Calendula officinalis… the Antiseptic

- Dr. S. Saravanan

     Calendula Officinalis is native to Europe but because of its beauty and adaptability, gardeners have spread it around the world. The flowers range in color from mild yellow to deep orange, and because of their intensity have been called "Golden drops of Sunshine ". "Caleds" means first day of month. This flower blooms on the first day of the month or at least once in a month.

      Shakespeare speaks in A Winter's Talc of Calendula "that goes to bed with sun and with him rises weepping ". Since ancient times the East Indian, Arabs, Romans, Greeks all noted how Calendula's flowers open in the morning and close in the evening and how the flowering seasons extends for many months. Calendula once held a prominent place in European Kitchen Gardens where it was grown for use in Soups and broths. For centuries the English and Germans believed that eating the flowers maintained health throughout the winter. Stevens, Author of 'Countrie Farme', in 17th century England, claims that "No broths are well made without dried Marigold". Sweet flower conserves were also served in the morning before breakfast.

      Calendula officinalis is the chief homoeopathic medicine for wounds. It is magical in its ability to soothe pain, stop bleeding, promote rapid healing, and prevent scarring. It is also an excellent antiseptic, thereby preventing infections. It should be part of every midwife's bag of tricks.

      Calendula preparations are widely used as an external application available in the market as liniments, lotions, and ointments. Cosmetically Calendula juice is used as a hair - coloring agent, which gives yellow and golden colour. Calendula is mixed with chamomile, lavender for making baby oil and creams. Many pharmaceutical preparations are available as talcum powder also! Calendula is used internally, preferably in low potency to treat many septic conditions.

      Physiological action of calendula is mainly on circulatory system. Through vasomotor system the capillary vessels become partially paralyzed and consequently receive more blood, which attracts large amount white blood cells together with viscosity or adhesive qualities.

Dr. William Boericke has written

      "A most remarkable healing agent, applied locally. Useful for open wounds; parts that will not heal, ulcers, etc. Promotes healthy granulations and rapid healing by first intention."

      "Locally. Aqueous Calendula for all wounds, internally tincture, to third potency. Use Calendula Cerate for burns sores, fissures, and abrasions."

      Calendula contains essential oil, flavonol glycosides, saponins, triterpene alcohols, sterols, carotenes, xanthophylls, polysaccharides, tannins and other constituents. Contains much nitrogen and phosphoric acid.

      Calendula is indicated when the individual feels worse in damp, heavy, cloudy weather. There is a tendency to get cold easily and is greatly affected by the cold. As the season shifts from summer into chilly fall days, many people are susceptible to colds and flues. I think Calendula gives us an important hint by not only surviving, but also thriving through the shift in seasons.

Bibliography :

  • Encyclopedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia - P N Verma
  • Indian Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia
  • Indian Herbology - Alma Hutchens
  • Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia - Kathi Keville
  • Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica - J H Clarke
  • Lectures on Materia Medica - J T Kent
  • Systematic Materia Medica - K N Mathur
  • Physiological Materia Medica - William Burt
  • Synoptic Key to Materia Medica - C M Boger
  • The Flora Homoeopathica - Hamilton
  • Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica - William Boericke
  • The Gems of Homoeopathic Materia Medica - J D Patil
  • Plants that Heal - Dr J C Kurian
  • Desktop Guide to Keynotes and confirmatory Symptoms - Roger Morrison, M.D.

Dr. S. Saravanan BHMS
V. S. Homoeopathy Clinic
Shuttarhi Complex
Junction Main Road, Salem - 636 005
Phone : 0427-2440039
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