Materia Medica – Calendula officinalis

Calendula flowers have such a bright and cheery appearance to them that one can’t resist stopping to take a closer look. The bright yellow/orange petals impart a gorgeous golden color to oils and they have been used as a substitute for the expensive saffron, earning them the nickname “Poor Man’s Saffron”. Besides the medicinal benefits, calendula flowers are used in Indian and Nepal in garlands for celebrations, festivals, weddings and religious events. Herbalist Nicholas Culpepper called this plant a, “comforter of the heart and spirits.”

Common Name: Calendula, Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Ruddles
Latin Name: Calendula officinalis
Family: Asteraceae/Compositae
Areas of Origin: Southern Europe, Egypt and the Mediterranean
Botanical Description: An annual plant that can grow up to 2’ tall and spread up to 2’ wide. The plant blooms from May to June with bright yellow–deep orange flowers.
Parts Used: Flowers
Uses:  Scrapes, bruises, relief insect bites, rashes, heal wounds, immune system support
Actions: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiscrofulous, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic/sudorific, emmenagogue, febrifuge, vulnerary
Preparations: Tea, tincture, poultice, creams, ointments, lotions, oils; it is also edible
Taste: Bitter, pungent, spicy-peppery
Safety: Best to avoid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It may cause an allergic reaction for those allergic to the asteraceae/compositae plant family. It may cause excess drowsiness when used with medications before/after a surgery.
Contraindications (Plant-Medication Combinations): Interacts with sedative medications.

Until next time, discover the power of welcoming nature’s healing plants into your life.

Calendula. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved from

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