Calendula to Soothe & Heal

When cats are hurt, this natural remedy can speed recovery

January 30, 2013

Calendula got its name from the ancient Romans after they saw it bloom on the first day, or "calends" of every month. For centuries Calendula Officionalis, also known as the Pot Marigold, has been helping people feel better (the Romans used it to break fevers; during the Civil War Calendula was used to treat battle wounds). But Calendula isn't just good for humans! Its powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help feral cats when they suffer cuts, scratches, abrasions or burns. Calendula will cause a wound to close and heal with amazing speed.

The best way to apply Calendula solution to an open wound is with a cosmetic spray bottle that delivers a fine mist. Warmed to the temperature of a hot bath, the cat may not even notice the spray (especially if he's busy eating at the time!) Treatment can be administered to cats in their colonies, or can easily be applied during the time ferals are held in traps or in larger holding cages for more extended periods of confinement. Note that because Calendula is so effective it should NOT be used on a puncture wound or abscess that is still draining. The rapid healing effect will cause the wound to close prematurely, with potentially serious consequences.

Calendula herbal extract is sold in 1-ounce dropper bottles in the herb section of any health food store. Choose one with alcohol as alcohol-free varieties don't work nearly as well. Stored on a shelf, the extract will keep its potency for years. Never apply undiluted Calendula straight from the bottle. For best results use this easy-to-prepare solution*:

  • 1 cup distilled or spring water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tincture or extract of Calendula 

Store the solution in glass in the refrigerator. It will keep for 5 - 7 days. Warm before using. Apply to affected area(s) 2 - 3 times daily.

*From The Natural Cat by feline nutrition and holistic care expert Anitra Frazier