Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula, also known as pot marigolds, is a versatile plant that can be easily grown by gardeners of any skill set. It is perennial, but is usually grown annually. This plant is a part of the Asteracea family (related to daisies and chrysanthemum), and has bright yellow/orange petals that make any garden or flower bed pop with color

Aside from decorative purposes, Calendula has a history of medicinal use. Its petals have been eaten in salad and soups,  while its stems and leaves are harvested to make extracts. Once extracted, Calendula tinctures have a high amount of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antispasmolytic compounds. It is also antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Due to this, Calendula is an excellent herb to use for oral care, as it can help eliminate bacteria that cause cavities, plaque, and gingivitis.

When applied topically, Calendulas’ anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can stimulate tissue and collagen production, which can aid in wound healing and other skin irritations such as eczema, diaper rash, bug bites, etc. When ingested, it may help alleviate internal inflammation such as gout, arthritis, upset stomach, fevers, and menstrual cramps.

Calendula is rich in antioxidants, which can greatly improve the quality of your skin, as it may help improve the appearance of wrinkles and scars. It can also help prevent the development of cataracts and overall degeneration of the eyes.

Thinking of ways to incorporate Calendula into your daily routine? Because Calendula is so gentle, it can be used with almost anything you’d like. Here are some ideas that you can try at home:

  • Tea
  • Soaps (like shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. depending on affected areas)
  • Healing balms
  • Lotions
  • Pick fresh and add to salads   Find our Calendula seed here

My favorite way to prepare Calendula is with tea. To make a Calendula-infused tea, add 5-10 mL of the dried or fresh herb per 1 cup of hot water and let steep for 10-15 minutes. I like to add a bit of honey and drink while warm. To use as an oral wash, simply gargle the cooled infusion for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Or, if you’d like, you can apply the infusion on any affected areas of the skin to reduce inflammation or irritation. 

How do you like to use Calendula in your home? Let us know in the comments below! 

Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor or herbalist before use, as everyone has different reactions and benefits from this plant.

 

Sources

  1. Preethi, K. C., Kuttan, G., & Kuttan, R. (2009, February). Anti-inflammatory activity of flower extract of Calendula officinalis Linn. and its possible mechanism of action. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19374166/
  2. Preethi, K. C., & Kuttan, R. (n.d.). Wound healing activity of flower extract of Calendula officinalis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19601397/
  3. Hamburger M, Adler S, Baumann D, Förg A, Weinreich B. Preparative purification of the major anti-inflammatory triterpenoid esters from Marigold (Calendula officinalis). Fitoterapia. 2003;74(4):328-338. 12781802
  4. Duke JA. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1985.
  5. Awang DVC. Tyler’s Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2009.
  6. Ukiya M, Akihisa T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, Suzuki T, Kimura Y. Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor-promoting, and cytotoxic activities of constituents of marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers. J Nat Prod. 2006;69(12):1692-1696.17190444
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002817714640265

 

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