Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine


Using Calendula as an ingredient in skin care products

Calendula is one of the most valued herbs in herbal medicine. Its uses range from treating serious health problems to applications in natural and therapeutic skin care products.

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What is Calendula

Calendula is an annual plant that thrives in almost any soil but can typically be found in Europe, Western Asia, and the United States. It belongs to the same family as daisies, chrysanthemums, and ragweed. Its branching stems grow to a height of 30 - 60 cm, and it blooms from early spring until frost. The orange-yellow petals of the flowerheads are used medicinally.

Calendula is known by its botanical name as: Calendula officinalis. It belongs to the Asteraceae  (Daisies) family and is known by common names such as: Garden marigold, Poet's marigold, Pot marigold and others.

Calendula is probably one of the most useful of all medicinal herbs. It has valuable medicinal properties and can be used internally as a medicinal herb and applied externally to address a range of skin problems.

Applications in traditional medicine include:

Other indications include:

Where does Calendula come from

Calendula is native to Southern Europe around the Mediterranean Sea. It has been used by ancient Greeks, and was known to Indian and Arabic cultures before the Greeks. The botanical name comes from the Latin clandulae or calends meaning 'throughout the months', which was intended to emphasize the very long flowering period of the Marigold.

What are the properties in Calendula

Calendula is a well-known antiseptic and wound healer. It reduces swellings and bruises, relieves and heals effects of stings and bites and infected sites.

The use of Calendula in natural skincare products is similar to that of Arnica, but it has a much gentler action and the additional benefit of wound healing. It can be used on all skin types and in all conditions.

Its traditional uses include: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-septic, Wound healing.

Known active constituents
The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils.

Calendula officinalis is used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Use of Calendula in natural skin care products

Calendula contains high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect the body against cell-damaging free radicals. As a result of it is a preferred ingredient in natural anti-aging skin care products and moisturisers formulated for dry, sensitive and damaged skin.

Researchers are not sure what active ingredients in calendula are responsible for its healing properties, but it appears to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial effects in addition to the beneficial effects from the antioxidants.

Calendula is often used in natural skin care products that address sensitive, dry, irritable skin as seen in conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and similar skin problems.

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