Calendula During Pregnancy: Uses, Interactions And Side Effects

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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?

Calendula is found in Europe

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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?

The safety of consuming calendula tea during pregnancy is unknown

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Some experts believe that consumption of calendula is not safe during pregnancy, as it can interfere with conception and can cause miscarriage (3).

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?

Topical application of calendula may be safe

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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?

Research suggests that water infusions of calendula flower can cause contractions of the uterus and induce labor (6).

Side Effects Of Calendula

Calendula may cause drowsiness.

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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.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Nelofer Jan, Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, and Riffat John; Calendula officinalis – An Important Medicinal Plant with Potential Biological Properties; Indian National Science Academy
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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shreeja pillai

Shreeja holds a postgraduate degree in Chemistry and diploma in Drug Regulatory Affairs from the University of Mumbai. Before joining MomJunction, she worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. As a writer, she aims at providing informative articles on health...
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Dr. Burcu Saygan Karamürsel

(MD)
Burcu Saygan Karamürsel is a board certified obstetrics - gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine specialist working in Ankara,Turkey. A graduate from Hacettepe University Medical School, she has also attended a fellowship programme at Bonn University Hospital, Perinatology Department. Currently, she runs her own private clinic in Ankara and contributes to several newspapers’ online health columns and websites. She is specialized in...
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