Calendula Officinalis - The Essential Features
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Tincture of leaves and flowers.
THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES
Calendula is to lacerated wounds what Arnica is to bruises. Both are considered specifics for injuries (as are Ledum, Bellis perennis and some others). When the skin or an organ is not torn and the external trauma only produces an extravasation of blood, then Arnica will be indicated. However, when there is laceration of the skin or of an organ and inflammation sets in, the correct choice is Calendula; yet this is not always the case, as the injuries have to have additional Calendula characteristics if the remedy is to be effective.
An important characteristic of Calendula is that once there is an injury, inflammation or ulceration, the pain experienced may be very violent, often out of all proportion to the extent of the injury. Also the effect on the general condition of the patient is quite distressing; general weakness which, again, may be much more debilitating than could be expected given the severity of the wound or the ulcer.
Exhaustion may also come from profuse loss of blood from the injured part, or from inflammation with exhausting suppuration and threatening sepsis; but weakness and pain will also be excessive even if the wound is not so severe. During these states of intense pain and weakness, the patient may feel nauseous, as well as suffer other consequences from physical trauma. Chill is a marked feature, and many symptoms occur during chill, as the proving showed; fever and headache may also follow the injury.
Calendula is indicated in cases of injuries of the muscles and tendons (where usually Bryonia and Rhus toxicodendron are given) and where there is intense inflammation and the symptoms look like Bry., but Bry. does not help. The pain will be worse on moving the part and relieved by lying perfectly still. The injured part is sensitive to touch and the wound is painful even after being dressed. However, in Calendula we may also see an amelioration from walking about, and also an aggravation from wet weather (like Rhus-t) with pain coming in paroxysms as in Lachesis.
The constitutional state of Calendula shows an individual with lowered defences, who catches colds frequently, gets tired easily - mentally, emotionally and physically - feels extremely nervous, irritable, fretful, is easily frightened, is very sensitive to noises, and starts from them. The patient gives you the impression of being a weak and frightened individual. Every difficult situation and every stress brings about a state of panic. A fear that something bad is going to happen (as in Causticum or Phosphorus) prevails, a 'feeling as if some overwhelming calamity was hovering over me as to be almost unbearable', as one prover put it, and this fear makes the patient very restless.
These people are very touchy individuals who react with irritability and fretfulness if they are criticised or insulted. A morose and fretful mood may be coupled with anxiety and apprehension, especially during a chill, but also with a sleepy, dream-like state. The mental pain of anguish and despair is so acute that it may become totally intolerable, such that the individual may eventually reach a state of indifference and may even seem callous. (It is interesting to note here that Calendula has been used successfully in cases where the skin of the hands and / or the soles of the feet were thickened, hard, and calloused).
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In an involuntary proving on a baby, Calendula caused screaming, twitching of the hands and face, with colicky pains (seemingly from flatulence). There were even convulsions with fixed eyes, a dark round mouth and vomiting of milk with slime. This was accompanied by extreme nervousness, and the sensitivity to noise mentioned above. Another symptom was a decidedly yellow tint of the skin and also of the stools ('the colour of marigold'). Clarke, who relates this involuntary proving, reports that cases of jaundice have been successfully treated with Calendula. Great irritability that is, like many symptoms in this remedy, aggravated during a chill may be a key-note in these cases.
In injuries, Calendula (in external application, but also per os) promotes healthy granulation tissue and rapid healing, with favourable cicatrization and without disfiguring scars. This tendency to produce granulation has led to its use in cases of excessive 'proud flesh', cicatricial keloids and true keloids. This is especially true when cicatricial tissue is found on the tympanum and impedes the hearing.
Cooper has shown that Calendula is one of the best remedies in loss of hearing, deafness from 'proud flesh' or cicatricial tissue on the tympanum, even if there is no actual injury to this part, but only a concussion of the head or some such causation. He also used it with success in cases where there was a history of suppressed skin eruptions. His main modalities were deafness worse in damp weather and from drinking.
Calendula is well-known as a vulnerary, i.e. to be applied externally, especially for lacerated wounds with loss of tissue, in suppurating wounds and ulcers, in fractures, especially if compound and if repair is slow, and for consequences of a blow, shock or fall. Jahr, who was in Paris in the bloody year of 1849, used the remedy for several victims who had fragmented bones from gunshot wounds; limbs that would otherwise have been amputated were saved by means of Calendula.
This remedy is useful for inflammations due to mechanical trauma (ophthalmia, etc.), neuritis as a result of lacerated wounds and also after surgical operations, or after rupture of the perineum in childbirth. Clarke remarks that 'the application of a sponge saturated with a hot solution of Calendula after delivery gives the greatest comfort to the patient.'
It can be used when wounds from dental operations (extraction of teeth, etc.) do not heal readily and continue to haemorrhage. Its remarkable power to prevent suppuration, sepsis and gangrene has often been confirmed. Boericke praises its 'remarkable power to produce local exudation' and says that it 'helps to make acrid discharge healthy and free.' Bloody and serous infiltration of cellular tissues in open wounds and ulcers (sugillations, suffusions) is also considered as an important indication. It acts very promptly in some cases of carbuncles, subduing pain and fever. It has cured bad or excessive cicatrization, keloids, superfluous 'proud flesh', weakness and other consequences from badly healed injuries or ulcers.
Other indications on which Calendula was given with good results include : paralysis after apoplexy; rheumatism which is worse from motion; chronic vomiting; disturbed menses, especially suppressed menses and ailments from it; and more. 'Applied externally and as a fomentation, particularly the flowers are said to...relieve headaches and toothache' (Hahnemann's Dispensary Dictionary). A general feature is a strong tendency to catch colds, especially in damp weather, and a tendency towards catarrhal conditions. Calendula is most commonly applied externally as a solution, but it has also been used orally (in tincture or potency), either without external application or in order to support its external application. Head Lacerated scalp wounds. Compound skull fractures. Dullness in the head, as if he had a hangover. Heaviness of the head in the morning, as after prolonged illness. Dull, pressing sensation, especially in the occiput. Frontal headache after eating, with a sensation of heat in the forehead. Flushes of heat in the forehead, in the evenings.
Traumatic ophthalmia with suppuration (e.g. from foreign body in eye); conjunctivitis, iritis, keratitis. Lacerated or incised wounds of the eyes. After operations on the eyes or lids where undue inflammation and suppuration is to be avoided. Wounds of the lids and brows which have not been correctly treated and where suppuration has taken place. Franz's proving elicited this symptom: 'White of eyes inflamed, with pressive headaches now in forehead, now in temple when lying, but not when sitting or standing.' Discharge from the lachrymal sac. Dryness and biting of the margins of the lids, as though from smoke. Yellowish vision.
Loss of hearing or deafness, with cicatricial tissue on the tympanum. There may be a history of otorrhoea and suppressed eczema. In one case, a thickening of the epidermis of the back of the hands had remained after suppression of an eczema, and this was the deciding factor for Calendula. Hearing may be better when there is noise around, also when riding on a train or a bus. Distant sounds are heard better. Worse in damp, heavy air; from drinking. Worse when having a cold or when tired. Bathing can trigger the appearance of deafness. Difficulty in distinguishing speech when two or more people speak together; an inability to distinguish where the sound is coming from.
Nose and Face
Coryza in one nostril; with much green discharge. Severe sneezing. 'Black and blue' eyes, from extravasation of the blood after injury. Face puffy and swollen, particularly under the eyes. After taking a tablespoon of the tincture, Price experienced the following: 'Immediately, sensation as if lips were swollen; from the lips it spread to sides of nose, and increased rapidly in intensity. After one hour, lids were much swollen and pupils dilated.
Mouth and Throat
After extraction of teeth, or dental operations resulting in laceration of gums. Burns on the lips, the tongue, scalding of buccal mucous membranes; tongue dry, red and cracked. Submaxillary glands swollen and painful to the touch, as if ulcerated, at the same time axillary glands painful to the touch. Or: submaxillary glands painful, but also without being touched there is a tensive pain which becomes a pressure in the throat, especially on swallowing. Or: drawing tensive pain in the glands behind the left ramus of the lower jaw, when moving the head. Bitter-slimy taste in the throat before eating, but food tastes normal. A case of violent toothache, diagnosed as acute pericoronitis, was treated successfully by a single dose of Calendula C 200 (per os). The symptoms exhibited were: severe pain in the muscles and bone of left lower jaw; worse at night; pain radiating to the left ear; tired, weak and nauseous; general aggravation from heat. The reason for prescribing Calendula was due to the advice from a workshop the practitioner had attended that the remedy was to be considered for any septic condition when another remedy was not indicated. (Gregory Pais, Simillimum, Winter 1991, p.82).
Heartburn with horripilation (hair standing up) is a peculiar symptom. Sinking sensation; attacks of nausea or nauseous feeling. Nausea felt in the chest. Chronic vomiting: after catching a cold; with cardialgia, hectic fever and emaciation; with pain in the uterine region; preceded by diarrhoea. Epigastric distension.
Dull, coarse stitches in the middle of the right side of the abdomen upon motion, ceasing during rest. On walking, a boring and digging pain in the umbilical region. Enteritis caused by a foreign body. Constant soreness of the abdomen and tenderness in the left iliac region, with frequent, almost entirely mucous stools.
Stool preceded by pinching and anxiety in the hypogastrium, with a chill. Diarrhoea: with flatulence; excoriating anus; with vomiting. Constipation: with flatulence, strains, but passes no stool; from retroversion of the uterus.
Injury to the bladder after an operation. Tearing in the urethra during a chill. Clarke mentions that difficulty in passing water, such as is commonly encountered in old men, was entirely removed for some days after the person had chewed a leaf of Calendula for some minutes. Frequent urination with pale, clear urine, which is very hot and burns, or dark, offensive urine.
Genitalia – Male
Mechanical excoriation of the mucous surface of the prepuce, after coitus; cured >n two days by a lotion of Calendula 200, a few globules dissolved in water (Journal of Homoeopathic Clinics, vol. 4, p. 116).
Genitalia – Female
Swelling and induration of the uterus; with stretching and dragging in the groin; sense of fullness and weight in the pelvis; rnenorrhagia; constipation from occasional retroversion; pain on sudden movement. Prolapsus. Ulceration of os uteri; with offensive leucorrhoea. Condylomata at os externum. Calendula has even been used in uterine and breast cancer. It helps when there is a rupture of the cervix uteri and perineum during childbirth, or for a lacerated womb after a Caesarean section. Inflammation of the genitals, with a lacerated hymen, from coitus or other causes. Excoriated and cracked nipples. Nodosities in the breast. Menses suppressed; with cough. Profuse, offensive watery discharge from the vagina, with great exhaustion, after instrumental delivery. Inflammation of the vulva resulting from cutting or tearing the parts.
Drawing pressure in the left side of the chest and on the sternum, with stitches in the right side.
Cough with hoarseness, green expectoration; with distension of the inguinal ring. Pressure and oppression on the left side of the chest, during the evening in bed. i
Neck and Back
Pressing-tearing pain between the scapulae. Rheumatic drawing pain in the right side of the neck, increased when bending the neck to the right and when lifting the right arm, extending to the shoulder. Pressive pain with sensation as if ulcerated and bruised under angle of the right scapula.
Drawing-pressive tension in the hands and ankle joints, during rest. Pain as if beaten at the outer side of the knees when sitting. Burning tearing pain on top of the calf, when sitting. Drawing, cramp-like pain at the inner margin of the sole of the foot, when sitting. Tired, weary feeling in the lower extremities; hands and feet cold. Ulcus cruris varicosum. Deep, ragged ulcers with frequent intense pain, profuse suppuration, and a discharge with an offensive stench (compare Calc-s.). Erysipelas and gangrene after crushing the foot.
Feels as if he would fall from a height, when falling asleep. Restless sleep, finds rest in no position, frequent waking, frequent urge to urinate, drinks much.
The chill and fever symptoms from Franz's proving are remarkable, strong and numerous. Chilly all morning, with great sensitivity to the open air. Almost all the symptoms make their appearance during a chill. Anxious, morose, apprehensive mood during chill. Chill in the hands and the feet all morning, without thirst; with drawing-pressive pains throughout the whole body; the ribs ache as if compressed and beaten, after having sat for some time. Shivering and goose-flesh, though the skin is warm to the touch. Shivering on the back, with pressure on the last true rib of the left side and movements in the pit of the stomach and abdomen which make him feel as if he would faint. Heat in the afternoon, intermingled with shivering, and frequent thirst, but drinking always causes shivering and a shaking chill. Great heat in the evening in bed, begins to perspire, the feet, in particular, burn intensely and sweat. Great heat all morning, with profuse sweat, a nauseous feeling in the chest, and the shoulders are very hot. Sensation of heat in the afternoon in the hands (which are otherwise cold) and the whole head, intermingled with shivering, thirstlessness, almost an aversion to drinking.
Skin Dermic thickening, callous, especially on the backs of the hands or the soles of the feet. A yellow tint to the skin; jaundice. Old, neglected wounds which become offensive. Keloids. Ailments from bad or excessive cicatrization. Some cases show that Calendula can exert a favourable influence upon cutaneous cancers (malignant epithelioma, etc.). Traumatic erysipelas.
Abscess. Balanitis. Breast, suppurating; nodosities in. Bubo. Burns. Carbuncle. Chilblains. Deafness. Eyes, inflamed. Fever. Fistula. Glandular swellings. Jaundice. Labour. Nails, pulp of, inflamed. Nipples, sore. Suppuration. Tetanus. Ulcers. Uterus, inflammation of: cancer of; offensive discharge from. Varicosis. Whitlow. Wounds.
Calendula contains a lot of nitrogen and phosphoric acid. Antidoted by: Arn. Incompatible: Camph. Complementary: Hep. Compatible: Arn., Ars., Bry., Nit-ac, Phos., Rhus-t. Follows well: Ars. Is followed well by: Arn., Hep. Compare: Arn., Ars., Bry., Calc-s., Carb-an., Carb-v., Ham., Hep., Hyper., Led., Nit-ac, Phos., Rhus-t, Ruta, Sal-ac, Sul-ac, Symph. Notes: