Calendula Officinalis, also known as Flos Calendulae (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)
Marigold, also known as Calendula Flower (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)
Asteraceae, also known as Compostitae. (Willoughby and Mills, 1996)
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).
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
Soothing on the nose and throat membranes when used in an atomiser (King, Felter and Lloyd 1898)
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.
Individuals with known allergies to the Asteraceae family should avoid Calendula Officinalis (Fisher 2009).
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)
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