The Calendula flower is a very bright orange flower in the same family as the marigold flower. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, originally grown in Egypt on the border of Nile. The whole flower blossom is utilized for its medicinal properties.
Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory effect, its help with varicose veins, its usefulness in healing stubborn wounds, and its effectiveness in treating skin problems. It is an excellent base oil for chapped skin and sunburns, and is commonly used in caring for superficial burns, insect bites and eczema. The wound healing properties have been documented in many studies, and many believe that a combination of lipophilic extracts and hydrophilics extracts such as flavonoids and saponins help promote healing and skin repair.
Calendula oil has also been useful for treating venous problems such as varicose veins. In cases of venous inflammation, the oil or ointment should be applied lightly. This base oil provides a wonderful opportunity to add essential oils, such as lemon and cypress–also known to help with venous problems. Studies have shown that symptoms of varicose veins and venous congestion are inhibited with consistent application.
The medicinal qualities of Calendula have been known for centuries. More recently, its antioxidant properties have been cited as one of the reasons for its effectiveness. Calendula has been proven to aid in wound healing, and is frequently included in first aid ointments.
As an aromatherapist, I always have some Calendula oil on hand to make salves for burns, bruises, and cuts but mostly to use as a carrier base for essential oils used for skin care. I have found that a supply of Calendula oil is wonderful for applying to cold sores, light cuts, bruises and burns, but it is also one of my favorite carrier oils to use with other essential oils in skin care. I like to make my own Calendula infusion, and have given instructions for making macerated oils in another ezine article titled: How to Make Your Own Macerated Oils for Skin Care.
It is important to note that although the therapeutic Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is sometimes referred to as “marigold”, it is a very different plant from the common variety (Tagetes patula or Tagetes minuta) found in flower gardens.
A registered nurse and a registered aromatherapist, Judy has a special interest in using essential oils in health care and prevention. For information about Judy and for ways to obtain her favorite essential oils, visit her Web page at: http://home.comcast.net/~judy922/site