Calendula (Officinalis)

Calendula (Officinalis) - OmMade Organic Skincare

Botanical Name: Calendula Officinalis, also known as Flos Calendulae (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)

Common Name: Marigold, also known as Calendula Flower (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)

Family: Asteraceae, also known as Compostitae. (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)

The star ingredient used in OmMade Calendula Soothing Balm excellent for healing cuts, abrasions, eczema, rashes, sunburn, chafing and any minor skin irritation. Now stocked in tattoo studios both in Australia and abroad.  


Calendula Officinalis id native to the Mediterranean parts of Europe. It grows well in sunny climates with adequate water. It is drought and frost resistant (Fisher 2009, p.33).

Parts Used Medicinally

Flowers which may be used fresh or dried and are gathered when fully opened (Fisher 2009 pp 33). The stems, seeds and roots of the plant also have medicinal properties, however, the flowers are used primarily (Braun & Cohen 2015, p.136).



Felter (1922) advises using Calendula Officinalis as a spray for relief of nasal catarrh.


Neukirch et al (2005) showed significant anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties are credited to the triterpenoid esters (Loggia et al. 1994)


Ćetković et al (2004) found that the antioxidant properties of Calendula Officinalis were in correlation with the contents of total phenolic compounds and flavonoids.


Calendula Officinalis has shown anti-viral activity, particularly against influenza and herpes simplex virus (Basch et al. 2006). Ukiya et al (2006) showed that Calendula Officinalis had anti-HIV and anti-Epstein-Barr viral activity in vitro. A study by Kalvatchev et al (1997) suggest that Calendula Officinalis extract possess anti-HIV properties.

Circulatory Stimulant

Cook M.D. (1869) describes Calendula Officinalis as a mild and diffusive circulatory and nerve stimulant.


Calendula Officinalis is reputed to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus (Vidal-Ollivier et al. 1989).

Hepatoprotective and Nephroprotection

Chandran and Ramadan (2009) found Calendular Officinalis had a protective role for liver and kidney function.


Amirghofram et al (2000) showed Calendula Officinalis extract to enhance the proliferation of lymphocytes after stimulation with the allogenic cells.


Harris et al (2015) site Calendula Officinalis as an effective Lymphatic.


(Basch et al., 2006) report that high doses of ingested Calendula Officinalis act as a sedative.


Bashir et al (2006) found Calendula officinalis extract exhibited both spasmolytic and spasmogenic actions.


Helps to control bleeding when applied topically to wounds (Felter, 1922 p7)


Used topically, Calendula is promotes wound healing whilst reducing the formation of scarring (Felter 1922 p7)

Major Therapeutic Indications

Cardiovascular and Circulatory System

Calendula Officinalis can provide relief from varicose veins and haemorrhoids (Felter, 1922). It may be used topically for sprains and bruises (Supplement to the British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, 1916). Fisher (2009, p.34) sites varicose veins, haemorrhoids, crural ulcers, lymphoma and fevers as medicinal uses for Calendula Officinalis.

Due to Calendula’s lymphatic action, it can provide relief from enlarged lymph nodes (Harris et al, 2015)

Ukiya et al (2006) found that Calendula’s anti-oxidant properties are cytotoxic to a range of cancer cells including leukaemia.

Digestive System

Calendula Officinalis has a broad use in the digestive system when taken internally. Indications include gastric ulcers, indigestion and inflammatory conditions. Topically, Calendula can reduce inflammation of the mouth and throat mucosa. The study by Bashir et al (2006) provided the scientific basis for use in abdominal cramps and constipation due to its spasmolytic action.

When used in combination with other herbs, Calendula was shown to reduce inflammation in chronic colitis (Basch et al. 2006).

Calendula was shown to reduce the severity of pain and promote healing of gastric ulcers (Basch et al, 2006)

Calendula has been shown to be cytotoxic to colon cancer cells. This has been credited to its anti-oxidant properties (Ukiya et al, 2006)

Fisher (2009, p. 35) sites gastric and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, enteritis, proctitis, jaundice, indigestion, anorexia and constipation as medicinal uses for Calendula Officinalis.

Female Reproductive

Dysmenorrhoea, mastitis, leucorrhoea and vaginal thrush and endometriosis due to its lymphatic properties (Harris et al, 2015).

King, Felter and Lloyd (1898) prescribe Calendula to treat vaginitis, endocervicitis, gonorrhoea, non-specific urethritis and supressed menstruation.

Fisher (2009) also sites amenorrhoea, mastitis, cervical dysplasia, vaginal thrush, vaginitis as medicinal uses for Calendula.

Hepato-biliary System

Calendula has a protective role for liver and kidney function (Chandran & Ramadan, 2009). Medicinal uses for Calendula also include biliary insufficiency, liver congestion, hepatitis and gall stones (Fisher 2009, p. 35).

Immune System

Therapeutic use against HIV and Epstein-Barr virus (Kalvarchev, 1997). Anti-viral activity makes Calendula effective against influenza and the Herpes Simplex virus (Basch et al, 2006). Calendula is effective at stimulating and modulating the immune system (Amirghofram et al, 2000).

Integumentary System

Use topically for acute and chronic inflammatory skin conditions including acne, eczema, nappy rash and sunburn and ulcers (Rotblatt, 2000).

Calendula has been found to accelerate wound healing whilst reducing scarification (Felter 1922 p7). A study by Lievre et al (1992) found Calendula ointment useful in treating second and third degree burns. King, Felter & Lloyd (1898) also site Calendula as a treatment to reduce scarring from burns and scalds and provide relief from eczema and ulcerative skin diseases.

Felter (1922) recommends diluting with rose water when using as an eye bath to treat conjunctivitis and blepharitis.

King, Felter & Lloyd (1898) suggest the use of Calendula as a mouth wash to aid in healing after dental surgery. Calendula used both internally and externally has been used to treat inflammation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa (Braun & Cohen 2015, p. 139)

Calendula has been shown to successfully reduce the signs and symptoms of contact dermatitis (Fuchs et al, 2005)

When compared with the standard treatment of Trolamine, Calendula reduced pain and dermatitis associated with acute inflammation as a result of radio therapy more effectively (Pommier, 2004)

Due to Calendula’s anti-oxidant properties, it has been shown to be cytotoxic to melanoma cancer cells (Ukiya et al, 2006).

Calendula’s anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, anti-microbial, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal and styptic properties, make it applicable for many skin conditions including wounds, inflammation, bruising, boils, broken capillaries, chilblains, athlete’s foot and other fungal infections, acne, eczema, sebaceous cysts, sore nipples, periodontal disease, sunburn, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, nappy rash and cold sores (Fisher 2009, p. 35).

Respiratory System

Soothing on the nose and throat membranes when used in an atomiser (King, Felter and Lloyd 1898)

Historical Uses

Historically, Calendula Officinalis has been used internally for wild animal bites, liver and spleen congestion, stomach upsets and cancer treatment. Leaves were eaten fresh by children with scrofula (glandular swelling). It was also taken internally o strengthen the heart, relief against smallpox and measles, for headaches, jaundice, red eyes, toothache and the plague. Externally, the juice of Calendula was applied to relive psoriasis, warts, contusions and bruises (Fisher 2009, p. 35).



Due to Calendula’s emmenagogue action, it should not be taken internally by women trying to conceive or pregnant women (Vidal-Ollivier et al., 1989).


A study on rats by Silva et al (2007) found Calendula to not cause death when administered oral doses up to 5.0 g/ kg. The brain, kidney and heart did not show any toxicity, however, inflammation was found in the lung and liver. Silva et al (2007) found evidence of a possible hepatotoxic effect.

Adverse Reactions

Individuals with known allergies to the Asteraceae family should avoid Calendula Officinalis (Fisher 2009).

Drug Interactions

Controlled studies have not been conducted t assess potential herb-drug interactions for Calendula Officinalis, however, (Basch et al., 2006) report that high doses of ingested Calendula Officinalis act as a sedative and may have additive effect when on sedative medication.



Infusion- 1-4 grams, three times per day

Tincture 1:5 (90% alcohol)- 0.3- 1.2 ml, three times per day


Fluid Extract (40% alcohol)- 0.5-1ml, three times per day.

Cream or oil- 5ml (23%) 1:2 liquid extract in 45 grams of cream.

Eye bath- 5 ml (23%) 1:2 liquid extract in 70-80 ml of saline

Eye Bath- Infusion (Fisher, 2009 p. 35)



Amirghofran, Z., Azadbakht, M and Karimi, M 2000, ‘Evaluation of the immunomodulatory effects of five herbal plants’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 72, no. 1-2, pp.167-172.

Bakó, E, Deli, J & Tóth, G 2002, ‘HPLC study on the carotenoid composition of Calendula products’, Journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods, Vol 53, no. 1-3, pp. 241-250.


Basch, E, Bent, S, Foppa, I, Haskmi, S, Kroll, D, Mele, M, Szapary, P, Ulbricht, C, Vora, M & Yong, S 2006, ‘Marigold (Calendula officinalis L.)’, Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, Vol 6, no. 3-4, pp.135-159.

[Accessed 30 Sep. 2015].


Bashir, S, Janbaz, K, Jabeen, Q & Gilani, A 2006, ‘Studies on spasmogenic and spasmolytic activities of Calendula officinalis flowers’, Phytother. Res, Vol 20, no. 10, pp. 906-910. [Accessed 30 Sep. 2015].

Braun, L & Cohn M 2015, ‘Herbs & Natural Supplements: An Evidence Based Guide’, 4th ed, Volume 2, pp. 136-142, Churchill Livingstone, Chatswood NSW.

Cook M.D, W 1869, ‘The Physiomedical Dispensatory’, Cincinatti, p.121.

Ćetković, G, Djilas, S, Čanadanović-Brunet, J & Tumbas, V 2004, ‘Antioxidant properties of marigold extracts’, Food Research International, Vol 37, no. 7, pp. 643-650. Accessed 03 Oct 2015.

Chandran, P & Ramadan, K 2009, ‘Hepato and reno protective action of Calendula officinalis L. flower extract’, Niscair Online Periodicals Repository, Vol 47, no. 3, pp. 163-168. [Accessed 3 Oct. 2015].

Fuchs, S M, Schliemann-Willers, S, Fischer, T,W & Elsner, P 2005, ‘Protective Effects of Different Marigold and Rosemary Cream Preparations against Sodium-Lauryl-Sulfate-Induced Irritant Contact Dermatitis’, Skin Pharmacol Physiol, Vol 18, no. 1, pp. 195-200. [Accessed 6 Oct 205]

Fisher, C 2009, ‘Materia Medica of Western Herbs’, Nelson, N.Z. Vitex Medica. pp 33-35.


Harris, Thomas & Vlass, Ann Monica 2015, ‘Endometriosis and the herbal medicine approach to treatment’, Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society, Vol 21, no. 1, pp. 10-15.;dn=110590814833148;res=IELHEA> [Accessed 03 Oct 15].


Kalvatchev, Z, Walder, R & Garzaro, D 1997, ‘Anti-HIV activity of extracts from Calendula officinalis flowers’, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Vol 51, no. 4, pp.176-180. [Accessed 04 Oct 2015]


King, J, Felter, H & Lloyd, J 1898, ‘King's American dispensatory’, Cincinnati: Ohio Valley Co.


Lievre, M, Marichy, J, Baux, S, Foyatier, J, Perrot, J & Boisell, J 1992, ‘Controlled Study of three ointments for the local treatment of 2nd and 3rd degree burns’, Clinical Trial Meta- Analyisis’ Vol 28, no. 1, pp. 9-12. [Accessed 30 Sep. 2015].


Loggia, R, Tubaro, A, Sosa, S, Becker, H, Saar, S & Isaac, O 1994, ‘The Role of Triterpenoids in the Topical Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Calendula officinalis Flowers’, Planta Med, Vol 60, no. 06, pp. 516-520. [Accessed 7 Oct. 2015].


Marukami, T, Kishi, A & Yoshikawa, M 2001, ‘Medicinal Flowers. IV. Marigold. (2): Structures of New Ionone and Sesquiterpene Glycosides from Egyptian Calendula officinalis’, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, Vol 49, no. 8, pp. 974-978. [Accessed 30 Sept 2015]


Neukirch, H, D'Ambrosio, M, Sosa, S, Altinier, G, Della Loggia, R & Guerriero, A 2005, ‘Improved Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Three New Terpenoids Derived, by Systematic Chemical Modifications, from the Abundant Triterpenes of the Flowery PlantCalendula officinalis’, C&B, Vol 2, no. 5, pp. 657-671. [Accessed 30 Sep. 2015]


Pommier, P 2004, ‘Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared With Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer’, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 1447-1453. [Accessed 6 Oct. 2015].


Rafiee, H, NaghdiBadi, H & Mehrafarin, A 2013, ‘Mineral elements and phytochemical analysis of Calendula officinalis L. affected foliar application of Bio-stimulators’, Planta Med, Vol 79, no. 13.

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Rotblatt, M 2000, ‘Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Annals of Internal Medicine’, Vol 133, no. 6, p.487 [Accessed 2 Oct 2015]


Silva, E, Gonçalves, E, Aguiar, F, Evêncio, L, Lyra, M, Coelho, M, Fraga, M. & Wanderley, A 2007, ‘Toxicological studies on hydroalcohol extract of Calendula officinalis L’, Phytother. Res, Vol 21, no. 4, pp. 332-336;jsessionid=FC432EB608D1B3FDAB199521A71466AF.f01t04 [Accessed 30 Sep. 2015].


The Pharmaceutical Press British 1911, ‘Pharmaceutical Codex (Supplement)’, Published by direction of the Council of the pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London. 17 Bloomsbury Square, W. C., 1. 1916, Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol 5, no. 2, pp. 216-218. [Accessed 30 Sept 2015]


Ukiya, M, Akihisa, T, Yasukawa, K., Tokuda, H, Suzuki, T & Kimura, Y 2006, ‘Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Tumor-Promoting, and Cytotoxic Activities of Constituents of Marigold ( Calendula officinalis ) Flowers’, Journal Nat. Prod., Vol 69, no. 12, pp. 1692-1696 Accessed 30 Oct 2015


Vidal-Ollivier, E, Balansard, G, Faure, R & Babadjamian, A 1989, ‘Revised Structures of Triterpenoid Saponins from the Flowers of Calendula officinalis’, Journal. Nat. Prod., Vol 52, no. 5, pp. 1156-1159. [Accessed 3 Oct. 2015].


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Zitterl-Eglseer, K, Reznicek, G, Jurenitsch, J, Novak, J, Zitterl, W & Franz, C 2001, ‘Morphogenetic variability of faradiol monoesters in marigold Calendula officinalis L.’, Phytochem. Anal., Vol 12, no. 3, pp. 199-201. Accessed 30 Sept 2015.





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