Calendula holds a very powerful healing effect internally and externally. The bright, wonderful colors of the calendula flower come from the potent flavonoids that can protect and heal our bodies. It’s a great natural remedy that has very few side effects.
The powerful antioxidants within the flower hold the key to helping reduce and subside many inflammatory health issues. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that it is shown to possess anti-inflammatory capabilities; calm muscle spasms; heal ulcers, wounds and haemorrhoids; aid menstruation; contain antimicrobial and antiviral components; improve oral health; and discourage cancer.
So what exactly is Calendula?
Calendula is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae that are often known as marigolds. They are native to Southern Asia, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean. The genus name Calendula is from the Latin calendae, meaning "little calendar" or "little clock" as it is said to bloom on a monthly basis. The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary. The most commonly cultivated and used member of the genus is the pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Popular herbal and cosmetic products named 'Calendula' invariably derive from C. officinalis.
How is it used in skin care?
Calendula is most commonly found in the form of creams and balms but increasingly in products such as soaps and facial oils.
Having calendula in a cream or balm is useful particularly for the treatment of minor cuts, burns, and overall skin irritation. These creams/balms are a useful and versatile product to keep in the first-aid kit or home medicine chest. In addition to treating minor cuts and abrasions, these are great for issues from chapped lips and diaper rash.
What benefits does calendula bring?
The use of calendula within skin care is supported by strong scientific trial evidence and it has been shown to have positive impacts in the following areas:
1 - It possesses anti-inflammatory capabilities
Calendula has been found to have strong anti-inflammatory properties via powerful flavonoids. These plant-based antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage and pro-inflammatory compounds like C-reactive protein and cytokines.
Anti-inflammatory linoleic acid is also found in high concentrations in calendula. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a potent remedy for all kinds of inflammatory, issues like eczema/dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea and acne.
2 - Would Healing
In studies done for slow-healing wounds it was found that using calendula-based gels and topical ointments helped speed up recovery rate and healing. In one study, it was found that animals treated within an eight-day window using the treatment had a 90 percent closure of their wounds, as compared to only 51 percent of those who had not used the plant-based topical treatment.
Calendula is also used to improve skin firmness and hydration. Even more impressive, it helps increase blood flow and oxygen to wounds and infected areas, which helps the body grow new tissue and heal more rapidly.
3 - Antimicrobial & Antiviral
The acids held within the oils of this plant have powerful antimicrobial and antiviral effects, especially when fortified with sunflower oil. The oils and acids within the plant have shown to be effective in fighting pathogens, as well as candida symptoms and even antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria! This is a big reason why it’s used in antiseptic topical products today.
4 - Helps prevent radiation dermatitis
Early research suggests that applying calendula ointment on the skin might reduce radiation dermatitis in people receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Does calendula come with any side effects?
No side effects are commonly reported; calendula is considered safe and non-toxic. It has no known drug interactions, no toxic effects and no adverse effects for long term use. However, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t use calendula if you’re allergic to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Other plants in this family include ragweed, chamomile and echinacea.
Because of its promotion of menstruation, it’s advised for pregnant women to avoid calendula teas as well as breast-feeding women and even those seeking to get pregnant, as it can potentially cause miscarriage due to the highly potent pro-menstruation effects. It is therefore advisable for pregnant women to also avoid topical use just to be safe.
Who is calendula beneficial for?
Calendula is a great ingredient to look for in a skin care product if you have sensitive skin and/or are suffering from an inflammatory skin condition such as; eczema/dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea or acne.
In addition, if you are a clumsy person like me, having a calendula based ointment as part of your first aid kit is a great natural way to encourage the healing of small cuts, grazes or burns.
Which Skind products contain calendula?
Below are a handful of our favourite cruelty free and irritant free skin care products which feature Calendula.