Brilliant golden orange Calendula flowers have been used as a food, coloring agent for fabric and food (cheese), and have graced statues of Hindu deities in temples. The Genus, Calendula, contains about 20 different species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants and is native to the northern Mediterranean regions. The genus name is derived from the Latin word, “kalendae”, which means the first day of the month, probably referring to the fact that the flowers are in bloom at the start of most months in the year in their native regions. Although a common name of this plant is “Pot Marigold”, it is not related to the Tagetes or Marigold Genus. Calendula flower petals can be added as a flavoring to rice, grain dishes, salads and used as a replacement for Saffron.
There are many uses for Calendula, both topically and internally. One study of 254 radiation patients compared its efficacy to trolamine for treatment of dermatitis. The flower contains many different antioxidant groups including lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, quercitin, rutin, and a host of others. One could see how the use of this flower in an extract or oil could benefit the skin, nervous system and mucous membranes in many ways. It is theorized in testing done on the plant extract that the constituents in Calendula promote the development of collagen structures in the skin and mucous membranes, yet more research is needed to validate this activity.
Uses of Calendula
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.