The flowers of the marigold or calendula have many therapeutic uses. For example, its extract is used to treat several skin conditions. If you are being suggested to use this flower extract while carrying, here’s all you need to know about calendula during pregnancy. Calendula has many phytochemicals with anti-spasmodic, antipyretic, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. It is also rich in carotenoids, carbohydrates, and phenolic compounds, making it a common ingredient in many medications (1). However, it may feel unsafe to use an unknown substance during pregnancy. Read on to know more about calendula, their uses, and side effects.
Are Marigolds The Same As Calendula?
No. Calendula is different from ornamental marigolds, which are commonly found in gardens (2) Calendula is typically found in Europe, Western Asia, and the US, and blooms from early spring until frost with orange-yellow flowers (3).
General Medicinal Uses Of Calendula
Calendula is used to treat wounds, ulcers, skin damage, frostbite, and eye diseases. It is also used in suspension or in tinctures used for topical application to treat acne, inflammation, to soothe irritated skin tissue, treat yeast infections, and varicose veins (4).
Is Calendula Safe During Pregnancy?
A study on the effects of hydroalcohol extract from Calendula officinalis flowers on the reproductive function of female Wistar rats showed mixed results. The extract was non-toxic when administered during preimplantation and organogenic period (a stage when the embryo forms a few organs). However, it caused a decrease in maternal weight when given during the fetal period (when the embryo had turned into a fetus) (5). Despite the research on rats, there are no studies to determine its safety among pregnant women.
Is It Safe To Use Calendula Topically During Pregnancy?
European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) does not recommend the topical use of calendula since there is no data to determine its safety during pregnancy (6).
Calendula is used as one of the ingredients in stretch marks removal oil, which is considered effective and does not show any adverse reactions (7). Also, many topical creams and oils contain calendula among its ingredients. Always check the ingredients of a cream or oil and discuss its safety with your obstetrician before using it.
Is Calendula Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Side Effects Of Calendula
Apart from likely being unsafe during pregnancy, there are no specific side effects of calendula. It may cause drowsiness when combined with some medications used during or after surgery (2).
Consult your doctor before using any ingredient whose safety is questionable during pregnancy. If some specific ingredients are not suitable for consumption, you should avoid them until after delivery. The same is with calendula during pregnancy. Although it can treat several skin conditions, experts suggest not using it topically or taking it orally in tea form during pregnancy. It is likely to cause uterine contractions and miscarriage. Therefore, avoiding it is a better idea.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for a doctor’s consultation. Do not use any medication without talking to your doctor.
2. Calendula; Medline Plus; US National Library of Medicine
3. Calendula; Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; PennState Hershey
4. Vrish Ashwlayan; Therapeutic Potential of Calendula officinalis; Research Gate
5. Silva EJ et al., Reproductive assessment of hydroalcohol extract of Calendula officinalis L. in Wistar rats; NCBI (2009)
6. Assessment report on Calendula officinalis; European Medicines Agency
7. Summers B, The effect of a topically-applied cosmetic oil formulation on striae distensae; African Journals Online
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Dr. Burcu Saygan Karamürsel(MD)
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