Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is a garden plant with orange-gold or yellow blooms that has a strong and distinctive scent. Calendula is also known as garden marigold, Mary bud, holligold, goldbloom, golds, ruddes, bull’s eyes, and pot marigold. The calendula herb should not be mistaken for plants belonging to the genus Tagetes – which are true marigolds. The bright, flowering Calendula herb opens its blossoms in the morning, and closes them at dusk and when rain threatens. The herb is native to Asia and southern and central Europe. The plant was brought to North America by early settlers and it has become a garden favorite.
Plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Calendula has been used for centuries as a medicinal, culinary, and magical herb. This flowering herb is considered a vulnerary agent, or a substance that promotes healing. Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. It has impressive healing powers, and can clear up many different types of skin problems.
When applied topically, calendula has anti-inflammatory qualities that can prevent infection of minor skin wounds. It can reduce itching, redness, pain, and swelling of insect bites and rashes. It is soothing for sunburns, cuts, scrapes, dry and chapped hands, and minor burns. A study in breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy suggested that calendula ointment may be helpful in preventing skin dermatitis.
In addition to its topical uses, calendula also acts as a digestive remedy when taken internally. Traditionally, Calendula has been used for abdominal cramps and constipation. An infusion of the flowers is beneficial in the treatment of ulcers, stomach cramps, colitis, and diarrhea. It may also be used as an external wash helpful for treating bee stings, eye inflammations, abscesses, acne, and as a gargle for mouth sores.
Calendula contains components called flavanoids, which are antioxidants found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Flavanoids give plants their lovely bright colors, and also protect them from bugs and microbes. These components protect the cells of the body in much the same way, protecting the cells from free radicals and damage that can lead to disease.
Calendula is a relatively mild, nontoxic herb with no known side effects reported. There are various topical preparations of calendula available for external use. Calendula balm is a useful and versatile product to keep in the first-aid kit or home medicine chest. This product is handy for treating minor cuts and abrasions, and is also great for chapped lips and diaper rash. Calendula is a popular ingredient used in soaps, oils, lotions, salves, and creams.
Many consumers seek skin care products that contain organic and natural ingredients. When using products made with artificial preservatives, these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Prescription drugs can be delivered through our skin via a patch, and other skincare products can also be absorbed into the body. In contrast, the body will absorb all natural ingredients when using organic and natural products. There are many all natural products available that contain calendula as an ingredient.
Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. The most beneficial actions of the calendula herb are its positive effects on the skin. The herb is a very good remedy for many types of skin complaints. Calendula blossom preparations are valued as an antiseptic for external application to scrapes, burns, cuts, or wounds. The local application is an effective healing remedy. This herb is a popular ingredient used in soaps, oils, lotions, salves, and creams.