Medically Reviewed on 9/29/2022

Generic Name: calendula

Other Names: bride of the sun, calendula officinalis, garden marigold, gold bloom, golden flower of Mary, holligold, marigold, marybud, pot marigold

Drug Class: Herbals

What is calendula, and what is it used for?

Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold is a flowering plant that belongs to the same family as daisies, chrysanthemums and ragweed. Calendula is native to Asia and southern Europe, but now is grown as an ornamental garden plant all over the world. Dried flower petals of calendula have been traditionally used to treat inflammations, promote wound healing and for many other conditions.

Calendula has been commonly used in medicinal preparations in many alternative medicine systems including Homeopathy, Ayurveda and Unani. The chemical compounds in calendula, such as triterpenoids and flavonoids are believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties, which may help neutralize free radicals that damage tissue, reduce inflammation, protect wounds from infection, and promote healing.

Calendula products are available over the counter (OTC) as dried flower petals that can be used as tea, liquid extracts or tincture that can be taken orally, or ointments that can be applied on the skin. People also add fresh or dried flower petals to salads and other foods. People use calendula medicinally for many conditions, but there is no scientific evidence to back any of its uses.

13 medicinal uses for calendula

The suggested medicinal uses of calendula include:


  • Do not take calendula if you are hypersensitive to the aster family of plants (Asteraceae), including ragweed, chrysanthemums, daisies and marigolds.
  • Do not take calendula concurrently with sedative drugs, calendula may increase their effects.
  • Only the flower petals should be used, not the whole herb.

What are the side effects of calendula?

Common side effects of calendula include:

Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:

This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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What are the dosages of calendula?

There isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of calendula might be. Suggested Dosing:


  • 1 cup orally three times daily; 1-2 g dried flowers/150 ml water

Liquid extract

  • 0.5-1 ml orally three times daily; 1:1 in 40% alcohol


  • 0.3-1.2 ml orally three times daily; 1:5 in 90% alcohol


  • Apply topically as needed

What drugs interact with calendula?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.

  • Calendula has no known severe, serious, moderate, or mild interactions with other drugs.

The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Limited animal studies indicate that oral calendula may cause uterine contraction and miscarriage if taken during pregnancy and there is insufficient information on the use of topical calendula in pregnant women. Avoid both oral and topical calendula if you are pregnant.
  • There is no information of calendula use in nursing mothers, avoid if you are breastfeeding.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take any herbal supplement, including calendula, without checking with your healthcare provider first.

What else should I know about calendula?

  • Calendula flower petals and extracts are possibly safe for most adults when taken orally in recommended doses, or when topically applied.
  • Check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement, including calendula.
  • Use calendula exactly as per label instructions.
  • Herbal products often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the calendula product you choose.
  • Calendula is marketed as a herbal supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.


Calendula is a flowering plant that has been commonly used in medicinal preparations in alternative medicine. The suggested medicinal uses of calendula include minor cuts, wounds, and burns; diaper rash, dermatitis, peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, fever, painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), vaginal Candida yeast infection (candidiasis), and others. Common side effects of calendula include allergic reactions. Oral calendula may cause uterine contraction and miscarriage if taken during pregnancy. Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 9/29/2022