Calendula is one of the few plants that should be part of everyone’s First Aid kit. I’ve discovered it many years ago and use it regularly. I always make sure I have some Calendula ointment in my natural pharmacy. It’s kind of the natural non-toxic equivalent of Polysporin. The cream for all booboos. 😉
Basically I use it for anything that is skin-deep related, so burns, sunburns, cuts (not applied directly on the open wound though), infections, scratches, scars, pimples, dry skin, rashes, insect bites, etc., but it’s good for so much more. It dramatically helps to heal faster and reduces the chances of leaving a scar. I’ve even used it several times as a face moisturizer while on vacation, it kept my face moisturized and I didn’t get any sunburn at all!
I purchase one that is pure and organic in a base of olive oil, beeswax, and lavender oil. It’s as pure as can be, and all organic. Because of its high concentration, this ointment works really well and fast. I love it! I definitely recommend it.
Let’s learn more about this beautiful plant with amazing properties:
Nicknamed pot marigold, Poet’s marigold, or simply “gold”, calendula is not to be confused with the rather unpleasantly scented common garden marigold of the genus Tagetes. Calendula flowers have little scent, and unlike any Tagetes, are edible.
For centuries, calendula has been prized for its ornamental, culinary, and cosmetic properties. The flowers have been used to decorate Hindu temples; color food, cosmetics, and fabric in ancient Greece; and garnish dishes in ancient Rome. In medieval England, the petals were dried by the barrelful, then churned into syrups and conserves, added to winter stews, and baked into breads. Medicinally, calendula’s colorful petals have been used since at least the 12th century. Traditionally, preparations were administered internally for fevers, stomach upsets, ulcers, and more. Its chief use, however, was external, as a remedy for skin conditions and for infection in minor wounds.
Calendula is used to treat many of the same conditions today. Whether applied to the skin or taken internally, calendula preparations appear to speed healing. Modern herbalists recommend calendula lotions, creams, and ointments for chapped skin, eczema, minor cuts and burns, diaper rash, insect bites, hemorrhoids, athlete’s foot, and varicose veins. Calendula-containing eardrops are used to treat ear infections in children. Taken internally, calendula may relieve throat infections, improve digestion, and heal gastric and duodenal ulcers. Recently, calendula has been shown to help prevent dermatitis in breast cancer patients during radiation.
Of the dozen species of Calendula, the best known is Calendula officinalis. Calendula is both the scientific name and the common name for this widely grown herb.
[…] Flowers can be picked continuously throughout the growing season. The flowers and the whole plant are used in herbal medicine. The dried ray flowers or whole flower heads are used for coloring and, given their somewhat sweet-salty flavor, for flavoring as well. The whole plant is harvested fresh for tinctures and extracts. Usually the dried flower heads are used in teas.
The warm gold blossoms of calendula have long been a signature remedy for skin ailments, from eczema and abscesses to acne and abrasions. The German health authority has approved calendula for treating wounds, based on research showing its anti-inflammatory effects and effectiveness in helping wounds seal over with new tissue. Calendula is thought to have 2 main medicinal actions on skin. The triterpenoid compounds such as oleanolic acid appear to inhibit a variety of bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory effects may be the result of a triterpenoid compound acting as an antioxidant, to reduce damage from oxygen radicals in the healing process.
Calendula products have been developed and studied for a host of human ailments. For example, a calendula extract combined with green tea, tea tree oil, and manuka oil was developed into a mouth rinse–a spinoff of research showing calendula rinses fight gum inflammation, or gingivitis. Another study randomized 254 breast cancer patients about to undergo radiation treatment to apply either a calendula ointment or a commonly used medicine, trolamine, twice daily. The calendula group exhibited less dermatitis from the radiation and also had fewer interruptions to their treatment.
Topical preparations: Extracts are incorporated into many skin products: soaps, creams, ointments, salves, and lotions with various concentrations of calendula. Apply preparations 3 to 4 times daily to heal minor skin conditions.
Note: Those allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family can develop a sensitivity to topical use. Should a rash develop, discontinue use.
(excerpt from National Geographic’s Guide to Medicinal Herbs — The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants)