An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.
Calendula - Calendula officinalis - family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).
This is an annual plant that grows up to about two and a half feet high.
It has aromatic narrow paddle-shaped leaves and in the summer and fall produces
daisy-like flowers of yellow, orange, gold, cream or apricot. The flowers
are sometimes doubled in form and are up to about three inches in diameter.
Traditional European folk use of flower petals as a remedy for Crohn's disease,
fever, heart problems, indigestion, inflammation, liver problems, menstrual
pain and irregular menstrual flow. Traditional European folk use of flower
petals as a poultice for burns, cuts, eye inflammations, fungal infections,
insect bites, skin problems, varicose veins and wounds. Approved by the
German Commission E as a remedy for burns, sore throats and wounds. Modern
European folk use of flower petals as an internal remedy for eczema. Modern
American folk use as an internal remedy for shingles. Traditionally used
as one of the Ayurvedic medicinal herbs. Sometimes flowers also used in
a poultice or a lotion for acne, athlete's foot and eczema. Modern American
folk use of flowers in a suppository for vaginal infections. Flowers also
added to salads. Flowers also used as a base for an herbal tea. Flowers
traditionally used in Europe to color butter and cheese. Flower petals have
been listed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) as a food additive by
the US Food and Drug Administration. Note: do not use if pregnant or nursing.
Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1880 to 1900. Native to
Europe and Asia. Naturalized in California. Cultivated as an ornamental
in North America. At least twelve cultivars exist.
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Web page last updated on 20 May 2003.