What Is Calendula?
Marigold is a genus of about 15 to 20 species of plants in the Asteraceae family. This flower is native to Southwestern Asia, as well as Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The common name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, to which it is associated in the 17th century.
Apart from being used to honor the Virgin Mary during Catholic events, marigold was also considered by ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties. Hindis used the flowers to adorn status of gods in their temples, as well as to color their food, fabrics, and cosmetics.
Pot marigold or C. officinalis is the most commonly cultivated and used species, and is the source of the herbal oil. "Calendula" comes from the Latin word "calendae," meaning "little calendar," because the flower blooms on the calends or the first of most months. It should not be confused with ornamental marigolds of the Tagets genus, commonly grown in vegetable gardens.
Calendula, with fiery red and yellow petals, is full of flavonoids, which are found naturally in vegetables and fruits and are substances that give plants their lovely bright colors.
Calendula is distilled from the flower tops and is quite sticky and viscous. It has a very strange smell described as musky, woody, and even rotten – like the marigold flowers themselves. This smell does not readily appeal to many individuals, even in when used in a remedy.
Benefits of Calendula
Calendula is traditionally used for abdominal cramps and constipation. It's your skin that will receive a good bulk of the benefits, thanks to the calendula's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and related properties. Here are some of the promoted benefits:
Skin dryness or chapping – Calendula oil is a great moisturizer for dry skin and for severely chapped or split skin. It soothes the area and reduces the pain.
Inflammation – It works well on swelling sprained muscles or bruises; its anti-inflammatory action helps lessen swelling from injury. Calendula oil also helps treat spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and chilblains.
Baby care – The oil helps relief diaper rashes, which can extremely irritate an infant.
Minor cuts and wounds – The antiseptic and antimicrobial action of the oil help speed up healing of wounds and minor cuts, and also benefit insect bites, acne, and bed sores.
Skin issues – Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin problems can be soothed using calendula oil, applied topically. Calendula oil's antifungal action is also great for treating athlete's foot, ringworm, and jock itch.