This is another in our continuing series on what actually makes ChopSaver all-natural lip balm so great. Today, we feature a flower called Calendula (what we usually refer to as the common Marigold) including some scientific research on this beautiful yet therapeutic plant.


Calendula (Calendula officinalis) comes from the flower petals of the calendula plant or marigold, and has been used for medicinal purposes since at least the 12th century. Calendula contains high amounts of flavonoids which are plant-based anti-oxidants that protect the body against cell-damaging free radicals. Researchers are still learning what active ingredients in calendula are responsible for its healing properties, but it appears to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-bacterial effects. The following studies demonstrate Calendula has been shown to be effective against skin inflammation, skin dryness and even in experiments with cancer cells.


Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of  constituents of marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers.

J Nat Prod. Dec 2006;69(12):1692-1696

Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, et al.


Ten oleanane-type triterpene glycosides, 1-10, including four new compounds, calendulaglycoside A 6′-O-methyl ester (2), calendulaglycoside A 6′-O-n-butyl ester (3), calendulaglycoside B 6′-O-n-butyl ester (5), and calendulaglycoside C 6′-O-n-butyl ester (8), along with five known flavonol glycosides, 11-15, were isolated from the flowers of marigold (Calendula officinalis). Upon evaluation of compounds 1-9 for inhibitory activity against 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced inflammation (1 microg/ear) in mice, all of the compounds, except for 1, exhibited marked anti-inflammatory activity, with ID50 values of 0.05-0.20 mg per ear. In addition, when 1-15 were evaluated against the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) activation induced by TPA, compounds 1-10 exhibited moderate inhibitory effects (IC50 values of 471-487 mol ratio/32 pmol TPA). Furthermore, upon evaluation of the cytotoxic activity against human cancer cell lines in vitro in the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Program, two triterpene glycosides, 9 and 10, exhibited their most potent cytotoxic effects against colon cancer, leukemia, and melanoma cells.

Wound Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Animal Models of Calendula officinalis L. Growing in Brazil.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:375671. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

Parente LM, Lino Júnior Rde S, Tresvenzol LM, Vinaud MC, de Paula JR, Paulo NM.


Calendula officinalis is an annual herb from Mediterranean origin which is popularly used in wound healing and as an anti-inflammatory agent. In this study, the ethanolic extract, the dichloromethane, and hexanic fractions of the flowers from plants growing in Brazil were produced. This experimental study revealed that C. officinalis presented anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities as well as angiogenic and fibroplastic properties acting in a positive way on the inflammatory and proliferative phases of the healing process.

Antioxidant properties of some hydroalcoholic plant extracts with anti-inflammatory activity.

Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2003 Jul-Dec;62(3-4):217-27.

Herold A, Cremer L, Calugăru A, Tamaş V, Ionescu F, Manea S, Szegli G.


The hydroalcoholic extracts of Calendula officinalis, Hypericum perforatum, Plantago lanceolata and Glycyrrhiza glabra which exhibited different anti-inflammatory activities were evaluated for the possible mode of action by studying their antioxidant potential. In the present study we investigated if standardized hydroalcoholic extracts of plants such as Calendula officinalis, Hypericum perforatum, Plantago lanceolata and Glycyrrhiza glabra produced by Hofigal Stock Company could modulate the respiratory burst of human activated neutrophils, as a consequence of their antioxidant capacity. We demonstrated that Hypericum perforatum and Calendula officinalis hydroalcoholic extracts possessed a significant antioxidant activity while Plantago lanceolata and Glycyrrhiza glabra hydroalcoholic extracts had a minor antioxidant status. These results confirm the potential of Calendula officinalis and Hypericum perforatum investigated hydroalcoholic extracts as medicinal remedies to be used in different inflammatory/allergic diseases. These extracts could be a useful tool for obtaining new antioxidant/anti-inflammatory agents.

Calendula extract: effects on mechanical parameters of human skin.

Acta Pol Pharm. 2011 Sep-Oct;68(5):693-701.

Akhtar N, Zaman SU, Khan BA, Amir MN, Ebrahimzadeh MA.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of newly formulated topical cream of Calendula officinalis extract on the mechanical parameters of the skin by using the cutometer. The Cutometer 580 MPA is a device that is designed to measure the mechanical properties of the skin in response to the application of negative pressure. This non-invasive method can be useful for objective and quantitative investigation of age related changes in skin, skin elasticity, skin fatigue, skin hydration, and evaluation of the effects of cosmetic and antiaging topical products. Two creams (base and formulation) were prepared for the study. Both the creams were applied to the cheeks of 21 healthy human volunteers for a period of eight weeks. Every individual was asked to come on week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and measurements were taken by using Cutometer MPA 580 every week. Different mechanical parameters of the skin measured by the cutometer were; R0, R1, R2, R5, R6, R7, and R8. These were then evaluated statistically to measure the effects produced by these creams. Using ANOVA, and t-test it was found that R0, and R6 were significant (p <0.05) whereas R1, R2, R5, R7, R8 were insignificant (p > 0.05). The instrumental measurements produced by formulation reflected significant improvements in hydration and firmness of skin.

Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer

J Clin Oncol. 2004 Apr 15;22(8):1447-53.

Pommier P, Gomez F, Sunyach MP, D’Hombres A, Carrie C, Montbarbon X.


PURPOSE: The effectiveness of nonsteroid topical agents for the prevention of acute dermatitis during adjuvant radiotherapy for breast carcinoma has not been demonstrated. The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of calendula (Pommade au Calendula par Digestion; Boiron Ltd, Levallois-Perret, France) with that of trolamine (Biafine; Genmedix Ltd, France), which is considered in many institutions to be the reference topical agent.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between July 1999 and June 2001, 254 patients who had been operated on for breast cancer and who were to receive postoperative radiation therapy were randomly allocated to application of either trolamine (128 patients) or calendula (126 patients) on the irradiated fields after each session. The primary end point was the occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher. Prognostic factors, including treatment modalities and patient characteristics, were also investigated. Secondary end points were the occurrence of pain, the quantity of topical agent used, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: The occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v 63%; P <.001) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. Moreover, patients receiving calendula had less frequent interruption of radiotherapy and significantly reduced radiation-induced pain. Calendula was considered to be more difficult to apply, but self-assessed satisfaction was greater. Body mass index and adjuvant chemotherapy before radiotherapy after lumpectomy were significant prognostic factors for acute dermatitis.

CONCLUSION: Calendula is highly effective for the prevention of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher and should be proposed for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast cancer.

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