Are Calendula Leaves Poisonous? Everything You Need to Know

Are calendula leaves poisonous? This is one of the most common questions asked by gardeners who love to grow this beautiful herb in their backyard. The calendula plant is known for its bright and vibrant orange-yellow flowers that bloom during the summer season. Not only do they add charm to any garden, but the plant is also known for its medicinal properties. However, despite the many benefits of calendula, one question that continues to baffle gardeners is whether its leaves are toxic or not.

If you’re a gardener or a nature enthusiast, you might be curious to know the answer to this burning question. Calendula leaves are often used in herbal remedies and medicines, making it a desirable plant to cultivate in your backyard. However, there are some concerns about the toxicity of the plant, especially if it’s consumed in large quantities. The question of whether calendula leaves are poisonous or not is an important one for gardeners to understand.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the topic and explore whether or not calendula leaves are safe for consumption. We’ll look at the different parts of the plant, including the flowers, stems, and leaves, and explore their potential toxicity. We’ll also look at the benefits of calendula and why it’s an important plant to have in your garden. So whether you’re a veteran gardener or just starting out, join us as we uncover the truth about calendula and its leaves.

Health benefits of calendula leaves

Calendula leaves belong to the marigold family and are known for their medicinal properties. The flowers and leaves of the calendula plant are used in various forms, such as ointments, teas, and tinctures, to treat a range of health conditions. Here are some of the health benefits of calendula leaves:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Calendula leaves have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the body.
  • Antibacterial: The leaves of the calendula plant have antibacterial properties that can help fight off infections and promote wound healing.
  • Antioxidant: Calendula leaves are rich in antioxidants that can protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress.

Calendula leaf tea

Calendula leaves can be made into a tea that has many health benefits. The tea can be made by steeping fresh or dried calendula leaves in hot water for several minutes. Here are some benefits of calendula tea:

  • Immune system support: Calendula tea can help boost the immune system and may be helpful for treating colds and flu.
  • Relaxation: Calendula tea has a calming effect on the body and can help promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
  • Digestive aid: Drinking calendula tea may help soothe digestive issues such as bloating, cramps, and constipation.

Calendula leaf extract

Calendula leaf extract is another form of the plant that can be used for medicinal purposes. The extract is made by soaking calendula leaves in alcohol or oil to extract the active compounds. Here are some benefits of calendula leaf extract:

  • Acne treatment: Calendula leaf extract has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it an effective treatment for acne.
  • Wound healing: Applying calendula leaf extract to wounds may help promote healing and reduce inflammation and infection.
  • Preventing wrinkles: Calendula extract has antioxidants that can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.


Calendula leaves offer many health benefits that make them a valuable addition to any medicinal cabinet. Whether you choose to use calendula leaves in tea form or as an extract, they can help support your immune system, reduce inflammation and infection, and promote relaxation and rejuvenation.

Benefits Forms
Anti-inflammatory Ointments, teas, tinctures
Antibacterial Ointments, teas, tinctures
Antioxidant Ointments, teas, tinctures
Immune system support Tea
Relaxation Tea
Digestive aid Tea
Acne treatment Extract
Wound healing Extract
Preventing wrinkles Extract

Overall, incorporating calendula leaves into your health and wellness routine can offer a variety of benefits that can help support your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Speak with a healthcare professional to determine the best way to incorporate calendula leaves into your lifestyle.

How to prepare calendula leaves for consumption

Calendula leaves are edible and can be a great addition to your diet. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have a slightly bitter flavor. However, before consuming calendula leaves, it is essential to prepare them properly to avoid any side effects.

  • Wash the leaves: Before consuming calendula leaves, it is crucial to wash them thoroughly with cold water to get rid of any dirt or impurities.
  • Remove the stem: The stem of the calendula leaf can be hard to digest, and it is best to remove it before consuming the leaf. You can either use a knife to cut it off or gently pull it off with your fingers.
  • Use fresh leaves: It is advisable to use fresh calendula leaves for consumption, as they have higher nutritional value than dried leaves.

Calendula leaves can be consumed in several ways:

  • Raw: Calendula leaves can be eaten raw in salads or as a garnish for dishes to add color and nutrition.
  • Cooked: Calendula leaves can be cooked in soups, stews, and stir-fries, to add a slightly bitter flavor to the dish.
  • Tea: Calendula leaves can be used to make tea by steeping them in hot water for a few minutes. The tea has a slightly bitter and floral taste and is known for its medicinal benefits.

It is important to note that although calendula leaves are edible, some people may be allergic to them. It is always advisable to start with a small amount of calendula leaves and observe any adverse reactions before consuming large amounts.

Benefits of Calendula Leaves:
Calendula leaves are known for their medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Some of the benefits of calendula leaves are:
1. Calendula leaves are rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against free radicals and reduce inflammation.
2. Calendula leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which help to fight infections and improve overall immune system function.
3. Calendula leaves are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
4. Calendula leaves are beneficial for skin health and are used in many skincare products to soothe and heal skin irritations, wounds, and rashes.

Potential side effects of consuming calendula leaves

While calendula leaves are generally considered safe for consumption, there are potential side effects that should not be ignored or taken lightly. Here, we discuss some of the most common side effects that can occur after consuming calendula leaves.

  • Upset stomach: Consuming large quantities of calendula leaves can cause an upset stomach, leading to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also cause bloating and abdominal pain, which can be uncomfortable and disruptive.
  • Allergic reactions: Individuals who are allergic to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family, such as daisies or ragweed, may also be allergic to calendula leaves. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe and may include hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Interaction with medications: Calendula leaves may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, sedatives, and anti-inflammatory drugs. If you are taking any medications, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming calendula leaves.

To avoid potential side effects, it is important to consume calendula leaves in moderation. It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming calendula leaves, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions or are taking any medications. Additionally, if you experience any adverse reactions after consuming calendula leaves, seek medical attention immediately.

In summary, while calendula leaves are generally safe for consumption, it is important to be aware of potential side effects and to consume them in moderation.

Differences between calendula leaves and marigold leaves

Calendula and marigold are two different plants, but they are often confused because they belong to the same family. Calendula leaves are commonly used in salads, while marigold leaves are usually used for medicinal purposes. Here are the main differences between calendula leaves and marigold leaves:

  • Calendula leaves are green, while marigold leaves are green and have yellow or orange spots.
  • Calendula leaves are longer and narrower than marigold leaves.
  • Calendula leaves have a mild flavor, while marigold leaves have a bitter taste.

It is important to note that the petals of both calendula and marigold flowers are edible, and the leaves are non-toxic. However, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming any plant for medicinal or dietary purposes.

Potential health benefits of calendula leaves

Calendula leaves have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries due to their potential health benefits. Here are some possible benefits:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Aids in wound healing
  • May help with digestive issues
  • May help in reducing menstrual cramps and regulating menstrual cycles

While these potential benefits are promising, more studies are needed to fully understand the effects of calendula leaves on human health.

How to use calendula leaves

Calendula leaves can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Adding the leaves to salads for a mild flavor
  • Making a tea by steeping the leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • Using the leaves as a poultice for wounds or skin irritations
  • Making a calendula infused oil for topical use

It is important to use organic calendula leaves and to avoid consuming them if you have any allergies to plants in the same family as calendula.

Calendula leaves and marigold leaves in skincare

Both calendula and marigold leaves are known for their potential benefits in skincare due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Here is a comparison table between the two:

Property Calendula leaves Marigold leaves
Anti-inflammatory High Moderate
Antioxidant High Moderate
Skin soothing High Moderate

Overall, both calendula and marigold leaves can be beneficial for the skin, and their effectiveness may vary depending on personal preferences and skincare needs.

Uses of Calendula Leaves in Traditional Medicine

Calendula, also known as pot marigold, is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various health conditions. Today, calendula is still used in many countries for its medicinal properties, which have been scientifically proven to be effective.

1. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Calendula leaves contain compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it an effective remedy for treating various inflammatory conditions such as ulcers, dermatitis, and hemorrhoids. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it a good option for treating sore throats, conjunctivitis, and even cancer.

2. Skin Healing Properties

The leaves of calendula contain flavonoids, which help in promoting the healing of wounds and cuts. It also helps in reducing the appearance of scars. Calendula leaves are used to treat sunburns, eczema, rashes, and other skin irritations.

3. Antimicrobial Properties

  • Calendula leaves contain triterpenoids that display antimicrobial activity, which makes it a useful treatment for preventing infections. It is especially useful for healing cuts, scrapes, and burns.
  • Calendula leaves contain carotenoids that have been found to possess antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which make it effective in treating viral and bacterial infections.

4. Anti-Cancer Properties

Calendula leaves have been found to have anti-cancer properties, making it beneficial for individuals with cancer. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which help prevent cancer cells from growing. The leaves of calendula have been found to be effective in treating cancer of the cervix, breast, liver, and lung.

5. Digestive System Health

Calendula Benefits for Digestive System How it Works
Calming Stomach Ulcers and Gastritis Calendula leaves contain flavonoids and essential oils that are soothing to the digestive system, including the stomach. Consuming calendula leaves or drinking calendula tea can help alleviate pain, calm inflammation, and promote healing of the digestive tract.
Relaxing Spasms Caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) The anti-inflammatory properties found in calendula leaves can help calm the muscles of the digestive tract, which can help reduce painful cramping and spasms. This makes it an excellent herbal remedy for people with irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disorders.
Promoting Digestion Drinking a cup of calendula tea before a meal can help stimulate the production and flow of bile, which can enhance digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

Calendula leaves are a powerful and natural remedy for maintaining digestive system health, and it can help alleviate a variety of symptoms associated with digestive disorders.

Calendula leaves in cosmetics and skincare

Calendula leaves have been used for decades to create skincare products due to their numerous benefits to the skin. The plant has been widely popular for its superb skincare properties as its leaves have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

  • Healing Properties: Calendula leaves have been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis due to their antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Calendula leaves contain antioxidants that help protect the skin from the damage caused by free radicals.
  • Softening and Soothing Properties: Calendula leaves are known for their ability to soothe and soften the skin. They are ideal for those with sensitive skin as they help calm redness and irritation.

Calendula leaves can be used as a primary ingredient in skincare products such as creams, lotions, and balms. They can also be used in facial toners to help balance the skin’s pH levels, or as an astringent to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.

However, it is essential to note that calendula leaves should be used in the right concentration in cosmetics and skincare products. Excess use of these leaves can cause skin irritations. It is always advisable to consult a dermatologist before applying any skincare product that contains calendula leaves.

Benefits Skincare Products with Calendula Leaves
Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties Face creams, body lotions, and soaps
Antioxidant properties Facial toners, serums, and oils
Softening and soothing properties Balms, salves, and massage oils

Calendula leaves must be used in its recommended dose to avoid any adverse effects on the skin. It is best to purchase calendula skincare products from reputable sources to be assured of their quality.

Toxicity levels of calendula leaves for pets and humans

Calendula leaves are often used for their medicinal properties to treat various ailments such as inflammation, wounds, and digestive problems. However, as with many plants, it’s important to understand the toxicity levels for both pets and humans before consumption or use.

  • Pets: Calendula leaves are considered to be non-toxic to dogs and cats. However, it’s still important to monitor your pet for any adverse reactions. If your pet does consume a large amount of calendula leaves, it may lead to stomach upset or vomiting.
  • Humans: Calendula leaves are generally considered to be safe for consumption in small amounts, such as in teas or used topically. However, individuals with allergies to ragweed or other plants in the Asteraceae family may experience an allergic reaction when consuming or using calendula leaves.

It’s important to note that while calendula leaves may not be toxic, the flowers and stems of the plant contain saponins which can cause irritation or a burning sensation on the skin if used topically in high doses.

Here is a table outlining the potential health benefits and side effects of using calendula leaves:

Health Benefits Side Effects
Reduces inflammation Allergic reaction
Promotes wound healing Stomach upset
Aids in digestion Skin irritation (topical use)

Overall, while calendula leaves are relatively safe for both pets and humans, it’s still important to use caution and monitor for any adverse reactions. If you are unsure about using calendula leaves for any reason, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or veterinarian.

FAQs: Are Calendula Leaves Poisonous?

Q: Are calendula leaves toxic to humans?
A: No, calendula leaves are not poisonous to humans. They are actually safe to consume and use for medicinal purposes.

Q: Can calendula leaves cause skin irritation?
A: Calendula leaves are generally safe to use on the skin, but some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. It is always best to do a patch test before using any new skin product.

Q: Can I feed calendula leaves to my pets?
A: While calendula leaves are not toxic to pets such as dogs and cats, they may cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed in large quantities. It is best to consult a veterinarian before giving your pet any new food or supplement.

Q: How are calendula leaves used medicinally?
A: Calendula leaves are used to treat various health conditions such as inflammation, wound healing, and digestive issues. They can be consumed as tea, used topically in creams or ointments, or taken in supplement form.

Q: Are calendula flowers and leaves interchangeable in medicine and cooking?
A: While both calendula flowers and leaves have medicinal properties, they should not be used interchangeably. Calendula leaves have a slightly bitter taste and are mainly used for digestive issues, while the flowers have a more pleasant taste and are used for skin conditions.

Q: Where can I find calendula leaves?
A: Calendula leaves can be found in health food stores, herb shops, and online retailers.

Q: Can you eat calendula leaves raw?
A: While calendula leaves are safe to consume, they have a bitter taste and are not typically eaten raw. They are usually used in cooking or consumed as tea.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this article has answered all your questions about whether calendula leaves are poisonous. It turns out they are perfectly safe for human consumption and have numerous health benefits. However, be careful with skin applications and consult a vet before giving to your pets. Thank you for reading, and visit us again for more informative articles!