What is it?
Calendula is a plant. The flower is used to make medicine.
Calendula flower is used to prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), and inflammation of the lining of the eyelid (conjunctivitis).
Don’t confuse calendula with ornamental marigolds of the Tagets genus, which are commonly grown in vegetable gardens.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for CALENDULA are as follows:
Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for...
- Muscle spasms.
- Varicose veins.
- Promoting menstruation.
- Treating mouth and throat soreness.
- Leg ulcers.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of calendula for these uses.
It is thought that the chemicals in calendula help new tissue grow in wounds and decrease swelling in the mouth and throat.
Calendula seems to be safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
Special precautions & warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take calendula by mouth if you are pregnant. There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid topical use as well until more is known.
If you are breast-feeding, don’t take calendula either. There isn’t enough safety information about use during breast-feeding.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking calendula.
Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Calendula might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking calendula along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
There are no known interactions with foods.
The appropriate dose of calendula depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for calendula. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Caléndula, Calendula officinalis, Calendule, English Garden Marigold, Fleur de Calendule, Fleur de Tous les Mois, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, Pot Marigold, Souci des Champs, Souci des Jardins, Souci des Vignes, Souci Officinal, Zergul.
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.methodology (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/methodology.html).
To see all references for the Calendula page, please go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/235.html.
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- Kalvatchev Z, Walder R, Garzaro D. Anti-HIV activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis flowers. Biomed Pharmacother 1997;51:176-80.
- Gol'dman II. [Anaphylactic shock after gargling with an infusion of Calendula]. Klin Med (Mosk) 1974;52:142-3.
- Reider N, Komericki P, Hausen BM, et al. The seamy side of natural medicines: contact sensitization to arnica (Arnica montana L.) and marigold (Calendula officinalis L.). Contact Dermatitis 2001;45:269-72.
- Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
- Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.
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- Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
- Tyler VE. Herbs of Choice. Binghamton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994.
- Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council, 1998.
Last reviewed - 02/21/2012
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