Calendula Flower Leaf Extract

Calendula officinalis is an herbaceous perennial species with yellow flowers. Popularly known as English Marigold or Pot Marigold, Calendula officinalis belongs to the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. The plant is native to Europe and parts of Asia but is now widely cultivated in home gardens.1,2

Calendula officinalis is an important medicinal plant with diverse phytochemicals and biological activities. The main uses include remedies for burns (including sunburns), bruises, and cutaneous and internal inflammatory diseases of several origins.3

Calendula officinalis preparations are mainly applied in the form of infusions, tinctures, and ointments as a wound healing remedy for inflammation of the skin, mucous membranes, for poorly healing wounds, bruises, boils, and rashes, e.g., pharyngitis and leg ulcers.1

The main chemical components present in the flowers of Calendula Officinalis include the triterpenes, flavonoids, phenolic acids, quinones and coumarins, and carotenoids. Terpenoids are responsible for Calendula’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oedematous activity. The carotenoids are responsible for the yellow to orange color of the petals and some anti-inflammatory effects.4,5

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

A study on Calendula officinalis flower’s anti-inflammatory properties found that a combination of carotenoids, flavonoids, and triterpenoids was capable of mediating acute and chronic inflammation in mice. The results showed that the potent anti-inflammatory response of Calendula officinalis extract might be mediated by the inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines and Cox-2 and subsequent prostaglandin synthesis.4

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the aqueous alcoholic and lipophilic extracts of Calendula officinalis as traditional medical products to heal minor wounds and treat minor skin inflammation.6

A study by Naeini et al. evaluated the effects of different concentrations of Calendula officinalis gel on collagen and hydroxyproline content of the skin. Calendula officinalis gel was examined in rats receiving a 2 × 2 cm skin incision. The study found that collagen production in the group treated with 7% gel was significantly more than the placebo and the control group.7

Evaluation of the wound-healing effects of Calendula officinalis flower extracts found that the inflammatory phase is influenced by activation of the transcription factor NF-kB activation coupled with increased levels of the chemokine, IL-8. A significant but moderate decrease in collagenase activity compared to control was also observed.8

A 2009 study evaluated the effects of Calendula officinalis flower extract on excision wounds made in rats. The study assessed the days required for re-epithelization and the percentage of wound closure. The results demonstrated potent wound healing activity of Calendula officinalis extract – the percentage of wound closure was 90.0% in the extract-treated group. In contrast, the control group showed only 51.1% on the eighth day of wounding. The days needed for re-epithelization were 17.7 for the control animals, while it was 14 days with Calendula extract.9

Calendula is also useful for preventing dry skin, soothing the discomfort of dry skin, and healing the dry skin symptoms.10

Calendula oil might improve the overall appearance of your skin. Studies have found that calendula extract may promote skin hydration and firmness.10

A study by Akhtar et al. investigated the effects of a topical cream of Calendula officinalis extract on the skin’s mechanical parameters. The cream was applied to the cheeks of 21 healthy human volunteers for a period of eight weeks. The study found that the cream containing Calendula extract induced skin tightness, which prevents skin damage and delays the aging process. The cream also increased the hydration of the skin; hydration is vital for normal skin metabolism and may even prevent skin alteration and early aging. It also showed some improvement in some elastic and viscoelastic parameters.11

Calendula extract has antiseptic properties and also improves blood flow to the affected area.  As per a case report study, topical Calendula officinalis ointment can be used to treat exfoliative cheilitis, a rare condition presenting as dry lips with scaling and crusting. When used continuously for 15 days, Calendula ointment completely cleared the cheilitis.12

Calendula extract could also protect human skin against photo-aging by attenuating oxidative damage, suppressing metalloproteinase expression and activity as well as by stimulating collagen synthesis.13

  1. Arora D, Rani A, Sharma A. A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus Calendula. Pharmacogn Rev. 2013;7(14):179-187.
  2. Quave CL. Wound healing with botanicals: A review and future perspectives. Curr Dermatol Rep. 2018;7(4):287-295.
  3. Bragueto Escher G, Cardoso Borges LDC, Sousa Santos J, et al. From the Field to the Pot: Phytochemical and Functional Analyses of Calendula officinalis Flower for Incorporation in an Organic Yogurt. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019;8(11):559.
  4. Preethi KC, Kuttan G, Kuttan R. Anti-inflammatory activity of flower extract of Calendula officinalis Linn. and its possible mechanism of action. Indian J Exp Biol. 2009;47(2):113-120.
  5. Muley B, Khadabadi S, Banarase N. Phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities of Calendulaofficinalis Linn (Asteraceae): A review. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 2009;8(5). 
  6. Community Herbal Monograpg on Calendula officinalis L., flos. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), European Medicines Agency; 2008. 
  7. Naeini A, Miri R, Shafiei N, et al. Effects of topical application of Calendula officinalis gel on collagen and hydroxyproline content of skin in rats. Comparative Clinical Pathology. 2012;21(3):253–7. 
  8. Nicolaus C, Junghanns S, Hartmann A, et al. In vitro studies to evaluate the wound healing properties of Calendula officinalis extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;196:94-103. 
  9. Preethi KC, Kuttan R. Wound healing activity of flower extract of Calendula officinalis. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2009;20(1):73-79.
  10. Saraf S, Sahu S, Kaur CD, et al. Comparative measurement of hydration effects of herbal moisturizers. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010;2(3):146-151. 8490.65508
  11. Akhtar N, Zaman SU, Khan BA, et al, Ebrahimzadeh MA. Calendula extract: effects on mechanical parameters of human skin. Acta Pol Pharm. 2011;68(5):693-701.
  12. Roveroni-Favaretto LH, Lodi KB, Almeida JD. Topical Calendula officinalis L. successfully treated exfoliative cheilitis: a case report. Cases J. 2009;2:9077.
  13. Kang CH, Rhie SJ, Kim YC. Antioxidant and Skin Anti-Aging Effects of Marigold Methanol Extract. Toxicol Res. 2018;34(1):31-39.

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