Calendula officinalis is a flowering plant that has traditionally been used for many different illnesses, mostly those affecting the skin such as in the healing of wounds. The flowers are a rich orange or yellow colour and are also very medicinal. The petals are rich in flavonoids, compounds, that have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic, antidiabetic, anticancer, and neuroprotective activities in animal studies.
Botanical Name – Calendula officinalis
Common Name – Pot Marigold
There are many uses for Calendula, both topically and internally. Calendula has been traditionally used in the area of wound healing. It provides relief when rubbed on burns, and irritated skin. It is said to promote the growth of new skin tissue, as well as new blood vessels that feed the skin. The compounds, triterpenes, and steroids in the marigold act as an anti-inflammatory.
Calendula health benefits for the skin
The flower contains many different antioxidant groups including lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene, quercetin, rutin, and a host of others. The use of this flower in an extract or oil could benefit the skin, nervous system, and mucous membranes in many ways. Testing the plant extract showed that the constituents in Calendula promote the development of collagen structures in the skin and mucous membranes, yet more research is needed to validate this activity.
Calendula is very effective as an antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, thus making it a very good candidate for wound healing. Calendula flowers can be ground into powder or made into oils, creams, and ointments. They are beneficial for any wound healing including insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, and cold sores. It also prevents scarring. An ointment nade from calendula or just the infused oil is very good for chapped skin and a lip balm.
Calendula is also effective in treating minor burns, including sunburn. It can also protect you from the sun and hence is used in sunscreen formulas as preventative care. Calendula cream, ointment, or balms can be applied to wounds to reduce swelling and prevent secondary infection, leading to a quicker healing process.
Calendula hydrates and nourishes dry skin. It soothes the skin and helps manage the symptoms of eczema, dandruff, and dermatitis. Even those with very sensitive skin can use calendula ointments and extracts. Calendula is safe and effective and is often the preferred remedy for diaper rash, itching, and irritated skin. Calendula is also known to slow down the development of wrinkles. This is because the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in Calendula protect against oxidative stress in human skin cells.
Calendula health benefits for cancer
Lutein, an antioxidant extracted from marigold may reduce tumors in the breast and prevent new cancers from developing, says a study by researchers from State Washington University. Calendula has also been found to be effective against leukemia, colon, and melanoma cancer cells. Dietary Lutein from Marigold Extract Inhibits Mammary Tumor Development
Calendula health benefits for Digestion
Calendula soothes internal wounds and burns like ulcers, heartburn, or irritable bowel syndrome. Calendula has a protective effect on the stomach and improves digestion by repairing the gut wall. It strengthens the immune system’s ability to fight off infection. This may be due to the fact that Calendula is antimicrobial.
The antibacterial properties of calendula give it the power to fight cough and congestion. It is also known to be an effective remedy for colds, fevers, coughs, and infections. Calendula may also regulate the menstrual cycle. Calendula is said to induce periods and relieve menstrual cramps.
How to make Calendula tea?
To make Calendula tea, boil 200 ml of water. Pour this over 2 tsp of dried marigold flowers. Let it steep for fifteen to twenty minutes. Drink this infusion when it is warm about three times a day. Drinking this is said to purify the blood.
This tea can also be used as a mouth rinse to treat a sore throat or wounds within the mouth. Another remedy is that you can use this tea as a warm compress to heal eye infections. Drink this tea for colic and colic pains. It also helps with painful varicose pains.
Calendula oil is made by infusing Calendula flowers in a carrier oil for several weeks. It needs to be stirred daily. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic compounds in the oil are very conducive for wound healing and various skin conditions. How to make herb-infused oils at home.
Make Herbal salves/ointments
Watch this video on how to make a salve with infused oil
Calendula Home Remedies
- For chilblains, soak hands and feet in a warm infusion of pot marigold flowers to which a spoonful of sea salt has been added.
- An infusion of calendula can be used as a face wash in case of sunburns.
- Boil a handful of calendula flower heads in a litre of water. Cool, and use these as swabs on the skin lesions. This is a very effective home remedy for psoriasis.
- For varicose vein ulcer, bathe the ulcer with an infusion of calendula flowers, to get instant relief.
- Herbal tea made with calendula flower heads is said to be effective for scanty periods. Drink half a cup, two to three times a day.
- An infusion of the pot marigold, taken three times a day is known to reduce fever symptoms.
- You can use calendula tea as a sitz bath to help soothe hemorrhoids, yeast infections, and other swelling.
- The infused oil of calendula can be used for cradle cap. Add 2-3 tsps to the bath water for dry skin.