Tell me about...
What is calendula? What is it used for?
Calendula is a common plant grown throughout Europe and North
America. It is similar to a sunflower in appearance, with
large, scoop-shaped yellow or orange flowers.
The flowers of the calendula plant are used medicinally.
Much of calendulas anti-inflammatory action is due to
its high content of flavonoids. It also contains various saponins
Historically, calendula flowers were used to reduce inflammation
and fight infections. They were also used to treat a variety
of skin conditions, from eczema to ulcerations. Recent evidence
suggests they can fight some viral infections; there are also
anecdotal (but unsubstantiated) reports that calendula can
effectively treat cancer.
How much calendula should I take?
Most practitioners recommend 1-2 teaspoons of calendula combined
with 200ml of boiling water as a tea, with a minimum of three
cups of tea per day. Some practitioners also recommend 1-2ml
of calendula tincture, which can be taken with water or tea.
What forms of calendula are available?
Some specialty stores sell calendula flower petals, which
can be used to make a calendula tea. Calendula tinctures and
ointments are also available.
What can happen if I take too much
calendula? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
Except for persons who may be allergic, there are no know
side-effects or drug interactions with calendula.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Minerals
More You Know About Nutrition
De Tommasi N, Conti C, Stein ML, et al.
Structure and in vitro activity of triterpenoid saponins form calendula arvensis.
Plants Med 1991;57:2503.
Della Loggia R, Tubaro A, Sosa S, et al. The role of
triterpenoids in the topical anti-inflammatory activity of calendula
officinalis flowers. Planta Med 1994;60:51620.
Leung A, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural
Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York:
John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 1134.
Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum, 1988, 344.
Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton,
FL: CRC Press, 1994, 11820.