbal antimicrobials, as their chemical structure is showing to be too complicated for bacteria and viruses to become resistant to.

Traditionally calendula has been associated with the sun and the sign of Leo, and it was affiliated with strength of the heart. It was originally native to Egypt, and historians have found 5,000-year-old hieroglyphics that depict these flowers. It is also reputed to assist humans in seeing fae folk when calendula tea is rubbed into the eyes, or when a cup of the tea is shared with a fae being.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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