16 Nov The Medicinal Qualities of Calendula
If you frequent any kind of natural food grocer, you have likely seen a salve, oil, or lotion that has Calendula, also known as Marigold. Calendula is one of the most popular herbs for rejuvenating the skin, especially in the dry air of the winter.
Calendula is a food-grade herb (the leaves can be eaten in salads) that has emmolient (moisturizing), anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-fungal qualities.
Taken internally, it is beneficial for the arteries, veins, and heart. Traditionally, Arabian stallions were fed Calendula to strengthen their cardiovascular system for high-intensity races (Bairacli Levy, 1997.)
However, Calendula is more often used externally for skin ailments like eczema, warts, acne, and dry skin. It soothes bruised muscles and speeds the healing of wounds. These uses are supported by modern studies. One of the main beneficial chemical components of Calendula are flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals (x).
Calendula comes from the Latin for “little calendar,” referring to its dependable blooming times. It is native to Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean.
During the Civil War and World War I, Calendula flowers were used on battlefield wounds for their styptic (slowing bleeding) and antiseptic qualities, as well as for dressings to promote healing (x).
Fall Facials Night
Calendula will be a main feature in our upcoming herbalism workshop Fall Facials Night. Herbalist Hannah Sparks will be guiding participants to create and test an array of herbal cleansers, steam treatments, and oils to soothe and brighten the skin. Participants will go home with products and a glowing complexion! Now is the time to prepare skin products, before the dry air of winter sets in.
For more information on making a Calendula Salve take a look at this post from our workshop with herbalist Margi Flint.
- Baïracli-Levy, J. D. (1997). Common Herbs for Natural Health. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Pub.