Calendula is commonly known as marigold. It is an annual flower belonging to the Aster or Compositae family. The flower is native to Asia and southern Europe.
Calendula has been used as medicine since the 12th century in central Europe and the Mediterranean. It has been applied to the skin as a possible treatment for minor wounds, infections, burns, bee stings, sunburn, and warts.
Early evidence suggests that applying calendula ointment to the skin may prevent allergic reactions caused by radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Further research is needed before firm conclusions can be made on any medical use of calendula.
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Combination product examples: Estromineral® Gel (isoflavones, Lactobacillus sporogenes, Calendula officinalis extract, and lactic acid); Herbadermal® (calendula, garlic, and St. John's wort); NHED® solution (Calendula flores, garlic (Allium sativum), Verbascum thapsus, St. John's wort (Hypericum perfoliatum), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and vitamin E); Otikon Otic® solution (herbal extract of calendula (Calendula flores), garlic (Allium sativum), mullein (Verbascum thapsus), and St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) in olive oil); Traumeel®; and IND 61,164 mouthwash.
Note: Not to be confused with the common garden or French marigold (Tagetes spp.), African marigold (T. erecta), or Inca marigold (T. minuta).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Anal fissure (tear or split in the rectal tissue)
Calendula extract has been studied for the treatment of anal fissures. However, further details are lacking and more study is needed.
A gel containing calendula and other plant extracts may help prevent skin cancer formation, according to an early study. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Early study suggests that a calendula ointment may be more effective at reducing diaper rash, compared to an aloe cream. Further study is needed.
There is a lack of evidence in support of calendula for the treatment of ear infection. Combination products containing calendula have been studied for this condition. However, more research is needed in this area.
Radiation skin protection
Early evidence suggests that calendula applied to the skin may help prevent allergic reactions, pain, and redness during radiation therapy. However, more high-quality research is needed in this area before firm conclusions can be made.
Calendula has been studied in the treatment of lichen planus, a type of rash that can occur on the skin or inside the mouth. Although early results are promising, more research is needed in this area.
Calendula has been studied as a possible therapy after skin surgery. A cream containing calendula was found to have benefits when applied to the skin. Calendula is believed to have anti-inflammatory activity. However, human evidence is lacking and further study is needed.
A calendula-containing product has been found to improve vaginal dryness in women with menopause when applied to the skin. More research is needed to confirm these findings and to determine the effects of calendula alone.
Venous leg ulcers
Calendula has been studied for the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Early results suggest that marigold extract may promote the healing of lower leg venous ulcers. However, further study is needed in this area.
Calendula has been suggested as a treatment for minor skin wounds and early studies suggest that calendula may promote wound healing. However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.