Cat’s Claw for Immunity and Recovery - Medicinal Herbs Podcast Series

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Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis

Constituents:

  • Triterpenoid & Steroidal saponins (yields oleanolic acid)
  • Flavonoids (isorhamnetin & quercitin)
  • Mucilage & Polysaccharides
  • Bitter resin (calendulin & caledin)
  • Volatile oils
  • Xanthophyls & Carotenoids
  • Sterols (beta-sitosterol) & Fatty acids (myristic and palmitic esters)

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antispasmodic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Immunostimulant
  • Lymphatic
  • Vulnerary (Demulcent & Emollient)

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Saponins have mild phytoestrogenic activity, decrease tissue swelling, increase capillary perfusion of tissue and along with flavonoids decrease inflammation.
  • Immuno-stimulating properties are derived from the polysaccharides and volatile oil.
  • Anti-fungal properties are only found in a tincture. It is the resin, myristic & palmitic esters which are anti-fungal (resin requires 90% EtOH for extraction).
  • Vulnerary actions are due to the xanthophyls (which stimulate granulation tissue), mucilage and volatile oils.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture
  • Topicals: washes, creams, ointments, oils, poultices, suppositories, and fresh plant succus

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • An extremely safe herb without documented side effects. There is a low but potential likelihood for allergic sensitivity.
  • Avoid internally in pregnancy due to potential emmenagogue effects and in known Asteraceae allergy.

Interactions:

  • None known.

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