Calendula is the Latin genus for about 20 different plants known commonly as marigolds. These flowers naturally grow in western Europe, southern Asia, and the Mediterranean region. The Calendula genus is in the daisy family and includes both annual or perennial plants. Ancient Romans used the flower to honor people, while Hindus have been using the herb to dress statues of their deities for many centuries. Germans use calendula in their soups, and Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures use the flower in their cuisine too. Calendula is a potent antioxidant with many anti-inflammatory properties. These properties stem from naturally occurring organic compounds like glycosides, oleanane, and saponins. Anyone can experience the health benefits of calendula.
Bioadhesive Properties of Calendula
Cultures around the world use calendula to soothe irritated or wounded skin. The compounds in the plant naturally bond with organic tissue and the triterpenoids they secrete can speed up the healing process. Experts recommend applying calendula oil to bug bites, scrapes, bruises, and other wounds. Anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents also help reduce recovery time.
Fight Gingivitis and Cavities
Studies show people who use two milliliters of calendula mouthwash twice a day reduce plaque and bacteria that cause oral decay. Calendula is found in many natural hygiene products such as soap, mouthwash, and toothpaste. The experts say regular use of products containing a therapeutic amount of the plant can kill the bacteria that leads to gingivitis and cavities.
Great for Sensitive Skin
For years, herbalists have been prescribing calendula oil to protect skin from damaging environmental factors. The anti-aging power of the flower comes from it’s naturally occurring carotenoids. Our skin also contains these organic components, but they become less abundant over time. Calendula replenishes these carotenoids in the skin and aids in maintaining a youthful appearance. The oil is usually suitable for people with sensitive and dry skin and may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Calendula is a powerhouse plant when it comes to antioxidants like beta-carotene. It also provides a hefty dose of the nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are linked to eye health. In 2014, the International Life Science Institute found that lutein reduces the risk of contracting cataracts. Calendula tea can help sharpen your vision while helping you avoid macular degeneration and cataracts. Drink up!
Natural Remedy for Inflammation
Inflammation is responsible for a litany of chronic illnesses and acute conditions. This protective reaction causes everything from autoimmune diseases to allergies. Calendula can help reduce pain, help clear up congestion, and even improve ear infections. The tincture can also remedy constipation, arthritis, gout, and even a rumbling tummy. Calendula is rich in flavonoids, linoleic acid, c-reactive proteins, and cytokines which all help relieve inflammation.
Oxidative stress has the power to destroy our organs and other necessary systems in our bodies. Free radicals attach to healthy cells and turn our bodies against us by building cancers. Calendula is a mighty antioxidant with tumor-fighting components which may help prevent cancer. Studies involving mice have found the liquid extract of C. officinalis has both lymphocyte activation and cytotoxic properties that can reduce and eradicate tumors. However, more research is necessary before western practitioners will begin using calendula to treat cancer.
Aids Female Reproductive Health
C. officinalis is a mild emmenagogue, which means it stimulates blood flow in the pelvis area. This property gives the plant the ability to regulate the menstrual cycle. The hearty levels of flavonoids and quercetin in calendula have anti-spasmodic properties that ease the pain of cramps by gently relaxing the muscles and increasing blood flow. Calendula essential oil also includes an analgesic component that can induce uterine contractions and expel the placenta after birth. The plant also has fungicidal traits which can protect against vaginal diseases like candidiasis.
Calendula is a super herb with antimicrobial, antitumor, and anti-viral components that make it an excellent treatment for a myriad of illnesses. Hemorrhoids are painful and can last from several days to a few weeks. Thankfully, calendula oil can help ease the discomfort while rapidly decreasing the time it takes to heal.
Reduces Muscle Contractions
A study at Pakistan’s Aga Khan University Medical College discovered C. Officinalis extract eases involuntary muscle spasms and might help ease abdominal pain while fighting the symptoms of intestinal distresses like constipation.
Who Shouldn’t Use Calendula
Calendula has potent muscle-relaxing properties and can cause a reaction when mixed with sedatives, diabetes medications, or blood pressure treatments. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid ingesting calendula because the strong menstrual effects could lead to miscarriage or harm to the fetus. Also, if you’re allergic to the Asteraceae or Compositae family of herbs — including echinacea, ragweed, or chamomile — then you should avoid taking calendula.