Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.),
Marigold Benefits and Side Effects
Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) or marigold has been suggested to
benefit in minor wounds, skin infections, burns, bee stings, sunburn,
warts, and cancer. Some animal studies support its wound-healing
claims. Side effects of calendula may include allergies, dermatitis, serum
glucose, lipid and protein reduction. High doses of calendula may cause
drowsiness. Thus, it may interact with narcotics, antidepressants, and
blood pressure and glucose lowering agents.
Calendula Officinalis reported to contain sugars, carotenoids, phenolic
acids, sterols, saponins, flavonoids, resins, sterins, quinones,
mucilages, vitamins, polyprenylquinones, and essential oils.. Acute
toxicity studies in rats and mice indicate that the extract is relatively
nontoxic. Animal tests showed at most minimal skin irritation, and no
sensitization or phototoxicity. Clinical testing of cosmetic formulations
containing the extract elicited little irritation or sensitization.
Calendula shows benefits on inflammatory conditions.
Calendula combined with Symphitum showed benefit in stomach
inflammation according to a study of 170 patients. The effects of the
combined herbs on gastric acidity, ulcer is comparable to antacids' in
the study. 
Germany, researchers noticed that the flower heads of Calendula
officinalis contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoid esters including
faradiol 3-O-laurate, palmitate and myristate. 
Calendula extracts shows benefits in muscle spasm, according to an
in vitro study.
In rabbit jejunum, extract of Calendula officinalis flowers caused a
dose-dependent (0.03-3.0 mg/mL) relaxation of spontaneous and
K+-induced contractions, suggestive of calcium channel blockade (CCB).
The aqueous fraction exhibited a significant atropine sensitive
spasmogenic effect. These data indicate that the Calendula officinalis
flowers extract contains spasmolytic and spasmogenic constituents, via
calcium channel blocking and cholinergic activities. 
Calendula has anti-viral activities.
Italian researchers demonstrated anti-viral activities of gycosides
extracted from the aerial parts of Calendula arvensis. . All the
compounds were able to inhibit vesicular stomatitis virus infection. 
Researchers from Venezuela examined extracts of dried flowers from
Calendula officinalis for its inhibitory effects on the human
immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication using vitro
MTT/tetrazolium-based assay. They found that Calendula officinalis
flowers caused a significant dose- and time-dependent reduction of
HIV-1 reverse transcription (RT) activity. 
Researchers from Lebanon reported Calendula officinalis had an
immunomodulation effect against three different live viruses in broiler
Calendula shows benefits on wounds and other skin conditions.
A study of 34 patients with venous leg ulcers demonstrated the
benefits of marigold (Calendula officinalis) ointment on venous ulcer
epithelialization. In the study, the ointment was applied twice a day for
three weeks. 
French researchers suggested that Calendula is highly effective for the
prevention of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher and should be
proposed for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast
cancer. Their claim is based on a study of 254 patients conducted
between July 1999 and June 2001. They found that the occurrence of
acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v
63%; P <.001) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. 
Calendula extracts show anti-cancer effects in in vitro studies.
French researchers demonstrated antimutagenic activity of saponins
extracted from Calendula officinalis and C. arvensis using a modified
liquid incubation technique of the Salmonella/microsomal assay. 
Researchers from Universidad de Granada, Spain, demonstrated the
anti-cancer effects of Calendula officinalis extracts on tumor cell lines
derived from leukemias, melanomas, fibrosarcomas, breast, prostate,
cervix, lung, pancreas and colorectal cancers. The inhibition ranged from
70 to 100%. Mechanisms of inhibition were identified as cell cycle arrest
in G0/G1 phase and Caspase-3-induced apoptosis. 
Researchers from Mexico showed the benefits of Calendula officinalis
flower extracts on liver cancers in a rat study. 
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promoter in a rat hepatocarcinogenesis model. Planta Med. 2006
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