Take a look around.
I bet almost all of the objects around you are made partially or entirely from synthetic materials.
Even the “wooden” desk that my laptop is sitting on… It’s made of wood, but the wood is coated with a clear, chemical product to give it more of a shine and to make it more durable.
We all want to live healthier, greener lives, but the world is littered with so many synthetic chemical products that it can be hard to tell what’s real anymore.
As always, our goal at the scented bohemian is to shine a light on the many chemical-free alternatives that can be used to replace the heavily manufactured products that are so commonly found today.
In the following article, we’re going to take a look at Calendula flower and the many beneficial ways it can be used.
What is Calendula?
You may not have heard of calendula, but you’ve likely heard of marigolds, which is the broader classification of plants where it is found.
Calendula, also known as “pot marigold”, is an annual flower, native to the Mediterranean.
There are many different species within this genus (roughly about 20), but they all contain the same natural compounds that have been used for centuries all around the world.
But, don’t mistake calendula for common marigolds. Marigolds can be dangerous for both humans and animals to ingest.
The Benefits of Calendula
The yellow petals from the calendula flower have traditionally been used in soups, salads, and stews. But on top of that, the plant’s leaves and stems can be used to make a powerful extract with a wide range of alternative medicinal uses.
Calendula extract is rich in organic compounds, such as saponins and glycosides, both of which possess powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to AdvancedTissue.com, the natural chemicals found in calendula promote the growth of new tissue in wounds and can decrease swelling and inflammation in the body.
Below, we’ll take a better look at a few more of calendula’s natural health benefits.
Natural Healing Properties
One of the most common reasons for keeping calendula on hand is due to its natural healing properties.
When you apply this flower’s extract to a cut, scrape, bruise, or insect bite, it can help speed up the healing process due to its unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory composition.
On top of that, calendula helps protect wounds from infection, making it even easier for them to heal quickly.
And it’s safe for animals too!
So whether it’s for you or your furry little friends, calendula salve makes an excellent addition to any first-aid kit.
Hydrates and Replenishes Your Skin
For centuries, calendula has been used to treat a wide variety of skin complications.
It is known to soothe and hydrate skin, offering relief from the itchiness and irritation often associated with eczema, dandruff, and dermatitis.
Furthermore, calendula also promotes collagen production in the skin, making it look more full, and giving you a better, brighter complexion.
While the plant may be strong in its effect, calendula is a gentle, natural remedy that can be used by almost anyone with sensitive skin.
In fact, calendula is so safe and effective that it often appears in products for infants and young children.
So if you’re worried about applying certain manufactured skin products to your little one’s skin, you might want to consider something that contains calendula.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Another amazing benefit of calendula is that it reduces and prevents the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
This is due to the many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, found within the plant, that protect human skin cells from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is when there is an imbalance between damaged atoms and antioxidants inside the molecules that make up our skin cells.
This type of stress can play a huge role in the aging process, not to mention the development of certain illnesses.
Fortunately, calendula’s natural antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress, keeping you and your skin hydrated and healthy.
Learn more about antioxidants and your skin here: https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/a22370309/antioxidants-skin-benefits/
Improves Digestive and Immune Health
Just as calendula can be used topically, it can also be taken orally to relieve internal symptoms such as heartburn, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The plant’s extract offers a natural, protective effect on the stomach, which has been known to improve digestion and relieve intestinal discomfort.
This is likely because calendula extract promotes the growth of new tissue. So in your stomach and digestive tract, it helps repair the gut wall, which in turn, promotes better, healthier digestion.
Furthermore, calendula has proven to give the immune system a boost, improving its ability to fight off colds, flu, and other infections.
On top of everything else, calendula also possesses several antimicrobial properties. Meaning it can slow the proliferation and kill off microbes, preventing infections from spreading.
Researchers have also established a link between gut health and a person’s mental health, which includes conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Therefore, with calendula’s ability to improve gut health and digestion, the plant’s natural compounds could also be said to positively affect brain function too.
Anti-inflammatory And Cancer-fighting Properties
The calendula flower contains several key compounds, namely flavonoids and linoleic acid, which help fight against inflammation. According to a 2009 study, calendula extract works by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines found within the body.
Calendula is also known as a powerful cancer-fighting agent.
In a study by BMC Cancer, researchers found that both the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of calendula make it an interesting prospect to explore as a natural cancer treatment.
In fact, they found that calendula actually repressed the proliferation of cancer cells and increased the production of lymphocytes, which work to seek out and destroy mutated cells found in the body.
How to Use Calendula
Calendula possesses a wide range of natural health benefits.
It promotes faster healing, hydrates and replenishes skin, and is even linked to healthier digestion and immune systems. Not to mention it’s powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Calendula can be found in many health food stores and pharmacies and comes in many different forms and variations. This ranges from oral extracts in pill form and using it whole in your cooking, to homemade tinctures and topical skin salves.
Not sure how to use calendula? Try our Miracle Salve.
Made with calendula infused organic sunflower oil and beeswax, Miracle Salve can be used on cuts, scrapes and any other type of wounds or skin irritations to reduce healing time and prevent infection.
Miracle Salve can also be found locally at Valley Artisans Co-op in beautiful Deep River, Ontario.
Interested in learning more about natural skincare? Download my Complete Guide to Natural Skin Care, and learn all there is to know about keeping your skin happy and healthy naturally.
What do you think about calendula? Have you tried it in the past? Are there any other similar natural extracts that you enjoy using for your skin and body care?