Calendula

calendula flowerWhat is Calendula?

Calendula is a wonderful healing herb. It is derived from Calendula officinalis, the Pot Marigold. The name "calendula" refers to the plant’s tendency to bloom according to the calendar, either once a month or at the new moon. Some sources also refer to calendula by its medieval name, "poor man's saffron," because it lends vibrant colour and flavour to soups, rice, and chowders. These days, the colourful petals are a popular addition to salads.

Modern laboratory studies indicate that calendula flowers do indeed have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic (antibacterial and antiviral) properties, and may even offer immune-supporting actions. The benefits of calendula in healing burns and wounds have also been demonstrated in research studies

Why recommend administration of Calendula to my pet?

Calendula is used topically for its anti-inflammatory and weak anti-bacterial properties. Clinical experience with Calendula suggests it can accelerate wound healing. It is very useful for applying to wounds after surgery, grazes, cuts and scrapes.

Diluted Calendula tea can also be used as an ear and eye wash and as a mouth wash to help with gingivitis. Calendula tincture is used by veterinary herbalists to treat gastric ulceration and inflammation.

How much experience is there with the use of Calendula in pets?

Calendula has been used as creams and lotions for many years in pets. Dogs and cats are the pets normally treated with Calendula topically with creams or washes.

How much research has been conducted on this supplement?

Numerous studies have been conducted on Calendula. It has accelerated rates of wound contraction in rat studies, reduced ulcer size in humans compared to control and has been studied as a topical treatment for gum disease. Most of our knowledge regarding Calendula comes from laboratory research, clinical experience, and herbal lore.

How safe is Calendula?

Calendula is considered a non-toxic plant but it should not be used in pregnancy since some of its constituents can increase the tone of the uterus which might stimulate contractions. Small amounts of salicylic acid (a precursor to aspirin) and saponins may also be found in Calendula. While the amount is extremely small and unlikely to cause any problem at all, care should be exercised when administering Calendula internally to cats.

Allergic reactions are common to plants of the Aster family, of which Calendula is a member. There is a potential risk of mild irritation when Calendula is applied to skin or to eyes or wounds. It is estimated that perhaps only one percent of people may experience such a reaction and perhaps even fewer animals. Avoid using it in animals with known allergies to the daisy family- Asteraceae

If redness or itch occurs in response to Calendula, discontinue its use.

potential benefit in wound healing and healing of stomach ulcersWhere do I obtain Calendula and do I need a prescription?

A prescription is not needed for Calendula. Although products are available from health-food shops and pharmacies, please see us to discuss the most appropriate products.  

Calendula comes in creams, ointments and as a liquid that you can add to cooled boiled water to bathe wounds.

Creams and ointments can be applied two to four times daily. It is often a good idea to apply before a meal or walk to dogs as this will distract them. If necessary, cover the area with a sock or T-shirt to allow the active ingredient to get into the skin.

The most important thing with treating any skin wound is to keep the area as clean as possible.

If you would like to use Calendula with your pet, please ask one of the vets.

© Copyright 2015 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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