Calendula has been shown to be an effective bacteriostatic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antifungal, and vulnerary herb. Clinical trials have shown that calendula increases cell proliferation and encourages the granulation process of wound healing.
According to Matthew Wood (The Earthwise Herbal) calendula possesses at least 7 main properties:
1. Applied externally to wounds as an antiseptic, bacteriostatic (inhibits growth or multiplication of bacteria), and hemostatic. Calendula can be used to treat minor scratches and serious lacerations, it prevents the appearance of pus and inflammation, encouraging the body to heal the tissues at its own pace. It has a specific affinity for swollen, hot, painful, pus-filled tissue, especially where there is no vent. *Calendula has been shown to help activate the body’s own cells, which gobble-up foreign debris or invaders at the sight of infection then help to activate other defense mechanisms. (Foster)
2. It is therapeutic for swollen glands and lingering, unresolved infections, cleansing the lymphatic glands and ducts. It helps resolve stagnation in the lymphatics from wounds, gland removal, or sickness.
3. It lowers high enzyme counts from damaged liver.
4. It soothes the digestive mucosa and other mucus membranes.
5. It warms the stomach, drives heat to the periphery, thins fluids, and causes sweating in fever (antipyretic). Considered one of the best herbs for deep fever particularly when the bones hurt.
6. It promotes the period (menstruation). According to Julia Graves in communication with Wood: Calendula stimulates upana vayu, the downward bearing wind, or in other words, really increases the life force in the pelvic region. It is therefore indicated for amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea.
7. It is a traditional European peasant tonic taken to prevent sickness in winter (immune tonic). It prepares for the stress of winter by removing old lymphatic congestion and lingering infections.
The herb Calendula is approved by the German commission E for internal and topical use. According to Aviva Romm, calendula, a bitter, cooling herb, exerts systemic antiseptic and anti-inflammatory activity when used orally, and is considered specific for the treatment of sebaceous cysts and acne. It is considered specific when there are swollen lymph nodes, and used internally, is considered to promote lymphatic circulation and drainage. The herbal
infused oil or a calendula cream can be applied morning and night to help soothe vaginal tissue, heal minor abrasions, and discourage infection in menopausal women.