Calendula Officinalis

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Topical calendula may help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area. Oral calendula has been used to reduce inflammation associated with fever and radiotherapy-induced dermatitis.

Calendula Officinalis is most often used for

What is calendula?

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a flowering plant in the daisy family that has been traditionally used since the 13th century to treat wounds, digestive problems, and menstrual pain.[6] The flower petals can be compounded to prepare oral and topical products for medicinal purposes. Calendula can also be consumed as tea. Calendula petals contain flavonoids, compounds which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect cells from being damaged by radicals, or unstable molecules.[7] Therefore, it is thought that calendula can fight inflammation. Additionally, calendula is often used to help wounds heal by promoting blood flow to the area.[8] Calendula should not be confused with the marigold plant, a different orange flower often grown in gardens, which is part of the genus Tagetes.

What are calendula’s main benefits?

Calendula has been commonly used for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing effects. Additionally, calendula has been used for conditions like diaper dermatitis in children, vaginal candidiasis, and radiation-induced dermatitis. However, there is limited clinical data to support the use of calendula for medicinal purposes. A case report showed that the use of calendula tincture in a 52-year-old woman with chronic anal fissures achieved improvement and no rectal bleeding after applying the tincture three times a day for 4.5 months.[9]

One study showed that women who had an episiotomy had more improvement in redness and edema when applying calendula ointment three times a day, compared to control.[10] Although calendula has demonstrated efficacy for acute wound healing with calendula, studies of chronic wound healing have more varied results. For instance, two studies found venous ulcers improved with the application of calendula, while another clinical trial saw no improvement in diabetic leg ulcers.[3]

Calendula has been used and studied for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis, and it was found that 5 grams of calendula vaginal cream was just as effective as clotrimazole 1% cream when applied each night for 7 nights with the applicator.[1] Similarly, one clinical trial found that calendula vaginal cream was effective in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.[2]

There is conflicting evidence concerning calendula’s efficacy for radiation-induced dermatitis, and its effectiveness for skin reactions to chemotherapy has not been consistently observed.[11] For instance, there was no statistically significant difference between calendula and an aqueous cream in breast cancer patients with radiation-induced dermatitis.

What are calendula’s main drawbacks?

There are few high-quality clinical trials for calendula; therefore, it should be used with caution. There are few reports describing serious adverse reactions to calendula. However, allergic reactions and contact sensitization have been reported for other members of the daisy family (Asteraceae), to which calendula also belongs.[12] Additionally, a clinical trial that studied the effect of calendula versus metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis reported a greater occurrence of vaginal itching with the calendula preparation.[2]

How does calendula work?

Calendula’s anti-inflammatory effects are thought to come from its high flavonoid or antioxidant content.[7] Its wound-healing effects may come from calendula's ability to enhance blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing and the generation of new tissue, which has been demonstrated in animal studies.[8]

What are other names for Calendula Officinalis?
Note that Calendula Officinalis is also known as:
  • Garden Marigold
  • Pot Marigold
Dosage information
  • As a vaginal cream, apply 5 grams of 1% cream every night for 7 nights with an applicator.[1][2]
  • For wound healing, use either a 2%-10% Calendula ointment[3] or 2%-20% tincture.[4]
  • For children with diaper dermatitis, apply a 1.5% Calendula ointment daily for 1 week.[5]

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Update History
2023-08-23 00:30:03

FAQs added and database updated


We added new FAQs and update the database based on new literature.

Written By

Reviewed By

  1. ^Saffari E, Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, Adibpour M, Mirghafourvand M, Javadzadeh YComparing the effects of Calendula officinalis and clotrimazole on vaginal Candidiasis: A randomized controlled trial.Women Health.(2017)
  2. ^Pazhohideh Z, Mohammadi S, Bahrami N, Mojab F, Abedi P, Maraghi EThe effect of versus metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis in women: A double-blind randomized controlled trial.J Adv Pharm Technol Res.(2018)
  3. ^Givol O, Kornhaber R, Visentin D, Cleary M, Haik J, Harats MA systematic review of Calendula officinalis extract for wound healing.Wound Repair Regen.(2019-Sep)
  4. ^Leach MJCalendula officinalis and Wound Healing: A Systematic Review.Wounds.(2008-Aug)
  5. ^Sharifi-Heris Z, Farahani LA, Haghani H, Abdoli-Oskouee S, Hasanpoor-Azghady SBComparison the effects of topical application of olive and calendula ointments on Children's diaper dermatitis: A triple-blind randomized clinical trial.Dermatol Ther.(2018-Nov)
  6. ^Jarić S, Kostić O, Mataruga Z, Pavlović D, Pavlović M, Mitrović M, Pavlović PTraditional wound-healing plants used in the Balkan region (Southeast Europe).J Ethnopharmacol.(2018-Jan-30)
  7. ^Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, Suzuki T, Kimura YAnti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of constituents of marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers.J Nat Prod.(2006-Dec)
  8. ^Parente LM, Andrade MA, Brito LA, Moura VM, Miguel MP, Lino-Júnior Rde S, Tresvenzol LF, Paula JR, Paulo NMAngiogenic activity of Calendula officinalis flowers L. in rats.Acta Cir Bras.(2011-Feb)
  9. ^Naseer S, Lorenzo-Rivero SRole of Calendula extract in treatment of anal fissures.Am Surg.(2012-Aug)
  10. ^Eghdampour F, Jahdie F, Kheyrkhah M, Taghizadeh M, Naghizadeh S, Hagani HThe Impact of Aloe vera and Calendula on Perineal Healing after Episiotomy in Primiparous Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial.J Caring Sci.(2013-Dec)
  11. ^Kodiyan J, Amber KTA Review of the Use of Topical Calendula in the Prevention and Treatment of Radiotherapy-Induced Skin Reactions.Antioxidants (Basel).(2015-Apr-23)
  12. ^Reider N, Komericki P, Hausen BM, Fritsch P, Aberer WThe seamy side of natural medicines: contact sensitization to arnica (Arnica montana L.) and marigold (Calendula officinalis L.).Contact Dermatitis.(2001-Nov)
  13. ^Mahmoudi M, Adib-Hajbaghery M, Mashaiekhi MComparing the effects of Bentonite & Calendula on the improvement of infantile diaper dermatitis: A randomized controlled trial.Indian J Med Res.(2015-Dec)
Examine Database References
  1. Bacterial Vaginosis Symptoms - Pazhohideh Z, Mohammadi S, Bahrami N, Mojab F, Abedi P, Maraghi EThe effect of versus metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis in women: A double-blind randomized controlled trial.J Adv Pharm Technol Res.(2018)
  2. Wound Healing - Buzzi M, de Freitas F, de Barros Winter MTherapeutic effectiveness of a Calendula officinalis extract in venous leg ulcer healing.J Wound Care.(2016-Dec-02)
  3. Dental Health Metrics - Khairnar MS, Pawar B, Marawar PP, Mani AEvaluation of Calendula officinalis as an anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis agent.J Indian Soc Periodontol.(2013-Nov)
  4. Vaginal Infection Risk - Saffari E, Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, Adibpour M, Mirghafourvand M, Javadzadeh YComparing the effects of Calendula officinalis and clotrimazole on vaginal Candidiasis: A randomized controlled trial.Women Health.(2017)
  5. Wound Healing - Giostri GS, Novak EM, Buzzi M, Guarita-Souza LCTreatment of acute wounds in hand with L.: A randomized trial.Tissue Barriers.(2022-Jul-03)
  6. Mucositis Symptoms - Babaee N, Moslemi D, Khalilpour M, Vejdani F, Moghadamnia Y, Bijani A, Baradaran M, Kazemi MT, Khalilpour A, Pouramir M, Moghadamnia AAAntioxidant capacity of calendula officinalis flowers extract and prevention of radiation induced oropharyngeal mucositis in patients with head and neck cancers: a randomized controlled clinical study.Daru.(2013-Mar-07)
  7. Dermatitis Risk - Sharp L, Finnilä K, Johansson H, Abrahamsson M, Hatschek T, Bergenmar MNo differences between Calendula cream and aqueous cream in the prevention of acute radiation skin reactions--results from a randomised blinded trial.Eur J Oncol Nurs.(2013-Aug)
  8. Dermatitis Risk - Pommier P, Gomez F, Sunyach MP, D'Hombres A, Carrie C, Montbarbon XPhase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer.J Clin Oncol.(2004-Apr-15)
  9. Dermatitis Risk - De Angelis C, Di Stadio A, Vitale S, Saccone G, Angelis MC, Zizolfi B, Di Spiezio Sardo AUse of calendula ointment after episiotomy: a randomized clinical trial.J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med.(2022-May)
  10. Pain From Wounds - Carvalho AF, Feitosa MC, Coelho NP, Rebêlo VC, Castro JG, Sousa PR, Feitosa VC, Arisawa EALow-level laser therapy and Calendula officinalis in repairing diabetic foot ulcers.Rev Esc Enferm USP.(2016)
  11. Skin Thickness - Akhtar N, Zaman SU, Khan BA, Amir MN, Ebrahimzadeh MACalendula extract: effects on mechanical parameters of human skin.Acta Pol Pharm.(2011)