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Calendula Samples for Healthcare Professionals

Radiation dermatitis is one of the most frequently observed acute side effects of radiation treatment. It can have a negative impact on quality of life and can cause delays in treatment. Skin that undergoes multiple sessions of radiation therapy treatment can itch and become red, swollen, and blister. Symptoms can be visible burns, itching, peeling, edema, a rash or other issues. Today, however the standard of care is evolving based on clinical research which points to the benefits of Calendula (marigold). Calendula Officianalis Extract is a natural herb with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that helps moisurize and prepare the skin prior to radiation therapy and soothes the skin after treatments to protect from radiation-induced dermatitis; often a skin side effect of radiation therapy for cancer.

Clinical Research

In 2003, a study implicating over 250 breast cancer patients showed it was possible to drastically diminish and even halt the spread of eczema or radiation-induced dermatitis while undergoing radiation for breast cancer when a calendula-based cream was topically applied twice a day from the very start of the procedures. The occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v 63%; P  .001) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. Moreover, patients receiving calendula had less frequent interruption of radiotherapy and significantly reduced radiation-induced skin side effects.

A 2008 study from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition found that applying calendula extract to skin helped promote healing in animals that suffered burn injuries. Burn discomfort most often treated with calendula include sunburns, shave burns, laser burns and radiation burns.

In 2011, the Oncology Nursing Society published a resource on Radiodermatitis and skin reactions that may occur during radiation therapy, based on the Society's nursing-sensitive patient outcomes and evidence-based practice (EBP) work. In the second volume of Putting Evidence Into Practice: Improving Oncology Patient Outcomes, they summarize findings on topical agents and report that patients who used calendula experienced fewer skin reactions and needed less frequent radiation treatment interruption to manage skin-related side effects of radiation therapy.

Radiation oncologists, nurses, nurse navigators and patient educators in need of samples, may request them by submitting a request here @ Contact Us be sure to include ship to address, contact name and hospital and or treatment center name, work email and telephone number along with your request.

Most recently in 2015, a skin test comparing calendula creams to petroleum-based gel; Implementing Evidence Based Practice in the Prevention of Radiodermatitis in an Outpatient Radiation Oncology Department published by Elsevier Inc. in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, the Official Journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), demonstrated significant effectiveness in decreasing radiation dermatitis to support a change in practice with 85% patient satisfaction with the lotion (calendula) use on intact skin over petroleum based gels. Additionally, below are US medical centers with information on the medical uses of calendula: 

University of Maryland Medical Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center
PennState Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
US National Library of Medicine
University of Michigan

Precautions

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Calendula is generally considered safe to use on your skin. DO NOT apply it to an open wound without a doctor's supervision. People who are allergic to plants in the daisy or aster family, including chrysanthemums and ragweed, may also have an allergic reaction to calendula (usually a skin rash).

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use calendula. In theory, calendula could interfere with conception, and possibly cause miscarriage, so couples trying to get pregnant should not use calendula.

Possible Interactions

There are no known scientific reports of interactions between calendula and conventional or herbal medications. In theory, taking calendula orally may interact with the following medications, so talk to your doctor before combining these drugs with calendula:
  • Sedatives
  • Medications to treat high blood pressure
  • Medications to treat diabetes

 Resources:

  1. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/calendula
  2. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/calendula

  3.  

    http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000228
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/235.html

  5.  

    http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2059009
  6. Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared With Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer P. Pommier, F. Gomez, M.P. Sunyach, A. D’Hombres, C. Carrie, and X. Montbarbon
  7. https://www.ons.org/intervention/calendula
  8. https://www.ons.org/practice-resources/pep/radiodermatitis
  9. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/skinconditions/a/Remedies-For-A-Burn.htm
  10. http://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(15)02472-4/fulltext
  11. http://www.naturalnews.com/043669_calendula_inflammation_chemotherapy.html#
  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula#Pharmacological_effects

 

Disclaimer: Information on this page is for general information only. It is not intended to be used or interpreted as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.

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