The common names for Calendula Officinalis are Calendula, Garden Marigold, Gold Bloom, Mary bud and Pot Marigold. It has been used for medicinal purposes since 12th century.
Calendula is native to Mediterranean countries but at present is being grown as an ornamental plant all over the world. But it should not be confused with the annual marigold plant which is also frequently seen in gardens.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
Calendula is an aromatic, bushy, annual plant which has branched stems. This plant grows up to two feet in height and produces bright yellow-orange small flowers which bloom from May to October. The ligulate florets are known as flower petals which are being used as a herbal medicine. It belongs to the same family as ragweed, chrysanthemum and daisy.
PARTS OF THE PLANT USED AS MEDICINE
The dried petals of the plant are used as a herbal medicine.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
Calendula is a salty, bittersweet herb which stimulates gall bladder, liver and uterus. It clears infections, soothes digestive system and is good for heart. Calendula also works well for inflammation on the skin, controls bleeding and relieves damaged tissue fast. It is very effective in relieving wounds and stimulates granulation tissue development. It has estrogenic and stimulant properties.
- It shows spasmolytic and anti-inflammatory effects and is used for relieving small ulcers and inflammation in the throat and mouth.
- Calendula is used for improving digestion and stimulating the production of bile juice which relieves gastric ulcers and also regulates menstrual disorders.
- In folk medicine it has been used to relieve hepatitis, ulcers, swollen glands, pelvic inflammatory disease and menstrual problems.
- It is used to relieve eczema, conjunctivitis, herpes, yeast infections, ringworms, gingivitis, varicose veins, athlete’s foot, minor injuries and other skin problems.
- Calendula is effective in relieving cradle cap, nappy rash in babies and cracked, sore nipples among nursing mothers.
- It efficiently relieves slow relieving wounds, eczema, burns, dry skin ad hemorrhoids.
- The saponins in Calendula have humectants properties and are ideal to relieve irritated, dehydrated, delicate and irritated skin.
- As carotenoids are present, it shows re-epithelizing properties useful in wound relieving, general relieving, eczemas and aging symptoms.
- Salicyclic acid present in Calendula has anti-oxidizing and antimicrobial properties which are useful in relieving infections like acne.
It comprises of 0.8 percent flavonoids, monodesmosidic and bisdesmosidic saponins, esterfified and hydroxylated triterpenes. The essential oil of Calendula comprises of mainly sesquiterpenoids like a-ionone, b-ionone and cardinal.
Dried or fresh calendula petals are used in the preparation of liquid extracts, tinctures, ointment, infusions and creams.
All calendula products should be carefully stored to protect from moisture and light. Products older than three years should not be used.
Calendula essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy because of its skin relieving capability. Aroma oil is prepared by steeping the petals of calendula in a primary oil like apricot kernel or almond oil.
Calendula is used for manufacturing night creams, relieving creams, herbal bath oils, herbal rosemary shampoos and stretch mark gels.
CARE FOR AILMENTS
- Ear infection: Ear infections in children can be effectively relieved with ear drops which contain Calendula.
- Dermatitis: Calendula prevents skin inflammation in patients who are undergoing radiation management for breast cancer.
- Menstrual problems: Calendula shows estrogenic properties which can relieve menstrual problems in women.
- Gall bladder problems: Calendula stimulates the production of bile juice and relieves congestion. Since bile works as a laxative, it helps in proper digestion.
- Gastrointestinal infections: Calendula works efficiently in relieving bacteria causing gastrointestinal problems. It is effective in controlling the growth of common bacteria, Campylobacter jejuni, which causes diarrhea among children.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS WHILE USING CALENDULA OFFICINALIS
There are no known side effects with the usage of Calendula. But some people may show allergic symptoms. Hence it is better to do a patch test before using this herb.
While taking calendula for internal use it is better to consult a doctor before using medicines like sedatives, diabetic medicines and medicines for relieving blood pressure.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not supposed to use Calendula.
Before using any herbs it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
Currently there are no Planet Ayurveda Products that use this herb as an ingredient in them; however the below mentioned Planet Ayurveda products are useful in some conditions for which Calendula Officinalis is used:
We at Planet Ayurveda give the best advice possible with regard to herbs, herbal supplements and Ayurvedic medicines. All these products are made from 100 percent natural ingredients and vegetarian. We proudly claim that none of our products are used on animals. For better health, choose Planet Ayurveda products.