Calendula Healing Properties
Experience calendula healing properties with homemade natural remedies prepared from calendula flowers.
Calendula is one of the easiest plants to grow in your flower bed. Besides brightening your garden with cheery orange-yellow hues and decorating your summer salads with lively petals, the calendula offers many health benefits.
Recent research on healing properties of calendula
People have been using natural remedies made of calendula flowers for ages. Ancient Egyptians used it for skin rejuvenation. The valuable therapeutic properties of calendula are mentioned in the works of the ancient Greek philosopher, physician, and pharmacologist of the 1st century AD – Pedanius Dioscorides. Patients were treated with calendula by such famous doctors and herbalists as Galen, Avicenna, and Nicholas Culpeper.
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According to recent scientific studies, calendula (Calendula officinalis) exhibits antioxidant, antiviral, antigenotoxic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial. antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.
A thorough review of pharmacological aspects of calendula states:
C. officinalis Linn. (Pot marigold) has been traditionally used in the treatment of inflammations of internal organs, gastrointestinal ulcers and dysmenorrhea and as a diuretic and diaphoretic in convulsions. It is also used for inflammations of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa, wounds and burns. Calendula is a cleansing and detoxifying herb and the infusion treat chronic infections. The dried flower heads have been used for their antipyretic, anti-tumor and cicatrizing effects. Topical application of infusion of flowers is used as antifungal and antiseptic in wounds, marks, freckles, sprain and conjunctivitis. Calendula tea is used as eyewashes, gargles, diaper rashes and other inflammatory conditions of the skin and mucous membranes. Mother tincture of C. officinalis is used in homeopathy for the treatment of mental tension and insomnia.
WebMD website also provides a list of calendula medicinal uses. It mentions that calendula is utilized for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, stomach ulcers, measles, smallpox, and jaundice. It states that calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, ear infection, gum disease, peeling lips, diaper rash, and conjunctivitis.
What is the use of calendula at home?
“OK!’ you may think. ‘That’s an impressive list! But how can I use this knowledge in my home environment?”
First, remember that calendula is a first aid remedy (especially for cuts and wounds) that
- reduces inflammation
- decreases swelling
- promotes wound healing
Second, when you think of where to apply calendula – associate it with words: skin, mouth, and throat. It is because almost any skin condition can be treated or improved with calendula remedies, and calendula will decrease swelling in mouth and throat.
So, lets recap: if you need to decrease swelling, reduce inflammation, or heal a wound anywhere on the skin or in the mouth and throat – think calendula.
Homemade remedies from calendula
The easiest way to take advantage of calendula’s healing properties is by making natural remedies prepared from calendula flowers at home, and applying when needed.
In order to prepare remedies, we will extract beneficial components, namely carotenoids, from calendula flowers, using different kind of media:
- alcohol – to make calendula tincture
- oil – for calendula infused oil
- calendula infused oil and beeswax – to make calendula salve
- water – for making calendula tea
And the best part is that it’s quite simple to do. You just need calendula flower heads and a medium.
But before we proceed with calendula natural remedies recipes, I must point out few things:
1. Be sure not to mix up calendula (Calendula officinalis) with usual ornamental marigold. Because calendula is also called pot marigold, some people might become confused
2. Beware that calendula belongs to daisy family, and if you are allergic to daisies, chrysanthemums, or ragweed – then better stay away from calendula
3. Though working with healing herbs is my passion, I am not a licensed medical professional, so “consult your doctor before use of any natural remedy.” (Read full Disclaimer).
So now, after we got all warnings and disclaimer cleared, lets get started!
I experienced the healing properties of calendula tincture firsthand when I was 19. As a lot of teenagers I had acne, and it was quite an embarrassing problem for me. My frequent trips to the cosmetologist didn’t bring much relief.
One day, right before I left home for summer vacation, my university friend mentioned in casual conversation a very simple recipe of calendula tincture that, as she swore, cured her from acne.
Sure thing, I made calendula tincture when I arrived home and applied it frequently during day time (at least 3 times per day) with cotton swab directly to the pimples. The result exceeded my expectation – the pimples dried up, and after summer break I returned to my studies with fairly clear skin. Later, on the first sight of pimple emergence – a touch with calendula tincture prevented it from further development.
Calendula tincture ingredients:
- Fresh calendula flowers grown from seeds in your organic garden (Note: you will need to collect fresh flower heads of calendula early in the summer, right after flowers just opened. This will assure their peak healing properties). You also can use dried calendula flowers if fresh are not available.
You will also need:
- Amber glass jar with lid (you might have it at home, if not – get it here). Make sure that the jar is clean and dry
- Strainer and cheesecloth
- Amber glass bottles with dropper
How to make calendula tincture (step-by-step)
- Place 100 g (4 oz or 8 tablespoons) of fresh calendula flower heads (they can be whole or chopped) into 8 oz glass jar and fill it to the top with approximately 1 glass of vodka. Fill it completely, so the air is excluded. If you are using dry flowers – take 2 oz of flowers.
- Close the jar with a lid and keep in a dark place for 7 days (if the flowers were chopped) or 10 days (if the flower heads were whole). Agitate container every day.
- Strain the finished tincture of calendula first time through fine mesh sieve and the second time through the meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth
- Pour tincture into a dark glass container, or amber bottles with or without the dropper and store in a cool place
The calendula tincture should be dark brown color. Keep it in a dark cool place, but not in the refrigerator. Calendula tincture can last for few years, but I prefer to make a fresh tincture every year.
How to use calendula tincture and what for?
- apply topically with cotton swab or cotton ball to prevent swelling, disinfect, and soothe wounds and cuts in the skin
- calendula is one of the top natural home remedies for acne. Apply undiluted tincture with cotton swab directly to the pimples several times per day. Simply rubbing the whole face with tincture is not recommended, because tincture might cause the scaling of the skin in the areas that are not oily. If you want to apply tincture to whole face – then it is better to dilute it with water in equal parts
- apply topically to reduce swelling from bug bites
- this tincture can be applied using cotton swab to any ulcers or cuts inside the mouth;
- according to recent medical study, to reduce dental plaque and gingivitis “dilute 2 ml of tincture of calendula with 6 ml of distilled water and rinse the mouth once in the morning and once in the evening for six month”
- mix few drops of tincture with small amount of water and use as refreshing mouthwash
- mix few drops of tincture with warmed water and use as a gargle for sore throat
Homemade Calendula Oil
Calendula oil infusion is a handy things to have at home. Since it does not cause irritation, calendula oil is very useful for treating sensitive skin areas. And because infused oil (unlike tincture) doesn’t contain alcohol – it can be applied to large areas of the body.
Calendula oil infusion ingredients
- Dry calendula flowers (dry flowers are preferable because they do not contain water which will reduce the chance for infusion to develop mold and go bad. You can dry your own calendula flowers or you can buy organically grown calendula flowers from Amazon)
- Oil – you can choose any plant oil you want (sunflower, coconut, almond, avocado, olive oil, etc), but jojoba oil is preferable because it does not feel greasy on the skin compared to the other oils, doesn’t have distinct smell, and offers long shelf life. Also, it is better to use oil that is organic, cold press, virgin, and unrefined.
You will also need:
How to make it?
- Pour 200 ml (3/4 cups) of plant oil over 100 g of dried flowers (or 1 cup of oil over 4 oz (8 tablespoons) of dried calendula flowers). Oil should cover flowers completely.
- Let it stand for 4-6 weeks in a warm place. (It can stand on a sunny windowsill or in the dark cabinet. If you do it on the sunny windowsill – choose oil with long shelf life). No stirring required.
- Strain and pour into a dark glass bottle. Store it in a dark cool place. The shelf life of your infused oil is the same as expiration date of your carrier oil.
Homemade calendula oil uses
Calendula infused oil can be used:
- for various skin diseases, including eczema, and psoriasis. Apply liberally to the affected skin
- to heal burns, including sunburn
- apply to deep cuts, and wounds. First I would use calendula tincture in order to disinfect the wound (because tincture contains alcohol). And then continue to use calendula oil for speedy healing
- apply to baby’s skin to get rid of diaper rash, or baby cradle cap
- as eye make-up remover
- rub on the legs to treat varicose veins
- apply to scalp to improve scalp condition, remove dandruff, heal dry thin hair, and encourage hair growth
- use as a massage oil
- to moisturize and heal dry skin on the hands in winter time.
- 4 oz of calendula infused oil
- 2 tbsp ( 0.5 oz) of organic cosmetic grade beeswax
Step by step instruction
- Heat beeswax in double boiler on a low heat until it melts
- Add calendula infused oil and gently stir so oil and beeswax are well mixed
- Pour mixture into little tins for convenient use (or in the other dry and clean jar), and let it harden.
- Cover, and store in a cool place.
Note: you can make your salve softer by adding more oil, or harder by adding more wax. Anyway, if you make a salve and do not like hardness of it – reheat it in double boiler and adjust by adding oil or wax according to your preferences.
What is calendula salve used for?
- to heal chapped lips
- to heal painful cracks in the skin
- use to heal cuts, wounds and rashes on the skin
- for varicose veins.
How to make calendula tea
- Place 1 tablespoon of dried calendula flowers (or 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh flowers) in the cup or tea steeper
- Pour 8 oz ( 1 cup) of boiling water over the calendula flowers
- Give it a stir with the spoon
- Cover and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
The tea is ready. You can sweeten it with honey if you wish.
What is calendula tea used for?
- wash your face with calendula tea for acne prevention, or to soothe and heal acne scars
- gargle for sore throat
- use as a mouthwash
- after washing your hair, rinse it with calendula tea for stronger growth and shine
- add it to your bath
- to soothe sunburned or scraped skin
- use for a foot bath followed by rubbing feet with infused calendula oil
- use as eye wash to soothe strained eyes or for conjunctivitis
Is calendula tea safe to drink?
Calendula petals are safe to eat and often are used in salads. This means that calendula tea made from calendula petals are safe to drink for sure.
It is written that calendula teas made of flower heads are safe for drinking too and is used for gastric ulcers, for reducing fever, and for menstruation regulation. This study shows that ” colitis treated with herbal tea included calendula showed improvement symptoms in 96% of patients within two weeks.”
To tell the truth I never drink calendula tea made from whole flower personally, because for the ailments that calendula tea is recommended for, I can think of better alternatives to take internally.
Where to Buy Ready Made Calendula Natural Remedies
If you do not have time or desire to make your own calendula healing products, you can get it from such online retailers as Amazon, Vitacost, Swanson Health Products, Walgreens, Lucky Vitamin, Target, etc.
Amazon is the most convenient store, especially if you are Amazon Prime member because you can get just one product and do not need to pay shipping fee, and the item will be delivered quickly: free 2-day shipping (or better) by UPS is guaranteed. Does Amazon membership $12.99 per month (cancel anytime) or $119 annual membership price tag cost worth it – this is for you to decide. (In my opinion – it is absolutely worth it if you live in large city, because you can get more perks. As Amazon Prime member you can get exlusive in- store savings if you are grocery shopping in Whole Foods. Read more about Amazon Prime benefits here).
Check this page for calendula products sold on Amazon.
Vitacost is my “go to” store for healthy “green” and organic products, including food, because of wide assortment, competitive prices, speedy (and free if you buy products for $49) shipping, generous sales, and frequent 15% – 20% off online coupons.
I always stock up on Boiron Calendula ointment from Vitacost. I tried other brands for calendula ointment, but Boiron brand works the best for me .
Visit this page to see calendula items sold on Vitacost.
Final Thoughts on Calendula Healing Properties
Pin to read later.
To take advantage of calendula’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and wound healing properties use the natural remedies made of calendula flowers.
Keep at home calendula products as #1 remedy for cuts, scrapes, insect bites, bruises and wounds on the skin or in the mouth. Use it when you need to reduce inflamation, or decrease swelling.
Make your own calendula remedies following recipes presented in this article for calendula tincture, oil, salve, and tea to insure the quality of product and for saving money.
Alternatively, you can buy ready made calendula natural products for convenience.
And don’t forget to plant this cheery wonder flower in your garden this year! You will be glad you did.
Read related: How to grow calendula
Have you experienced the healing power of calendula? Which ailment did it help you with? Share in the comments!
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