What are Calendula benefits and properties? How can you use it at home as a cosmetic skin care product and as a folk remedy? We shall give you the answers of these questions and a lot of useful information.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis), also known as pot marigold, Scotch marigold or garden marigold, is a herbaceous perennial, easily grown in sunny locations in most kinds of soil. It belongs to the Asteraceae family and the aromatic plant has been used for centuries internally and externally for its health benefits. Both leaves and flowers are used in folk medicine to treat wounds, rashes and other inflammatory conditions. It is also used to relieve mental tension and insomnia. The plant is versatile and can be used to prepare creams, massage oils, tinctures, tea, skin masks, etc.
The chemical composition of calendula includes organic compounds such as flavonoids, has triterpenoid saponins, linoleic acid, calendic acid, oleanolic acid, carotenoids, lutein, beta-carotene, glycosides, flavones, phytosterol, etc.
The uses of calendula are many – it is used in gastronomy, health care, well-being, cosmetology, etc. Calendula flowers are edible. They are often used in salads as garnish or as saffron substitutes. The leaves are also edible but not pleasant in taste. Dried leaves are used as a spice in soups, pastries and other dishes. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. It is used for cardiac arrhythmias and hypertension as well. The herb extract is commonly used in cosmetics and detergents as well as for aromatherapy.
The properties of calendula include anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial properties, it also stops the development of pathogenic bacteria, lowering blood pressure, soothing properties, enhances cardiac output, facilitates the release of gallbladder juice. Calendula is used to reduce fever, microbial infections, menstrual irregularities, varicose veins etc.
Calendula benefits for skin care and wound healing
Calendula benefits for skin are really great due to its antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. The alkaloids, triterpenoids, flavonoids and carotenoids contained in the oil accelerate healing of wounds. It can be used for treating general skin conditions and eye infections. It stimulates collagen production and skin regeneration. It reduces and relieves pain and swelling which is the reason why calendula oil, tea, and ointment are used to treat cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, rashes, etc. The ointment is excellent for post-surgical care and preventing skin scars. Diaper rashes are a common inflammatory reaction and due to the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of calendula, it relieves such acute conditions
Calendula is great for skin care and beauty as well. It is rich in vitamin A and E and provides necessary nutrients to the skin. Due to the tannins, triterpenoids, and saponins, it has an anti-aging effect as well as a deep-cleansing effect and is an excellent remedy for acne and eczema (atopic dermatitis). It nourishes skin cells and preventing inflammation. The stimulation of collagen production reduces wrinkles appearance.
Calendula stimulates blood circulation which maintains the good condition of blood vessels and prevents varicose veins.
Here is a list of some of the most important calendula benefits for your skin:
reduces itching, redness, sensitivity, dryness and swelling of skin;
relieves diaper rash and protects sensitive skin;
treats inflamed insect bites;
heals bruises, burns and infected cuts;
increases blood flow in the affected area;
increases collagen production that strengthens the skin;
moisturizes dry skin;
nourishes the skin;
accelerates process of skin repair after surgery;
fights acne and atopic dermatitis;
an anti-aging effect;
reduces dandruff, etc.
Important Calendula benefits for your health
Calendula benefits for skin care and treating various conditions are many but it can help you in many other ways.
Antispasmodic properties of Calendula help ease and relieve muscle spasms and contractions. Calendula is greatly beneficial for menstrual discomfort and has a great calming effect on PMS symptoms like cramping. It is also used for menstrual irregularities like Amenorrhea. In addition, calendula successfully relives stomach and muscle pain and if you suffer from cramps, you should consider this simple remedy. Calendula tea improves liver health and facilitates internal digestion. You can use calendula ointment, lotion or tincture to heal hemorrhoids. It is applied on the affected area and relieves the pain.
Calendula is an excellent insect repellent due to its strong odor. The volatile oils repel not only mosquitoes but other pests and insects.
Calendula is beneficial to the mind as well. It has natural relaxing properties and improves anxiety and panic.
Due to the great antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, calendula is excellent for dental problems. It prevents plaque accumulation and other inflammatory conditions.
Due to the antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties, calendula extract is beneficial for treating eye infections and inflammation.
relieves stomach and muscle pain;
relieves spasms and contractions;
relaxes sprained muscles;
relieves painful menstruation;
relieves hemorrhoid pain;
repels mosquitoes, pests and insects;
relaxes anxiety and panic;
improves and maintains dental health;
reduces eye inflammation;
reduces eye infections.
How to use calendula, side effects and precautions to keep in mind
As you see, the benefits of calendula are quite many. You can use it for homemade lotions, creams, shampoos, hair conditioners, soaps, tea, skin care products, as food dye, etc.
To make an infusion, add 2 tablespoons of flowers in 500 ml of water. After cooling down, drink 150 ml three times a day, half an hour before eating.
To prepare calendula decoction, add 2 tablespoons of flowers to 600 milliliters of boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes and then allow leave it for 1 hour. The resulting decoction is strained and used for gargling and externally.
To make tincture, mix 1 part calendula and 5 parts strong brandy. Take 30 to 40 drops, 3-4 times a day. A teaspoon from the tincture can be mixed with 500 milliliters of water and used for washes and compresses. A tincture mixed with olive oil in a ratio of 1:10 is applied topically to healing wounds.
What are the important considerations that you need to keep in mind when using calendula? Despite the fact that using the plant in ointments, oil, tincture, gastronomy, cosmetic products, etc. is considered safe, there are some important facts that you need to know. People who are allergic to plants from the Asteraceae family (ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums, chamomile, Echinacea) should avoid using calendula as rashes, hypersensitivity and other reactions may appear.
Due to the fact that calendula induces menstruation, pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid it as well.
Calendula increases drowsiness and should not be used if you take sedative medications, sleep medications or tranquilizers.