Medicinal Properties of Calendula
Calendula [Calendula officinalis[, aka Pot Marigold is a genus of herbaceous plants in the daisy family. The flower petals are edible and can be eaten fresh. The essential oils from calendula have multiple health benefits, particularly relative to skin conditions such as dermatitis and varying degress of acne.
Topically applied it has been demonstrated to relieve acne symptoms. It attacks and kills 'Propionibacterium acnes bacteria' as well as staph and strep
2. Dermatitis and Eczema
Topically - It expedites the healing speed of dermatitis skin conditions.
3. Skin Ulcers
Topically - It expedites the healing of Skin ulcers
4. For Burns
Laboratory studies on animals have proven that calendula, when topically applied has anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces burn tissue injury. However, studies have not been undertaken to determine if this corresponds to faster healing of burns and scalds.
It is believed that the chemicals in calendula encourage new tissue growth in wounds and decrease swelling in the mouth and throat. As calendula stimulates menstruation pregnant women should not ingest it
It has anti-viral attributes. Glycosides extracted from calendula have been shown to inhibit vesicular stomatitis viral infection, and has shown promise in treating other viruses as well.
Calendula has anti- inflammatory propeties. Combined with Symphytum, a plant closely related to borage, it is used to treat stomach inflammation. It is also useful as an antacid.
7. For Mentruation
Calendula tea induces the menstruation cycle and eases cramping. The calendula flavonoids helps to relax muscles and enhance blood flow promoting an ease of the menstruation. Some say it can also even alleviate hot flashes.
8. Oral Hygene and Health
Calendula has powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and helps reduce gum inflammation. It helps fight the 'dreaded' gingivitis, cavities, plaque and other issues that keep dentists in business. It also works as an astringent fighting mouth bacteria which promotes a healthy oral environment.
9. As a Sedative
'Neither calendula cream nor calendula taken internally has been associated with any adverse effects other than occasional allergic reactions, and animal studies have found no significant toxic effects. However, the same studies found that in high doses, calendula acts like a sedative and also reduces blood pressure. For this reason, it might not be safe to combine calendula with sedative or blood pressure medications.' - Cancer Care of Western NY
As per Memorial SLoan Kettering Cancer Center - Topical application of calendula facilitates wound healing, and may reduce painful swelling and irritation associated with radiation therapy. It has not been shown to treat cancer.
As per Calendula officinalis: Potential Roles in Cancer Treatment and Palliative Care by Daniel Cruceriu, PhD, Ovidiu Balacescu, PhD, and Elena Rakosy, PhD 'C officinalis could have important future implications in developing novel cancer treatment strategies, while until now it has been used especially for diminishing the side effects of radiotherapy.'
"Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals. Calendula appears to fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria....Calendula has been shown to help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which helps the body grow new tissue.... to treat burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as the minor infections they cause. Calendula also has been shown to help prevent dermatitis or skin inflammation in breast cancer patients during radiation therapy." [University of Maryland Medical Center]
Calendula Tea Recipe
Modern medicines are largely based on, or have incorporated into them - plant compounds. Herbal teas are basically a form of medicine, somewhat primitive and primal, somewhat unharnessed. When abused , or used incorrectly side effects - sometimes unwanted and unsuspected are unleashed. Exercise due caution when tinkering with herbal teas for medicinal purposes.
A very simple calendula tea can be made with a tabelspoon of dry calendula flowers. Place the flowers in a heat resistant cup - pour the boiling water over them and allow to steep for about 20 minutes. If using fresh flowers, fill the cup with flowers - then pour boiling water over it. Allow it to infuse for 20 - 30 minutes. Strain of the liquid and that's your tea. Stevia, sugar, honey and other enhancements can be added to titillate your taste buds.
For Sun tea fill a glass jar about 1/4 full with dried flowers, if using fresh flowers fill it the rim and cover with water [not hot water]. Put a lid on it and place out in the sun or a sunny window for most of the day. Once the tea is completely infused, strain it and enjoy.
Some can be saved for an iced tea, but not loo long, only a day - maybe two. Unlike store bought teas, it contains no preservatives other than what Mother nature provided, the natural bacteria within it will expedite its decomposition [you could get sick].
Using an InfuserTea Infuser
2 teaspoons dried calendula flower petals, 1 cup of boiling water. Place calendula petals in an infuser and pour 1 cup of boiled water over the petals. Allow the calendula to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Then enjoy.
Another method of making an infusion is to add a cup of dried herbs to a quart jar. Pour boiling water over the herbs to the top of the jar. You should also place a metal spoon or utensil in the jar when you are pouring the hot water if you are using glass. The metal will absorb the sudden heat and prevent the glass from shattering.
Remove the metal utensil and cover the jar tightly with a lid. Let the herbs steep up to 10 hours and then strain.
Calendula petals picked later in the season are sometimes very bitter. Sweetening with honey or other enhancements is advisable. Calendula can also be infused with other herbs for additional benefits.
Calendula is also commonly called Pot Marigold, but do not confuse other varieties of marigolds with calendula!