Calendula flower (also known as marigold) has been used historically in herbal pharmacy. Calendula has natural anti fungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties which makes it useful for healing wounds such as insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, cold sores, and relieving diaper rash. Calendula oil is also known to be an alternative remedy to treat various skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea along with improving the quality and appearance of the skin. Calendula in oil can be used to promote skin hydration and firmness, possibly delaying the signs of aging. In addition, a laboratory study found that calendula oil has natural SPF properties. While it has not been proven to be a definite alternative to sunscreen, it can be used in addition to sunscreen as an extra layer of protection.
Outside of its skin benefits, calendula can also be digested for both internal and external benefits. Dried calendula can be used in tea, tincture or as a garnish. Digesting calendula can assist in calming stomach issues and help strengthen the immune system. It could also be used in soothing sore throats, menstrual cramps, and stomach ulcers. While research backs the finding of these benefits, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved these health benefits for calendula flowers.
Calendula is generally safe to use, but calendula should be avoided if you’re allergic to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family—daisies, sunflowers, and chamomile are common examples. In addition, calendula digestion should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because there is concern that it could cause a miscarriage. If pregnant, It might also be best to avoid skin use as well until more research is done to prove it has no negative effects. Calendula digestion causes drowsiness, so discuss with a physician if looking to combine it with medications. Products made with calendula should be stored in a cool, dry place that is free of any moisture. Dried petals should be kept in an airtight container.