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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 2006-.

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Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) [Internet].

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Last Revision: October 18, 2021.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

CASRN: 84776-23-8; 70892-20-5

Drug Levels and Effects

Summary of Use during Lactation

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) flowers contain triterpene glycosides and aglycones, carotenoids, and essential oils. Topical application of calendula products has been used to treat sore and cracked nipples during nursing, either in homeopathic or pharmacologic preparations,[1-3] although little high-quality evidence supports this use.[4] One uncontrolled case series found that a cream containing Mimosa tenuiflora and Calendula officinalis was useful for healing cracked nipples during breastfeeding;[5] however, the lack of a control group and the presence of another ingredient makes the evaluation of Calendula's efficacy impossible. Calendula has also been used topically in combination with Echinacea angustifolia (Calendit-E) for sore nipples in a study of modest quality in which the combination was found to be more effective than breastmilk.[6,7] Oral Calendula has no specific lactation-related uses and no information is available on the oral use of Calendula during breastfeeding. Calendula is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when used as a seasoning or flavoring. Allergic reactions, including cross-reactions to chrysanthemums, daisies and marigolds, occur rarely.

Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information about dietary supplements is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


Kaplan B. Homoeopathy: 2. In pregnancy and for the under-fives. Prof Care Mother Child. 1994;4:185–7. [PubMed: 8680189]
Stapleton H. The use of herbal medicine in pregnancy and labour. Part II: Events after birth, including those affecting the health of babies. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1995;1:165–7. [PubMed: 9456733]
Petrie KA, Peck MR. Alternative medicine in maternity care. Prim Care. 2000;27:117–36. [PubMed: 10739460]
Amir LH, Pirotta MV, Raval M. Breastfeeding - Evidence based guidelines for the use of medicines. Aust Fam Physician. 2011;40:684–90. [PubMed: 21894275]
Mucci M, Sciocchetti M, Benvenuti C. Clinical efficacy and safety of Mimosa tenuiflora bark extract in the rhagades of the nipple. G Ital Ostet Ginecol. 2006;28:106–14.
Pezeshki B, Pouredalati M, Zolala S, et al. Comparison of the effect of aloe vera extract, breast milk, calendit-E, curcumin, lanolin, olive oil, and purslane on healing of breast fissure in lactating mothers: A systematic review. Int J Pediatr-Mashhad. 2020;8:10853–63. [CrossRef]
As'adi N, Kariman N. Herbal prevention and treatment of nipple trauma and/or pain in Iranian studies: A systematic review. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2018;7:168–75. [CrossRef]

Substance Identification

Substance Name


Scientific Name

Calendula officinalis

CAS Registry Number

84776-23-8; 70892-20-5

Drug Class

Breast Feeding


Complementary Therapies


Plants, Medicinal

Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.

Copyright Notice

Attribution Statement: LactMed is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bookshelf ID: NBK501857PMID: 30000917


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