Calendula; officinalis

 

Calendula, officinalis


A complete in-depth look into the herbal ally, Calendula.

 

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Ruling Planet: Sun

Ruling Element: Water

Taste: Mild Bitter, Mild Pungent, Sweet

Energy: Warming, Drying

Dosha Effect: KP-, V+

Tissue State: Cold, Depression

Common Name: Marigold

Family: Asteraceae

Ayurvedic Name: n/a

Parts Used: Whole Flower

Native Region: Europe, Africa

Ruling Chakra: Solar Plexus, Heart

Botanical Description:

The flowers of Calendula resemble the looks of the sun and the tops are 3” across. Additionally, they have a cluster of tubular flowers with several rows of florets. The stalk supports many stems and the leaves reach 3-6” long. It can grow up to 2’.

Key Constituents:

Flavonoids, Triterpenes, Saponins, Volatile Oil, Salicylic Acid, Mucilage and Resin (calendulin).

Actions:

Lymphatic, Alterative, Vulnerary, Diaphoretic Cholagogue, Emmenagogue, Inflammation Modulator.

Sustainability + Ethics: No known sustainability factors.

Harvesting: Calendula blooms Spring through Fall, but this is only as long as you pick the blooms once fully peaked. More will start to arise. Most often the whole flower is dried.

Uses: Calendula is an annual herb in the aster family and has a strong correlation with the sun, which is why the sun is the ruler of this herb. We can understand fairly quickly how this correlation came about due to its bright sun-shiny flowers. 

Calendula contains flavonoids, triterpenes, saponins, volatile oil, salicylic acid, mucilage, and resin, among other constituents. The resin gives calendula it's characteristic sticky feeling.  Energetically, calendula is warming and slightly drying, but is also a soothing demulcent. 

Additionally, Calendula is used for its moistening properties, which makes sense why its ruling element is water. It’s great to treat scrapes, burns and to overall rebuilt the tissues. It can be used internally and externally. It has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, and tissue-healing actions. 

Next, Calendula is known for its bitter taste quality, which is a great herb to use in a digestive bitters blend. Calendula is considered a cholagogue, which supports the gallbladder, liver and digestive system. Because it's great for a bitters blend, it will stimulate the secretion of bile and digestive enzymes, aiding the digestive process. Calendula can also be taken internally for inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract such as ulcers, esophageal irritation from gastric reflux, and IBS.

Because Calendula also aids in resisting pathogens, it’s a great herbal ally for those who have colds because it’s antibacterial and antiviral. A warm infusion of this herb will act as a diaphoretic, moving energy outward by stimulating circulation and promoting sweating. This action helps kill the infectious pathogen (and subsequently reduce fever) as well as removing toxins from the body. Calendula is an anti-fungal herb used both internally and externally for the treatment of conditions as fungal skin infections and yeast overgrowths. Calendulas antimicrobial action is also helpful in the case of eye infections such as pink eye/conjunctivitis. 

Calendula is also great for the cyclical reproductive system because it carries the actions of antispasmodic and emmenagogue. It has been used to resolve delayed menstruation, tension, and cramping.

Safety: Generally safe, but not for pregnant women as it promotes contraction. It can also be an allergen trigger for those who are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family.

Adult Dose:

  • Tincture:  1-4 ml (1:5 herb to menstruum ratio, in 60% alcohol) 3-4 x’s daily.

  • Tea: 2 tsp per cup, steeped 15 minutes 3x’s a day.

  • Essence: 3-4 drops, 3-4 x’s daily.

Preparations: Tincture, Tea, Essence, Infused Oil, Water Infusion.

 
The Herbarium by the Herbal Academy

 

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References

  1. The Herbal Academy, Herbarium: Calendula (paid membership resource)

    https://herbarium.theherbalacademy.com/monographs/#/monograph/2025

  2. The Yoga of Herbs, An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad.

  3. Secret Medicines From Your Garden, Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic by Ellen Evert Hopman.

  4. Traditional Western Herbal Medicine, As Above So Below by Elisabeth Brooke

  5. Herb Rally, Calendula Monograph

    https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/calendula-sp