There are lots of healthcare products available. And some of the best are often natural and organic. There’s a new one you may not have heard of it. You’ve heard of oil pulling and charcoal toothpaste, but…drum roll please… have you heard of the ancient flower mouth rinse? I tease because it sounds a bit far-fetched, but bear with me. The rinse’s technical term is Calendula Officinalis and you may have seen it in vitamin stores labeled as the supplement “pot marigold.”
Calendula is important to discuss because it just might be a highly effective form of alternative medicine to improve oral health and reduce gum disease.
And yes, I know, that’s what supplement companies want you to believe. So we’ll look at the facts.
In this article, we’ll talk about what is calendula, what the studies show, and is all the talk about calendula benefits valid when it comes to gum health.
What is Calendula?
The extract we are talking about comes from the calendula plant. The calendula seeds and flowers are used as a form of alternative medicine to aid inflammation and healing. The supplement form is commonly known as ‘pot marigold’, and you may have seen it in supplement stores in various forms such as calendula oils, rinses, teas, etc.
Some people believe that the extract supports the regeneration of tissue grow in wounds and decrease swelling in the mouth and throat.
In fact, it goes way back. Calendula flowers and seeds were used in ancient Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb. The early civilizations used it for many things such as a dye for fabrics, foods, and cosmetics.
But from a healthcare perspective, it was used in two noteworthy ways.
Early civilization used it to make oil that protects the skin and they turned the Marigold leaves into a poultice that they believed helped skin cuts to heal faster, and they believed it helped prevent infection.
Calendula benefits: Does calendula mouth rinse work?
Yes that’s all well and good, but does it work?
Some people seem to swear by the calendula flower and the magical powers of the calendula seeds. But one of the latest trends is that the extract is being manufactured into mouth rinses to improve gum disease.
So now to the big question, when it comes to gum disease, is a calendula mouth rinse effective?
Well I must admit I have not used it, but what I can tell you is what the studies show. And that’s what matters. So here we go.
A 2013 study looked at two groups both which were in the absence of dental cleanings. One group was asked to rinse with water. A second group was asked to rinse with a calendula rinse. The study supported a statistically significant benefits for the calendula rinse. It resulted in a reduction in plaque accumulation and gingival inflammation. In addition, in the presence of dental cleanings, the calendula group supported improved plaque index and gingival inflammation scores.
But wait there’s more.
A study in 2020 compared calendula mouth rinse to chlorohexidine mouthrinse, a rinse known to support periodontal health. The study supported that the calendula rinse was comparable to chlorhexidine. Both rinses were comparable in controlling dental plaque accumulation, except many preferred the calendula taste.
The results of these recent studies support that calendula rinses may support oral health by reduction of plaque and gingival inflammation. Further study is warranted to determine the exact mechanism of action and explore the topic further.
What about Other Pot Marigold Supplements?
There haven’t been any conclusive studies to date that show that calendula tea or other pot marigold supplements support gum health. However, these supplements are known to aid a variety of ailments.
One of the key benefits is that pot marigold contains antioxidants. This makes its use beneficial in the form of tea. It appears calendula tea contains beneficial compounds that neutralize the harmful effects of oxidative stress in your body.
In a study in rodents were given monosodium glutamate (MSG) with and without calendula extract. The calendula group had significantly less oxidative stress and reverted the depletion of antioxidant levels by up to 122%.
There are also several other uses for which calendula may be indicated for. Research is being done for the following uses:
- May regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Possibly relieves sore nipples during nursing.
- May reduce breakouts of facial acne.
- Potentially may boost heart health due to anti-inflammatory action and antioxidant content.
- May relieve muscle fatigue.
While these results are promising, further human research is needed. The above uses have some anecdotal success but lack peer-reviewed research at this time.
But stay tuned. Maybe there’s a lot more to the calendula plant and pot marigold supplements left to be discovered.
For now, time will tell.