Bright orange and yellow calendula flowers, also known as pot marigolds, add beauty to any garden. They are also popular in the medicinal world, due to their many impressive health benefits.
In fact, calendula is an age-old antifungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, wound-healing ally. The petals of these cheerful flowers offer many medicinal properties and are used extensively in natural cosmetics, herbal ointments, diaper creams, teas, and tinctures.
According to a 2013 report published in Pharmacognosy Review, more than 200 different commercial and medical formulations now contain concentrated calendula marigold extract (1).
If you want to enjoy the bright flowers blooming in your garden as well as using them to improve your health, you can surely do it. You can make natural home remedies with calendula flowers for a multitude of problems, ranging from minor cuts to cancerous tumors.
Here are some of the health benefits of calendula flowers.
1. Heals Minor Wounds and Cuts
Calendula helps heal minor wounds, cuts, and skin irritations. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds and cuts.
Plus, it stimulates collagen production that helps repair damaged skin.
- Crush a few fresh calendula flowers to extract the juice. Apply it on the wound or cut 2 or 3 times daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, apply an over-the-counter calendula cream or lotion to the affected area several times a day to promote healing.
2. Soothes Skin Infections
Calendula is an excellent herb for soothing any skin infection and treating skin rashes.
It provides relief from itchiness, swelling and pain, all common symptoms of skin infections. Also, it aids the healing process.
- Crush 1 or 2 calendula flowers into a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area and allow it to dry.
3. Improves Oral Health
Calendula is good for your oral health. In fact, this herb is a popular additive in toothpaste and mouthwash, due to its powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
It helps reduce gum inflammation as well as fight and protect against gingivitis, cavities, plaque and other oral problems.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the Indian Society of Periodontology reports that calendula mouthwash is effective in reducing dental plaque and gingivitis, adjunctive to scaling (2).
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry calendula petals into 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain it and allow it to cool.
- Use it as mouthwash once daily.
4. Reduces Muscle Cramping
Calendula contains some antispasmodic properties that can help reduce muscle cramping. In fact, it helps reduce painful menstrual cramping, too.
A 2006 study published in Phytotherapy Research indicates that the crude extract of calendula flowers contains both spasmolytic and spasmogenic constituents, exhibiting these effects through calcium channel blocking and cholinergic activities. This study provides a scientific base for its traditional use easing abdominal cramps and constipation (3).
- When suffering from cramping, drink 1 to 2 cups of calendula tea. To make the tea, let 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry calendula petals steep in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain it and enjoy the soothing tea.
- Another option is to use calendula oil to massage the affected area.
5. Treats Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva that can cause redness and itchiness in the eyes.
As calendula is rich in antiviral and antibacterial properties, it helps fight the infection and heal conjunctivitis. Moreover, being an anti-inflammatory, it soothes eye discomfort and irritation.
- Put 2 teaspoons of dried calendula flowers in a cup of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Allow it to cool, then strain the solution using a cheesecloth.
- Use the mixture to wash your eyes several times throughout the day.
6. Helps Treat Cancerous Tumors
Calendula, especially the oil, contains certain antitumor properties that make it very effective in the treatment of cancer. Other preventive measures, including some basic lifestyle changes, can help stop the onset of some types of cancer and potentially save your life
A 2006 animal study published in BMC Cancer reports that calendula helps fight carcinogenic activity within tumors, and even activates the lymphocytes, which fight against foreign and infectious invaders (4).
Apart from fighting cancer, it helps deal with the side effects associated with cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, calendula appears to be very effective at reducing and preventing the incidence of dermatitis caused by radiation used for breast cancer treatment (5).
7. Heals Diaper Rash
Calendula is a safe and effective remedy for diaper rash, which is common in young babies. It helps speed up the healing process to get rid of diaper rash.
Being rich in flavonoids, calendula also protects the skin from damage caused by free radicals.
- Apply a few drops of calendula oil directly on the affected area 2 or 3 times daily.
- Alternatively, boil ⅓ cup of dried calendula flowers in 4 cups of water. Allow it to cool, then strain it. Use it to clean the affected area.
8. Treats Bunions
A bunion, which is an unnatural, bony bump at the base of the big toe, causes extreme pain while walking as well as reduced flexibility of your big toe. To reduce the discomforts associated with bunions, you can use calendula.
The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce pain and inflammation. It also prevents the formation of corns and calluses on the affected area.
- Gently crush some calendula leaves with your hands to extract the juice. Apply the juice on the affected area and allow it to dry on its own. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily for several days.
- Alternatively, you can buy calendula ointment from an herbal store and apply it on the affected area 2 or 3 times daily for several days.
1. Arora D, Rani A, Sharma A. Pharmacognosy Reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3841996/. Published 2013.
2. Khairnar MS, Pawar B, Marawar PP, Mani A. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917203/. Published 2013.
3. Bashir S, Janbaz KH, Jabeen Q, Gilani AH. Studies on spasmogenic and spasmolytic activities of Calendula officinalis flowers. Phytotherapy research: PTR. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16906636. Published October 2006.
4. Jiménez-Medina E, Garcia-Lora A, Paco L, Algarra I, Collado A, Garrido F. A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation. BMC cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16677386. Published May 5, 2006.
5. Article Tools. Journal of Clinical Oncology. http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2004.07.063.