Gentle, Effective Skin Healer: Calendula


Considered a first-aid all-star, Calendula (Calendula officinalis) bears the nickname "mother of the skin." It's been used for health remedies and spiritual rituals dating back to ancient Egypt and early Christianity.

Medicinal Calendula has fiery red and yellow petals and is from the Marigold Asteraceae family, not to be confused with common garden marigold from the Tagetes group.

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Boasting antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, calendula is still used to help heal:

  • Skin inflamed by chafing, blisters, bites, and burns

  • dermatitis

  • eczema

  • wounds

  • diaper rash

Calendula is found in a variety of cosmetics, as well as medicinal lotions, creams, and ointments applied to the skin to help reduce pain and swelling and encourage new tissue growth.

In addition to topical applications, calendula flowers and leaves are used in capsules, oils, teas, and tinctures. As a holistic physician, I can help you determine which form of calendula is best to treat specific health concerns. 


There are a few precautions for using calendula: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may use calendula topically, but should not take it by mouth. Calendula may interact with other medications, resulting in drowsiness. Since it's part of the ragweed family, people sensitive to or allergic to marigold, daisy, or chrysanthemums should not use calendula products unless under a doctor's care. Be sure to consult with a doctor of natural medicine if any of the above situations apply to you.