Calendula cream is made from the petal-like florets of the calendula flowers. The florets are used fresh or dried and powdered. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, topical calendula creams and ointments contain 2 to 5 percent calendula. Tinctures may also be used topically, or tea may be used in compresses, but prepared calendula cream has a longer shelf life and provides a ready to use, standardized dose whenever needed. Calendula is listed on the USDA Generally Recognized as Safe botanicals.
Calendula cream is primarily used to treat skin irritations, bruises, burns and open wounds. Calendula improves neovascularization in tissue, or the growth of new tiny capillaries, which improves blood circulation and helps skin wounds heal. It increases the speed of tissue repair for open wounds as well as for tissue injuries such as sunburn. The cream base has a soothing effect on surrounding tissue to aid relief from itching or pain. Calendula cream has also been recommended to treat minor frostbite. Specific studies have not been done to validate these uses.
Radiation Therapy Dermatitis
Radiation treatments for cancer can cause sores and dermatitis at the radiation site. Calendula cream has been used by patients to soothe and help heal these skin conditions. Clinical studies have not been done to verify this use of calendula cream, but according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, homeopathic doctors recommend its use for this type of topical application.
Calendula cream seems to have anti-inflammatory properties, and it may be used to soothe muscle aches, cramps and sprains. The cream may also be used to treat hemorrhoids, according to UMMC, although studies for its use as an anti-inflammatory treatment have not been conducted.
Fern Fischer's print and online work has appeared in publications such as Midwest Gardening, Dolls, Workbasket, Quilts for Today and Cooking Fresh. With a broader focus on organic gardening, health, rural lifestyle, home and family articles, she specializes in topics involving antique and modern quilting, sewing and needlework techniques.