Calendula: Gentle, Effective Healing for Inflamed Skin
Considered a first-aid all-star, Calendula (Calendula officinalis) has been used for health remedies because of its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Highly regarded since early Christianity, calendula is still used today to help heal skin inflamed by chafing, blisters, bites, and burns, as well as in treatment for dermatitis, eczema, wounds, and diaper rash. The herb is found in a variety of cosmetics, medicinal lotions, creams, and ointments that are applied to the skin to help reduce pain and swelling and encourage new tissue growth.
Medicinal Calendula has fiery red and yellow petals and is from the Marigold Asteraceae family, not to be confused with common garden marigold from the Tagetes group. In addition to topical applications, calendula flowers and leaves are used in capsules, oils, teas, and tinctures. A holistic physician can help you determine which form of calendula is best to treat specific health concerns.
There are a few precautions for using calendula: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may use calendula topically, but should not take it by mouth. Calendula may interact with other medications, resulting in drowsiness. Since it’s part of the ragweed family, people sensitive to or allergic to marigold, daisy, or chrysanthemums should not use calendula products unless under a doctor’s care. Be sure to consult with a doctor of natural medicine if any of the above situations apply to you.
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Herbal Resource. “Calendula: Health Benefits and Side Effects.”
Alnuqaydan, A.M., Lenehan, C.E., et al., “Extracts from Calendula officinalis Offer in Vitro Protection Against H2O2 Induced Oxidative Stress Cell Killing of Human Skin Cells.” Phytotherapy Res (30 Sept 2014) 29:1.