Calendula has been used for medicinal purposes since at least the 12th century, primarily as a topical application to boost the healing rate of wounds and prevent infection.
Calendula contains high amounts of flavonoids, which are thought to increase the rate of neo-vascularization and deposit hyaluronan, the principal component of the extracellular matrix in cells.
Hyaluronan contributes to cell proliferation and migration as well as the formation, alignment, and migration of capillaries, which may explain why calendula speeds healing.
The essential oil can even be used in a suppository to treat vaginal yeast infections.
Calendula is also thought to inhibit the proliferation of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is associated with gastritis, peptic ulcers, stomach cancer, and very recently, Parkinson’s Disease.
Calendula is believed to have a positive effect on the immune system. The flavonoids found in calendula are a plant-based antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals known to suppress immune function.
The estrogenic effects of calendula, could make this herb useful to treat some of the symptoms of menopause as well as symptoms associated with menstruation.
It has been used to relieve breast tenderness and menstrual cramps, as well as to restore regularity to menstruation.
Calendula has also been used to promote uterine contractions and it has been used to aid in the delivery of the placenta after childbirth.
Additionally, calendula is a common ingredient in creams used to soothe sore nipples associated with breastfeeding.
Calendula is commonly used as an herbal treatment for the relief of skin disorders. It is used to heal minor burns, including sunburns, and it is a traditional herbal remedy for the treatment of rashes, including diaper rash. This herb has also been used to treat systemic skin problems such as dermatitis, eczema, acne and psoriasis.
It has even been shown to prevent dermatitis in breast cancer patients during radiation therapy, and there is evidence that it may be more effective than trolamine lotion.
Calendula has detoxifying properties. It is used to promote functioning and detoxification of the liver and gallbladder, which could be helpful to resolve some digestive problems.