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Calendula officinalis

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Common name:  Marigold, Calendula

Family: Asteraceae

Parts Used:  Flowerheads & petals


  • Flavonoids
  • Triterpenoid & Steroidal saponins
  • Carotenoids
  • Bitter resin (calendulin)
  • Mucilage & Polysaccharides
  • Volatile oils

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Demulcent
  • Emmenagogue
  • Hemostatic
  • Lymphatic
  • Phytoestrogenic
  • Vulnerary 

Medicinal uses: 

  • One of the best herbs for treating local skin problems such as first aid treatment of minor burns and scalds with a lotion, poultice or compress.
  • Internally is anti-inflammatory in the gastrointestinal tract (eg. gastric or duodenal ulcers)
  • Has marked anti-fungal activity and may be used internally and externally to combat such infections.
  • Stimulates the drainage of enlarged, inflamed lymph nodes and is specific for the lymphatics in the breast and pelvic tissues.
  • As an emmenagogue it has a reputation of helping delayed menstruation and painful periods.



  • Saponins have mild phytoestrogenic activity, decrease tissue swelling, increase capillary perfusion of tissue and along with flavonoids decrease inflammation.
  • Immuno-stimulating properties are derived from the polysaccharides and volatile oil.
  • Anti-fungal properties are only found in a tincture it is the resins that are anti-fungal and these need 90% EtOH for extraction.
  • Vulnerary actions are due to the xanthophyls (which stimulate granulation tissue), mucilage and volatile oil.


  • Infusion: 1-4 g/cup TID.
  • Tincture: (1:5, 60%) 1-4ml TID or (1:5, 90%) 0.3-1.2ml TID.
  • Creams, ointments, oils, poultices, suppositories, and fresh plant succus. 

Toxicity:  An extremely safe herb without documented side effects.

Contraindications: Avoid internally in pregnancy due to potential emmenagogue effects.

Interactions: None known.



About Marisa Marciano

Naturopathic Herbalist


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