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Calendula for burns from radiation therapy — The Grow Network Community
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Calendula for burns from radiation therapy

I just love this flower.... I was doing a bit of research because I'm in contact with people every day as a nurse that are being harmed by modern treatments. I ran across this and copied it for the nurse in charge of the oncology, infusion and radiation oncology department. Thought I would pass it on... My uncle was diagnosed in September with stage 3 lung cancer, inoperable at this point so of course, they recommended radiation therapy to shrink the tumor... I have had many discussions with them even prior to this event but they are very indoctrinated. Even though I know they may not think it can help I'm going to make a salve and send it to Jersey in preparation for possible radiation damage to his skin. Maybe I can win them over one little flower at a time.


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DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2004.07.063 Journal of Clinical Oncology - published online before print September 21, 2016

PMID: 15084618

Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared With Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer

P. Pommier , F. Gomez , M.P. Sunyach , A. D'Hombres , C. Carrie , X. Montbarbon

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Authors' Disclosures of P...



The effectiveness of nonsteroid topical agents for the prevention of acute dermatitis during adjuvant radiotherapy for breast carcinoma has not been demonstrated. The goal of this study was to compare the effectiveness of calendula (Pommade au Calendula par Digestion; Boiron Ltd, Levallois-Perret, France) with that of trolamine (Biafine; Genmedix Ltd, France), which is considered in many institutions to be the reference topical agent.

Patients and Methods

Between July 1999 and June 2001, 254 patients who had been operated on for breast cancer and who were to receive postoperative radiation therapy were randomly allocated to application of either trolamine (128 patients) or calendula (126 patients) on the irradiated fields after each session. The primary end point was the occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher. Prognostic factors, including treatment modalities and patient characteristics, were also investigated. Secondary end points were the occurrence of pain, the quantity of topical agent used, and patient satisfaction.


The occurrence of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher was significantly lower (41% v 63%; P < .001) with the use of calendula than with trolamine. Moreover, patients receiving calendula had less frequent interruption of radiotherapy and significantly reduced radiation-induced pain. Calendula was considered to be more difficult to apply, but self-assessed satisfaction was greater. Body mass index and adjuvant chemotherapy before radiotherapy after lumpectomy were significant prognostic factors for acute dermatitis.


Calendula is highly effective for the prevention of acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher and should be proposed for patients undergoing postoperative irradiation for breast cancer.


  • It's a great little flower! I steep some in Witch Hazel and use for all kinds of itches, bug bites, and rashes. It looks like tobacco juice, but is very soothing to the skin.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,328 admin

    I have used a salve made from spruce pitch for radiation burns and it worked very well. The reason I chose spruce pitch over anything else was that the wounds were oozy and looking like they were going to develop into an infection.

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    Thx @Mary Linda Bittle and @torey for more suggestions!!

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 320 ✭✭✭

    homegrown herbalist has some good suggeations on herbs for people going through radiation or chemo my friend had to do radiation and bought some from him i am really sorry i cant remember what they are i'll make a note and get back on here and let ya know

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