The florets of Calendula officinalis, Linné (Nat. Ord. Compositae). Southern Europe and the Orient; largely cultivated as a garden flower. Dose, 1 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Marigold, Garden Marigold, Marygold.
Principal Constituent.—A tasteless yellow body, calendulin.
Preparations.—1. Specific Medicine Calendula. Dose, 1 to 60 drops. For local use, from full strength to 10 per cent aqueous solutions.
2. Borated Calendula (Boric Acid, 1 ounce; Specific Medicine Calendula, 1 drachm. Mix). Freely as a dusting powder.
Action and Therapy.—External. Calendula is believed to stimulate vaso-motor contraction and selectively to influence the skin and mucous tissues. After the manner of using arnica it is employed largely as a vulnerary. It is non-irritating and non-poisonous. Its advocates claim that it reduces the probability of gangrene occurring, prevents or lessens the formation of pus, and promotes the prompt healing of wounds, with the least possible cicatrization. It has been applied after the removal of epitheliomata with asserted benefit, and as an application to gangrenous and indolent ulcers, with capillary impairment, it is said to have stimulated replacement by healthy tissues. A wash (1 part of Specific Medicine Calendula to 4 parts of sterile water) has been advised as very effective to promote reconstruction or to reduce tumefaction and discharges, as indicated, in abscess cavities, burns and scalds (to lessen scarring), acne, ulcerative skin diseases, vaginitis, cervicitis, endometritis, vaginal abrasions, erosion of the os uteri, non-specific urethritis, gonorrhea, leucorrhoea, lacerated perineum, and uterine subinvolution. As a rule, in most of these disorders, its internal use has been advised at the time of using it locally. Ecchymoses are reputed to have been quickly removed by it, and it is claimed that it opposes varicoses. Diluted with rose water to suit the purpose, it may be employed in mild conjunctivitis and in some aural inflammations. In purulent otitis media the borated calendula is preferred. The powder should be lightly insufflated but not packed into the canal, so as to insure free drainage. Borated Calendula may be dusted upon excoriations and sore nipples; and an oil solution of calendula (Calendula, 1 or 2 drachms to Liquid Petrolatum, 1 fluidounce) may be sprayed into the nose for the relief of nasal catarrh, with raw and tender membranes, or irritable throat. Thomas cured an inveterate case of crural ulcer in an old man by the use of zinc oxide ointment into which was incorporated Specific Medicine Calendula. Zinc ointment alone failed to achieve results.
Internal. Through its supposed action as a local and general vasomotor stimulant it has been advised internally to reinforce its local action, particularly in old ulcers, varicose veins, capillary engorgement of tissues, and chronic suppurative and catarrhal conditions. Splenic and hepatic congestion are said to have been benefited by it. While of unquestioned value in all of the local conditions named it has been much overrated, and its real medicinal worth obscured by extravagant praise.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.