Calendula (Calendula officinalis, Asteraceae, aka marigold or pot marigold, but should not be confused with the true marigold, Tagetes spp.) is native to the Mediterranean.1 The bright orange or yellow, whole flower blossom is used as a medicinal remedy, especially in wound healing. Calendula flowers have anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties.1,2 Along with treating wounds, the flower has been used for chapped and cracked skin, sunburn, insect bites, bruising, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and varicose veins.
Calendula macerated oil contains beta-carotene and vitamins A, B, D, and E. It is emollient, as well as soothing and astringent.2 Laboratory studies have also shown it to have anti-fungal properties.3 Calendula flowers’ constituents include triterpenoids and flavonoids, with at least eight bioactive triterpendiol monoesters identified in the extracts of dried calendula flowers.4 Pharmacological properties attributed to the plant's constituents include immunostimulating, antibacaterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and antineoplastic properties.
Taken internally as a tea or tincture, calendula can be used to treat digestive issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as adjunct therapy for peptic ulcers, to stimulate the lymphatic system, and as an emmenagogue.5
Calendula flowers can be added to stews, soups, pizza, salads, and included in herbal teas. Calendula macerated oils can be incorporated into salves and balms. Adding sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides, Elaeagnaceae) oil will enhance the benefits to the skin as well as the orange color of the product. As the plant is part of the Aster/daisy family, it should be avoided by those with known allergies.
1Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd ed. Brisbane: The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy; 2003.
2Worwood VA. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. Novato, CA: New World Library; 2016.
3Saffari E, Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, Adibpour M, Mirghafourvand M, Javadzadeh Y. Comparing the effects of Calendula officinalis and clotrimazole on vaginal candidiasis: a randomized controlled trial. Women Health. November-December 2017;57(10):1145-1160. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2016.1263272.
4Basch E, Bent S, Foppa I, et al. Marigold (Calendula officinalis L.): an evidence-based systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Herbal Pharmacother. 2006;6(3/4):135-159.5Blankespoor J. Calendula's herbal & edible uses: how to grow, gather, and prepare calendula as food and medicine. Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine website. https://chestnutherbs.com/calendula-sunshine-incarnate-an-edible-and-medicinal-flower/. November 15, 2012. Accessed January 8, 2020.