Calendula officinalis L.
The therapeutic use of calendula originated in ancient Egypt and spread to Europe. Many varieties of the plant exist, one of which is the common marigold. Calendula's medically active parts are its flowers. A natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, calendula is one of the best herbs for treating wounds, skin abrasions and infections. Taken internally, it also helps alleviate the symptoms of indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders. Calendula's healing power appears to come from components known as terpenes. One of these, calenduloside B, is known as a sedative and for its healing effect on ulcers.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Over the counter:
Calendula is available in several forms for both internal and external use. You can find lotions, ointments, oils, tinctures, and fresh or dried leaves and florets.
Poultice: Mash up leaves to apply directly to minor burns or scalds.
Infusion: 1 oz. dried herb steeped in 1 pint boiling water. Drink two to four times a day to lessen acute internal symptoms.
Combinations: A mixture of marsh mallow root, American cranesbill and calendula may help digestive problems. Calendula is often combined with slippery elm and applied to soothe skin inflammations and wounds. A mixture of goldenseal, calendula and myrrh makes an antiseptic lotion.