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CALENDULA – Calendula officinalis

Usable part of the herb - calendula flowers - Flores Calendulae.

Family – Asteraceae

Description. Calendula is an annual plant with straight, round, branched stem, up to 50 cm. The leaves are large, covered with moss, are lower paw prominent sitting and above - prominent chains, spirally arranged. The flowers are baskets with yellow-orange color, arranged individually on the top of the stem. Peripheral tabs and flowers are female, and the interior - hermaphrodite or men with five stamens.

Distribution. Homeland of calendula is the Mediterranean. Such cultivation as a garden plant throughout the country.

Drugs. The colors of calendula - Flores Calendulae.

The flowers of the plant are harvested in the flowering period (July to August). Dried in the shade or in a drying oven at temperatures up to 40 ° C. The dried herb is yellow with a slight, characteristic smell and slightly bitter taste. stored in a shady, well-ventilated, dry place.

Chemical composition. Calendula flowers contain essential oil (0.02%), a saponin karotonoidi and xanthophylls (carotene, violaxanthin, rubiksantin, tsitroksantin, flavohrom, flavoksantin), bitter substance kalendin, fitosterin, mucilage, flavones, enzymes and others.

Action and use. The flowers of calendula help accelerate healing and epithelialization of ulcers and atopic skin wounds, have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action. Water extracts of calendula have bactericidal action on many pathogenic microorganisms, especially staphylococci and streptococci. Extensive studies on the effects of water extracts of calendula on experimental stomach ulcers in rats show that calendula has pronounced ulcer protective effect, preventing the onset of destructive changes in the lining of the stomach in 40-70% of patients. Therefore Calendula is prescribed for inflammation of the lining of the mouth, stomach and dental quo ulcer, gastritis, dyspepsia children, streptococcal and staphylococcal infections, festering wounds, pyorrhoea, carbuncles and furuncles, burns, ulcers, varicose veins and vascular sclerosis.

The colors of calendula acting sedative of the central nervous system, lower reflex excitability, enhance the activity of the heart, increasing the amplitude of heart contractions and slow rhythm. Prescriptions for heart disease with cardiac rhythm disturbances and hypertension in the climacteric period. 20% alcohol extract of calendula shows a good antihypertensive effect and is used in dentistry to treat stomatitis, aphthous, paradantoza. Water extracts have good action for gall and chronic cholecystitis.

Animal studies suggest that calendula has significant inhibitory effect on some experimental tumors.

Folk medicine recommends the herb calendula and headaches, menopause, jaundice, diseases of the spleen, insufficient and painful menstruation, skin tuberculosis, skin cancer, inflammation of lymph nodes, to improve appetite and sleep and others.

Usage. Flowers applied under form of infusions, decoctions, tinctures, ointments and oil extract. The infusion is prepared from 2 teaspoons of calendula flowers and 400 ml. boiling water. Leave to soak for 2 hours and strained infusion drink 3 times a day before meals. Potion is made from 2 tbsp colors that are boiled in 600 ml. boiling water 3 min., and allowed to soak for 1 hour. A decoction is used externally and gargle for sore mouth. Prepare and tincture (1: 5) with a strong brandy, from which is taken internally for 30-40 drops 3-4 times a day and one teaspoon of the same tincture diluted in 500 ml. water is recommended for compresses and washes. Tincture of calendula flowers with olive oil (1:10) prescribing spreads difficult healing wounds.