One of Calendula benefits is to heal the wounds. The warm gold blossoms of calendula have long been a signature remedy for skin ailments, from eczema and abscesses to acne and abrasions

Nicknamed pot marigold, poet’s marigold, or simply gold, calendula is not to be confused with the rather unpleasantly scented common garden marigold of the genus Tagetes. Calendula flowers have little scent, and unlike Tagetes species, are edible. Decked out with single or multiple rows of petals in sunny yellow or bright orange, the flowers seem to hover above the plant’s grayish green, slightly sticky stems and leaves. Calendula is a profuse bloomer. Its name is likely derived from the Latin calendae, meaning “little calendar” or “little clock.” The reference could be to calendula’s propensity for being in bloom during the new moon of summer months (in some climates, nearly every month) or to its habit of partially closing its petals along with the setting sun.

Therapeutic Uses

The warm gold blossoms of calendula have long been a signature remedy for skin ailments, from eczema and abscesses to acne and abrasions. The German health authority has approved calendula for treating wounds, based on research showing its anti-inflammatory effects and effectiveness in helping wounds seal over with new tissue. Calendula is thought to have two main medicinal actions on skin. The triterpenoid compounds, such as oleanolic acid, appear to inhibit a variety of bacteria. Calendula’s anti-inflammatory effects may be the result of a triterpenoid compound acting as an antioxidant, to reduce damage from oxygen radicals in the healing process.

Calendula products have been developed and studied for a host of human ailments. For example, a calendula extract combined with green tea, tea tree oil, and manuka oil was developed into a mouth rinse—a spin-off of research showing that calendula rinses fight gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Another study randomized 254 breast cancer patients about to undergo radiation treatment to apply either a calendula ointment or a commonly used medicine, trolamine, twice daily. The calendula group exhibited less dermatitis from the radiation and also had fewer interruptions to their treatment.
One method for making a calendula ointment is to heat the plant in petroleum jelly, strain, and cool for use on the skin. Calendula’s anti-inflammatory effects, and its effectiveness for various skin ailments, may be more pronounced when the flowers are first extracted with high-dose alcohol before being incorporated into creams or ointments.

How to Use

Topical preparations: Extracts are incorporated into many skin products: soaps, creams, ointments, salves, and lotions with various concentrations of calendula. Apply preparations 3 to 4 times daily to heal minor skin conditions.


Those allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family can develop a sensitivity to topical use. Should a rash develop, discontinue use.

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