Calendula — Calendula officinalis

Blüte der Ringelblume

Calendula

Family: Asteraceae

Part used: Petals (no bracts).

Herbal action: vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, styptic, antimicrobial, cholagogue, mild antispasmodic, emmenagogue, mild diaphoretic, lymphagogue

Indications: abrasions, wounds, burns, eczema, varicosities, inflammation and irritation of the respiratory and digestive tracts, lymphadenopathy, vaginitis, urethritis, conjunctivitis

Contraindications and cautions: Calendula is contraindicated for internal usage during pregnancy due to reported emmenagogue activity.

Medicinal uses: Calendula is best known as a wound remedy. It is a styptic vulnerary that contains little tannin, with an anti-inflammatory property that makes it an effective topical remedy in the treatment of infected and poorly healing wounds, especially in sensitive skin. Its gentle activity makes it particularly suitable for pediatrics, as in diaper rash and skinned knees. But before relegating calendula to only such conditions, it is wise to remember just how valuable a topical remedy calendula was considered in the past. It has historically been used for even dramatic wounds such as healing bullet wounds and as a local application to heal surgical wounds and prevent gangrene and tetanus. It has also been used in the local treatment of “…indolent ulcers with capillary impairment,” and has been used as a wash in abscesses, eczema, ulceration and vaginitis, endocervicitis, gonorrhea, and urethritis. Applied as a wash or as succus (fresh juice extract) calendula is particularly useful in burns, broken capillaries or sunburn. It was employed in the treatment of conjunctivitis. Similarly, the cooled infusion is an effective eyewash for conjunctivitis and blepharitis. Combined with Echinacea and Tabebiua, calendula can be used treat fungal and bacterial infections of the vagina, used in infusion as a sitz bath, particularly to heal irritations and ulcerations. It is similarly used as a sitz bath for lacerations of the perineum after delivery, and can be used to heal sore, cracked and otherwise painful nipples. Calendula also has a history of use as a uterine antispasmodic, indicated in dysmenorrhea, acting as a cholagogue to relieve pelvic congestion. Many herbalists both report that calendula is an effective remedy for swollen glands and lymphatic stasis, with or without fever. Its solar influences appear to indicate that Calendula may be an effective remedy in seasonal affective disorder, to clear the mind of negative and morose thoughts during winter. For this purpose a cup of the tea or a handful of the flowers thrown into soups and broths may be the best usage of the herb.