Calendula Benefits & How to Use This All-Purpose Plant

Calendula flower in full bloom

Calendula has long been known for its diverse gardening, culinary, and medical benefits. A plant that can do it all, the brightly colored calendula flower petals make them an eye-catching addition to a garden and their healing properties make them a go-to in the first-aid cabinet.


Calendula officinalis for long—also known as the “Pot Marigold”— is a plant within the family Asteraceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, although it can now be found around the world. Calendula plants stand out with bright petals, usually yellow or orange, growing 1-2 feet tall. Its narrow petals are described as a sunray shape. In addition to being a culinary tool, Calendula is best known for its medicinal uses.

The flower is widely used as a medicinal plant whose antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a strong ingredient for healing. In addition to using whole petals, Calendula flowers can be ground into powder or made into oils, creams, and ointments. The FDA has approved calendula for use as a spice and as an ingredient in cosmetics, soaps and shampoos, body creams, and wound treatment, both internally and topically.

calendula flower on blurred background of garden


Calendula really is a Jill of all trades. With the capacity to address a host of health issues, this plant has the potential to make its way around your entire home: from the garden, to the kitchen, to the medicine cabinet.

1. Heals Wounds

Calendula is primarily known as a healing plant because of its soothing abilities. Although a gentle herb, the healing effects derived from Calendula petals are very powerful, making it a must-have in the medicine cabinet. It is beneficial for any wound healing you may need including insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, and cold sores. Topical application of Calendula is used to keep wounds clean and help new tissue to grow. It is often used to help poorly healing wounds, those that are exhibiting signs of tenderness, redness, or inflammation, to correct course.  

The healing herb is also effective in treating minor burns, including sunburn. It assists in sun protection and may consequently be included in sunscreen formulas for preventative care. Calendula cream, ointment, or healing balm may be applied to wounds to reduce swelling and their antimicrobial components, specifically their antifungal agents, can prevent secondary infection, leading to a quicker healing process.

2. Assists with Digestive and Immune System

Just like topical Calendula can remedy external wounds and burns, it also soothes internal wounds and burns like ulcers, heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome. It has a protective effect for the stomach that improves digestion by repairing the gut wall while relieving discomfort in the meantime.

The vulnerary capacity of Calendula can be called on to kick the leftover infection caused by a passing flu or cold. Calendula has been shown to strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. This is likely due to the fact that Calendula is antimicrobial, which means it slows or kills infection to prevent it from spreading. Its antibacterial properties give it the power to fight that lingering cough or congestion you can’t seem to get rid of.

Some research has established a link between gut health and mental health, including the experience of depression. With Calendula’s ability to repair and improve gut function, this connection would compound the impact of Calendula to positively affect brain activity as well.

hand dipping finger into All Good goop

3. Hydrates and Nourishes Dry Skin

Calendula has can be used to relieve many types of skin conditions that may cause dry, itchy, or irritated areas. It soothes skin experiences symptoms of eczema, dermatitis, and dandruff. By promoting the production of collagen, an essential protein for glowing skin, Calendula aids in sustaining soothed, hydrated skin. Although strong in effect, the gentleness of the herb often makes Calendula a skin care benefit that can be enjoyed even by many of those with skin sensitivities. 

And who has more sensitive or delicate skin than babies? Parents tend to be careful when applying products to their babies’ rashes or irritations. But, Calendula is so safe and effective, it appears in many products for kids. As a natural remedy option, it is often preferred for prevention and treatment of rashes and irritations that babies experience like diaper rash and cradle cap.

4. Slows Development of Wrinkles

Calendula has also been found to assist in slowing the development of wrinkles. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in Calendula have been found to significantly protect against oxidative stress in human skin cells. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of damaging atoms and antioxidants. Oxidative stress plays a large role in the aging process as well as the development of several illnesses. Calendula allows it to keep skin hydrated and healthy making it a great component for daily lotions or lip balm.

5. Reducing Scarring

One of the prominent Calendula benefits is its ability to reduce scarring when used to treat wounds. The Calendula properties that benefit wound healing apply to the scarring process as well. Calendula increases blood flow to the injury, promotes a speedy and healthy healing process, free of infection, and encourages growth of healthy new tissue. In the cases of skin ulcers like chicken pox and acne, the herb softens and soothes the skin, preventing inflammation, boosting the immune response, which allows wounds to heal quickly and cleanly.

calendula field


If you are interested in bringing Calendula into your life, you can always buy dried flowers and receive all the benefits the plant has to offer minus the lively colors of live flowers. But, if you are interested in gardening, Calendula is a great addition for even the most novice gardener.

Calendula is an easy-care, low maintenance plant. It isn’t picky about its soil type and requires limited watering with, of course, consideration of the season. It is drought resistant and frost tolerant. Calendula plants do not require any special care. It can grow in the sun or in the shade, in an outside planter, or in a pot indoors. So many options!

Once Calendula begins to bloom, harvest the flowers every 2-4 days to keep the flowers full and abundant. As you pick the flowers, more will blossom. In mild climates, Calendula may be a perennial (a plant that lives more than two years). Although Calendulas can weather light frost, where there are more severe winters, Calendula is typically considered an annual (a plant that has a one-year life span). Where it is an annual, however, it is capable of self-seeding for the following year.


1. Tea
One prevalent way of getting many of the benefits Calendula has to offer to prepare it as a tea. This requires powdered or dried Calendula that is then steeped in boiling water for 10-20 minutes. This tea can be used to drink or as a mouth rinse to treat a sore throat or wounds within the mouth. If steeped to be especially strong, Calendula tea can also be used as a healing warm compress for eye infections.

2. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is a common method of topical medicinal use. It is made by infusing Calendula flowers in a warmed oil for several weeks, stirring it daily. Some oils to consider are carrier oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds in the oil are fantastic for wound healing and the various skin conditions already mentioned. In addition, the resulting oil can be used in formulas for smooth application of products like sunscreens to get the natural protective and remedy benefits of the plant.

3. Cream/Ointment

Once you have an infused oil, you may be interested in cooking up a cream or Calendula ointment for easy topical application. This can be created by combining the oil with additional ingredients like beeswax, additional essential oils.

4. Calendula extract

Extract from the Calendula flower can also be used as a soothing ingredient within formulas for many products used habitually like deodorant and body lotion. These products help bring the healing properties of Calendula into your daily regimen.


Some people with sensitivities or allergies to pollen, like ragweed or marigolds, experience allergic reactions to calendula as a side effect of their underlying allergy. That is something to look out for before you start exploring the exceptional benefits Calendula has to offer! 


12 responses to “Calendula Benefits & How to Use This All-Purpose Plant”

  1. Virginia Irwin Avatar
    Virginia Irwin

    I have an nearly invisible shard of glass in the sole of my foot..
    Soaking w/ epsom salts has not helped to dislodge it.
    I have calendula tincture.
    The spot is sore from trying to probe w/tweezer & needle.
    Is the Calendula a good idea to use?
    I have also used itchtammol.
    Also no help.
    Any reply is welcome.

    1. Megan Jio Avatar
      Megan Jio


      Our All Good Goop salve could be helpful in soothing the soreness; that sounds uncomfortable!
      It is packed full of beneficial herbs that could provide some relief – one of which is calendula from our farm.
      Sending healing vibes your way!



  2. Virginia Avatar

    I have an nearly invisible shard of glass in the sole of my foot..
    Soaking w/ epsom salts has not helped to dislodge it.
    I have calendula tincture.
    The spot is sore from trying to probe w/tweezer.
    Is the Calendula a good idea to use?
    I have also used itchtammol.
    Also no help.
    Any reply is welcome.

  3. Meira Adilman Avatar
    Meira Adilman

    I am one day after a gum graft surgery, and am taking Arnica 30C as an anti-inflammatory and pain reducer. Yesterday, I took 1 Tylenol twice during the whole day. Nothing stronger, and I feel great. Today, I am supposed to start rinsing my mouth with some strong chemical stuff, but I decided to go with a tincture of Calendula in water. ( I bought the Arnica at a homeopathic pharmacy and the pharmacist said that a regular mouthwash would interfere with the Arnica and suggested the diluted Calendula tincture.) My online search for info about Calendula brought me to your site. I have to say, I am SO impressed by your answer to everybody that they should check with their medical practitioners, and not self – treat. Keep up the good work! Meira Adilman

  4. Christine Avatar

    Can I use the cold tea to put on my skin?? I have chronic pancretitis and my stomache gets really sore so I made some calendula tea but how much should I use? And how many cups of tea a day?

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Hi Christine,

      You certainly could use the cold tea on your skin. However, it would be best to consult with your primary health practitioner to determine the use on your skin as well as how many cups of tea to have in a day.


  5. AlmostaWife Avatar

    What is the best way to add dried calendula to my dogs wet food?

    1. Pancho Avatar

      Hi there,

      I’m sorry, we haven’t incorporated calendula into our dogs’ diets and don’t claim to be experts in that regard. You might want to check in with your vet or someone that has more experience integrating calendula and other plants into a dog’s diet. Good luck 🙂

      – Pancho

  6. Simmi Avatar

    Can we take homeopathic calendula for Gastritis ,if yes in what potency 30c or mother tincture

    1. Pancho Avatar

      Hi Simmi,

      Thanks for checking in! We recommend you consult with a health practitioner to discuss whether calendula might be a good fit for your needs.

      – Pancho

  7. Dev Avatar

    In what form calendula taken for digestive issues can you suggest some products brand for oral consumption.Thank You

    1. Pancho Avatar

      Hi Dev,

      We recommend you work with a health practitioner to determine if calendula taken orally could be a good fit for you and your digestive health needs.

      – Pancho

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *