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Botanical name: Calendula officinalis

Family: Compositae

Calendula, marigold, pot marigold

The name of the plant in Latin symbolically means the beginning of each Roman month since the plant blooms on the first day of each month.

Plant Description

Calendula is an annual plant that thrives in almost any soil but can typically be found in Europe, Western Asia, and the United States. It belongs to the same family as daisies, chrysanthemums, and ragweed. Its branching stems grow to a height of 30 - 60 cm, and it blooms from early spring until frost. The orange-yellow petals of the flowers are used for medicine.


Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals. Calendula appears to fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.


One of the best herbs for treating skin problems such as infection or physical damage. Perfect for any external bleeding, wounds, bruises or sprains, for minor burns and scalds. It is also suitable for eczema and other skin irritations. In addition, calendula gives elasticity to skin and hair (products for stretch marks, anti-wrinkle). Additionally, pectins present in calendula leaves give the herb its moisturizering properties. It appears helpful for the treatment of varicose veins. It works well in cases of wasp and bee bites, improves the body's metabolism and has anti-neoplasmatic action.

Modern Studies and Publications

Today, calendula is not usually taken by mouth. The exception is when it is used in extremely small amounts in homeopathic preparations. Calendula is usually applied topically, to the skin.

Burns, cuts, and bruises

Calendula tinctures, ointments, and washes are often applied to the skin to help burns, bruises, and cuts heal faster, and to fight the minor infections they cause. Calendula cream is also used to treat hemorrhoids. Animal studies show that calendula does seem to help wounds heal faster, maybe by increasing blood flow to the wounded area and by helping the body make new tissue. There are no scientific studies looking at whether calendula works in humans, but using it on your skin is considered safe.

Professional homeopaths often recommend using ointments with calendula to heal first-degree burns and sunburns.


Early evidence suggests that calendula may help prevent dermatitis -- skin inflammation -- in breast cancer patients who are undergoing radiation therapy, when compared with another lotion. However, the study wasn’t double-blind, meaning the women knew whether they were using calendula or the other lotion. Other studies show that calendula is a safe and effective remedy for diaper rash.

Ear infection (otitis media)

Ear drops containing calendula are sometimes used to treat ear infections in children. A few scientific studies have found no side effects. But the studies aren’t high enough quality to see whether calendula really works or not for ear infections.