Calendula for Skincare
- Common names: pot marigold, garden marigold (not be confused with Tagetes spp.marigold)
- Botanical name: Calendula officinalis, C. arvensis
- Family: Asteraceae
- Parts Used: flower buds, flowers, leaves
- Plant Taste: pungent, bitter
- Plant Energetics: warming, drying
- Plant Properties: astringent, vulnerary, inflammatory and immune modulating, antimicrobial, hepatic, lymphatic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, slightly demulcent
- Plant Uses: numerous skin issues from eczema to wounds to chicken pox, conjunctivitis, ulcers, minor
- Calendula for the Skin and Mucous Membranes: If you were to walk away knowing only one thing about Calendula’s many herbal uses, it would be that it is a premier herb for the skin and mucus membranes. It heals wounds, relieves inflammation, increases beneficial immune responses, is mildly antimicrobial, and even protects the skin from radiation damage.infections, UV protection, mastitis
Here’s a look at the many ways we can employ this brilliantly blooming plant for the skin.
Itches, Rashes, and Scratches
Think of calendula as an all-purpose plant for any manner of skin problems. Do you have itchy dry skin? Use some calendula cream or body butter. Have a mysterious rash? While figuring out the root cause of the rash, reach for calendula to soothe the discomfort.
For minor scratches or wounds, try a calendula salve or poultice. It promotes wound healing and It is also mildly antimicrobial, helping to prevent infection.
Calendula is great for dealing with diaper rash. I recommend it as a salve or cream and it can be used as a preventive as well.
Calendula can soothe many bug bites, including the bites of mosquitos and the stings of bees. Herbalist and aromatherapist Jade Schutes even uses it for those super-itchy chigger bites.
Herbalists have long used calendula for skin health, including it in luscious creams or even herbal steams. Science has further validated this use by showing that calendula improves elasticity and skin hydration. I recommend frequently using calendula creams on your skin to keep it healthy, soft, and pliable.
Calendula can also be used to promote skin health after the skin has been damaged.
Calendula creams, oils, and body butters can be used to soothe the skin after a sunburn. It helps to relieve inflammation and pain while promoting new tissue growth.
In addition to supporting skin that has been burnt by the sun or radiation, calendula also helps to heal tissues that have been burned by fire or by heat in the kitchen. Fresh poultices and hydrosol washes are two of my favorite ways to use calendula for this purpose.
Calendula can be used to decrease scar tissue whether it is from wounds or from surgical scars. You can apply it regularly as an infused oil combined with St. John’s Wort oil and rose hip seed oil.
Calendula can be used both externally and internally to support blood vessel health and decrease varicosities, including hemorrhoids and varicose veins. I recommend it used internally, combined in a tincture or tea with yarrow and horse chestnut when using it for this purpose.
Ulcers and Wounds
As a vulnerary, Calendula promotes the healing of wounds, even serious ones. In one study, patients with venous leg ulcers were divided into two groups. One group was treated with a calendula ointment twice daily for three weeks. The other group of people were treated with saline solution dressings. After three weeks, those being treated with the calendula ointment had a statistically significant acceleration of wound healing over those being treated with saline solution.
Calendula’s wound healing, antimicrobial, and inflammatory modulating effects will also work well for internal ulcers. It works best as a long infused tea for these gastrointestinal “wounds.”
Calendula tincture can be applied to chicken pox sores to decrease the pain and itching.
Regular applications of a calendula based ointment can help to decrease dandruff. This may be due to its antimicrobial effects (dandruff can be caused by fungus) or to its vulnerary and inflammatory modulating effects.
Calendula is awesome for mothers in postpartum care. The flowers can be made into a strong tea for a sitz bath to heal the perineum. The fresh flower poultice or salve can be used on tender nipples. Even babies can benefit from calendula as a diaper rash cream or a gentle wash for their skin. It can also be used for cradle cap, a type of seborrheic dermatitis that affects the heads of infants.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”Fhb6q” via=”no” ]Learn about all the #skincare uses for calendula: http://ctt.ec/Fhb6q+ via @heymollyb[/ctt]
Calendula can be prepared in a variety of ways.
The tincture is said to be the strongest preparation for calendula’s antimicrobial properties. It can be diluted to use on chicken pox or as a cleansing wash for wounds and fungal infections.
It infuses very nicely into oil, which can then be used in salves, creams, soaps, body butters, facial serums, and many other preparations.
Calendula makes a wonderful hydrosol that can be spritzed on sunburns, varicose veins, acne, eczema, or simply to maintain healthy skin.
Many texts recommend using it as a strong infusion. To make this, infuse 1 ounce of calendula flowers into a quart of just boiled water. Let it steep for 4-8 hours. Strain and drink within a day. This is a fairly bitter blend that will most likely need to be sipped during the day. Although not entirely pleasant to drink, this is the best preparation for healing internal wounds and supporting the liver, immune system, and lymphatic circulation. radiation protection, stagnant lymph, delayed menses.