Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for CALENDULA are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • Anal tears (anal fissures). Early research suggests that that applying calendula to the affected area may reduce pain in people with anal tears who do not respond to treatment with sitz baths and the medication nifedipine.
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina (bacterial vaginosis). Early research suggests that applying vaginal cream containing calendula might improve burning, odor, and pain in women with bacterial vaginosis.
  • Diabetic foot ulcers. Early research shows that using a spray in addition to standard care and hygiene might prevent infection and decrease odor in people with long-term foot ulcers from diabetes.
  • Diaper rash. Some early research suggests that applying a calendula ointment to the skin for 10 days improves diaper rash compared to aloe gel. But other early research shows that applying cream does not improve diaper rash as effectively as bentonite solution.
  • Peeling lips (exfoliative cheilitis). Early research shows that using calendula ointment for 15 days might help stop peeling lips.
  • Gum inflammation. Early research shows that rinsing the mouth with a specific tincture for 6 months might decrease plaque, gum inflammation, and bleeding by 10% to 18% compared to using water to rinse. Other early research shows that rinsing the mouth with a combination mouthwash containing calendula, rosemary, and ginger for 2 weeks decreases plaque, gum inflammation, and bleeding compared to placebo mouthwash. In fact, the combination mouthwash seems to work as effectively as chlorhexidine mouthwash.
  • Insect repellant. Applying calendula essential oil to the skin does not seem to repel mosquitoes as effectively as applying DEET.
  • White patches on the gums (oral leukoplakia). Using tobacco can cause white patches to develop inside the mouth. Early research suggests that applying calendula gel inside the mouth might reduce the size of these white patches.
  • Painful mouth sores (oral mucositis). Some cancer drugs cause painful sores to form inside the mouth. Using a mouth rinse containing calendula and other ingredients doesn’t seem to prevent these mouth sores in people treated with cancer drugs.
  • Ear infections (otitis media). Early research shows that applying a specific product that contains mullein, garlic, calendula, and St. John’s wort to the ear for 3 days reduces ear pain in children and teenagers with ear infections.
  • Pressure ulcers. Early research shows that using a specific calendula product might improve the healing of long-term pressure ulcers. Applying a homeopathic powder (RGN107) containing calendula and arnica might also reduce pain and odor of pressure ulcers in people in hospice care.
  • Prostate swelling and pelvic pain. Early research shows that using a rectal suppository containing turmeric and calendula daily for one month reduces pain and may improve urination in men with this condition.
  • Skin inflammation due to radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis). Early research suggests that applying ointment on the skin might reduce radiation dermatitis in people receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer. However, other early research shows that using a calendula cream is no different than petroleum jelly for reducing radiation dermatitis.
  • Thinning of the wall of the vagina (vaginal atrophy). Early research suggests that applying a gel containing calendula, Lactobacillus sporogenes, isoflavones, and lactic acid to the vagina for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of vaginal atrophy such as vaginal itching, burning, dryness, and pain during intercourse.
  • Vaginal yeast infection. Early research shows that applying calendula cream inside the vagina for 7 days does not treat yeast infections as effectively as using clotrimazole cream.
  • Leg ulcers. Early research shows that applying a calendula ointment to the skin speeds up the healing of leg ulcers caused by poor blood circulation.
  • Wound healing. Early research shows that applying calendula ointment to an episiotomy wound for 5 days after childbirth reduces redness, bruising, swelling, and discharge. The calendula ointment might improve these symptoms better than the betadine solution.
  • Cancer.
  • Fever.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Promoting menstruation.
  • Treating mouth and throat soreness.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of calendula for these uses.

Side Effects Of Calendula

Preparations of calendula flower are LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.

Warnings & Precautions

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take calendula by mouth if you are pregnant. It is LIKELY UNSAFE. There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid topical use as well until more is known.
  • There is not enough reliable information about the safety of using calendula if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Dosage Of Calendula

The appropriate dose of calendula depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for calendula. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist.


All information have been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.