Calendula flower tea was traditionally used internally as a gargle for reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, for soothing sore throats, laryngitis and tonsillitis, coughs, dryness of the lungs and digestive upsets. The tea was also used against fever, cramps and spasms of the digestive and urogenital systems.
The most notable use of calendula, however, is for its use externally on wounds, burns and abrasions - and especially for rejuvenating skin and helping the body to prevent and/or overcome abnormal skin growths. Scientific studies have shown that ointments made with calendula extract are particularly effective for healing wounds, including leg ulcers and other wounds that heal with difficulty. A recent study has shown efficacy for helping to heal surgical wounds after caesarian section. Another recent study showed that a naturopathic preparation containing calendula extract was effective in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media.
The flowers contain high concentrations of colorful orange xanthophylls, carotenoids and other flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants and the flavonoid extract has been shown scientifically to be effective against inflammation, fever and to stimulate bile flow for aiding digestion and cleansing the liver. The aqueous extract has also been shown to have an uterotonic effect. Studies done of the flowers of Egyptian Calendula officinalis L. conducted at the Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan, found hypoglycemic and stomach protective properties for calendula flowers. The principal saponins inhibited an increase in serum glucose levels in glucose-loaded rats and prevented gastric lesions in rats.