ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY OF CALENDULA
Antioxidant capacity of calendula officinalis flowers extract and prevention of radiation induced oropharyngeal mucositis in patients with head and neck cancers: a randomized controlled clinical study.
This study was designed to determine the effect of Calendula officinalis flowers extract mouthwash as oral gel on radiation-induced oropharyngeal mucositis (OM) in patients with head-and-neck cancer. Forty patients with neck and head cancers under radiotherapy or concurrent chemoradiotherapy protocols were randomly assigned to receive either 2% calendula extract mouthwash or placebo (20 patients in each group). Patients were treated with telecobalt radiotherapy at conventional fractionation (200 cGy/fraction, five fractions weekly, 30-35 fractions within 4-7 weeks). The oropharyngeal mucositis was evaluated by two clinical investigators (a radiation oncologist and a dentist), using the oral mucositis assessment scale (OMAS). Trying to find out the possible mechanism of action of the treatment, total antioxidant, polyphenol and flavonoid contents, and quercetin concentration of the mouth wash were measured.
Calendula mouthwash significantly decreased the intensity of OM compared to placebo at week 2 (score: 5.5 vs. 6.8, p = 0.019), week 3 (score: 8.25 vs. 10.95, p < 0.0001) and week 6 (score: 11.4 vs. 13.35, p = 0.031). Total antioxidant, polyphenol and flavonoid contents and quercetin concentration of the 2% extract were 2353.4 ± 56.5 μM, 313.40 ± 6.52 mg/g, 76.66 ± 23.24 mg/g, and 19.41 ± 4.34 mg/l, respectively. Calendula extract gel could be effective on decreasing the intensity of radiotherapy- induced OM during the treatment and antioxidant capacity may be partly responsible for the effect.
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health
Properties of calendula
Calendula, also known as Calendula officinalis or pot marigold, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now cultivated and widely grown in various parts of the world for its medicinal and ornamental properties. Here are some key properties and characteristics of calendula:
- Appearance: Calendula plants typically reach a height of 30-60 centimeters (12-24 inches) and have bright yellow to orange flowers with a distinct daisy-like appearance. The flowers are composed of numerous petals arranged in multiple rows.
- Medicinal Uses: Calendula has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its various healing properties. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal effects. Calendula extracts, oils, and ointments are used to treat skin conditions such as cuts, burns, rashes, and wounds. It is also used in some herbal remedies for digestive issues.
- Skin Care: Calendula is a common ingredient in many skincare products such as creams, lotions, and soaps due to its soothing and moisturizing properties. It is believed to help calm irritated skin, reduce redness, and promote skin healing.
- Culinary Uses: Calendula petals are edible and can be used as a decorative element in salads, soups, and other dishes. They have a slightly peppery taste and can add a vibrant splash of color to culinary creations.
- Companion Planting: Calendula is often used as a companion plant in gardens. It attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies while repelling some pests like aphids. Its bright flowers can also act as a trap crop, diverting pests away from other plants.
- Natural Dye: The vibrant orange and yellow petals of calendula can be used to create natural dyes. They can be boiled to extract color and used to dye fabrics, yarns, or other materials.
- Sustainability: Calendula is considered an easy-to-grow plant that thrives in various climates and soil conditions. It is also known to be a resilient species and can tolerate drought conditions. Its low maintenance requirements make it an environmentally friendly choice for home gardens.
- Symbolic Meanings: Calendula flowers have symbolic meanings in different cultures. They are associated with joy, good luck, and positive energy. In some traditions, calendula is believed to bring protection and healing.