Herbal and medicinal uses of Calendula
Calendula have been grown as a garden plant for many years throughout North America and Europe. The golden yellow flowers of Calendula officinalis have been used as medicine for centuries. Traditionally, Calendula have been used to treat conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eczema, gastritis, minor burns including sunburns, warts, and minor injuries such as sprains and wounds. It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. Research continues into the healing properties of Calendula.
Historically, Calendula flowers have been considered beneficial in reducing inflammation, promoting wound healing, and used as an antiseptic. Calendula has been used to treat a variety of skin diseases and has been seen effective in treatment of skin ulcerations and eczema. Taken internally through a tea, it has been used for treatment of stomach ulcers, and inflammation. A sterile tea has been used to treat infections of the eye, like conjunctivitis, however, this practice is not recommended.
Calendula today, is being investigated for it's anticancer properties. In conjunction with other herbs such as Echinacea purpurea, Scorzonera humilis L., and Aconitum moldavicum, there has been evidence of success in treating certain cancers (Heren's carcinoma) according to the Fedkovich Chernivtsi State University in the Ukraine..
Calendula has been effective in treating juvenile acne and dry phthiriasis. Improvement has been seen in as little as 3-4 days of treatment according to the Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie.
Western Australia has been investigating Calendula for control of the Redlegged earth mite. Halotydeus destructor - Redlegged earth mite - is a major pest of pastures and crops in Australia. In some cases, the crops had better growth and production when Calendula were planted as a decoy crop. The Calendula were heavily attacked while the damage to crops were less.
Calendula tea can be made from the flowers growing in the garden. Dry the flower petals and use 1 -2 teaspoons of the petals per 200 ml of water. Pour the boiling water over the petals and allow to steep for 10 - 15 minutes. Strain and drink. Generally 3 cups of tea a day is beneficial. A tincture can be purchased and 1 - 2 ml can be added to water or tea 3 times a day.
Unless you are allergic to Calendula, there has been no reported side effects or interactions, but always talk to your doctor before considering using Calendula internally.