If you’ve been researching natural herbs for healing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of calendula. It’s a very popular herb, used in everything from tea to toothpaste, and its popularity isn’t a new phenomenon. The herb has a very long history of medicinal and ceremonial uses. People have literally been using it for hundreds of years. So what’s the big deal?
By now, you probably have a few questions about this herb. What is it exactly? Is it safe? How do you use it? And what can it do for you? These are a few things you need to consider before trying it for yourself.
What Is Calendula?
Calendula is a flower that’s native to Southeast Asia and Western Europe. It is part of the Asteraceae family. This flower is also commonly referred to as marigold. That's a reference to the Virgin Mary. It originally received this association when it was used to fight the plague in England in the 14th century.
As you’ll see below, it has a very rich history, used for a variety of different purposes. Today, you can find it in many household products, and it’s believed to have a vast array of potential benefits. These include everything from treating eczema to improving oral hygiene.
What Else Should You Know About Calendula?
Odds are, you probably have a few more questions about calendula. Here are a few other things you need to know.
What is its history?
Calendula has been used in many different ways for several centuries. For one thing, they’ve served a variety of ornamental purposes throughout history. Hindus used them to decorate their statues, and they were also used in ancient Aztec ceremonies. In fact, it’s still used to celebrate the Day of the Dead to this day.
In addition to this, this herb has been used in medicine since the 12th century. Both the ancient Egyptians and Romans recognized its potential benefits. It was actually the Romans who gave it its name. It was named from the Latin word “kalends” or calendar in reference to the fact that it blooms every month of the year. It was also a popular treatment for soldiers in the American Civil War.
What are its benefits?
Calendula has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it has an impressive number of potential benefits. Many of these are related to skincare. It can improve the blood flow to skin cells. That helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. It also helps reduce inflammation. You can use it to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. You can even use it to treat a baby’s diaper rash.
This herb is also effective in treating small wounds. Its antiseptic properties make it great for treating bug bites and preventing infections. You can use also use it to speed the healing process for small cuts, scrapes, and bruises. That makes it an excellent addition to anyone’s first aid kit.
On top of all this, the herb can also improve your oral health. It’s a very popular ingredient in herbal toothpaste and mouthwashes. In this capacity, it helps fight gingivitis, plaque, and cavities. Furthermore, it can aid menstruation in women. It helps to relax muscles and improve blood flow, thus relieving painful cramps.
Some studies also show that it might even be useful in preventing and treating cancer. In this way, its anti-inflammatory properties can help manage the negative side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and irradiation. Please note that these studies are still in their early stages and should be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, the results seem promising.
Is it safe?
For the most part, calendula is incredibly safe to use. However, there is a small chance that you might have an allergic reaction to it. In these cases, you might experience rashes or skin irritation. You shouldn’t take calendula if you’re allergic to members of the aforementioned Asteraceae family. We recommend performing a patch test on your skin before any serious application. Again, these situations are very rare.
Many professionals also believe that it might react negatively to sedatives. For this reason, we recommend not using calendula for two weeks before going into surgery. Also, it may have negative effects on women who are pregnant or nursing. Some believe that taking it orally could potentially lead to miscarriage. Therefore, we don’t recommend calendula products for women in these conditions.
Of course, these are all very specific examples. For the vast majority of people, calendula is perfectly safe. As long as you are aware of these particular warnings, you should never have any issues.
Is it difficult to grow?
Part of the reason why calendula is so popular is that it’s incredibly easy to grow. They don’t require a lot of attention, and as previously mentioned, they can grow throughout the year. That makes growing your own calendula a very real possibility, even if you have very little gardening experience.
If you’d like to grow your own, you can start sowing in early spring or late fall. Calendula tends to self-sow, so this won’t require too much work. Make sure they get a decent amount of water. Calendula grows best in full sunlight, but this isn’t necessary.
When it comes to harvesting, it’s best to pick the heads during a sunny morning before noon. You should pick them on a fairly regular basis. That will help ensure that future plants will grow big and strong. Also, make sure to you dry them quickly after picking them to prevent molding. That’s really all there is to it. With a little bit of attention, you shouldn’t have any trouble growing your own calendula.
Does it really work?
As you’ll see in the reviews below, calendula products really do work as well as they claim. That's especially true when it comes to skincare. Customers used these products to treat everything from acne to sunburns to eczema. In nearly all cases, these conditions cleared up almost right away. If you’ve been dealing with stubborn skin issues, then it is definitely something you should consider.
Unfortunately, one common complaint about these products is the smell. They tend to have a very strong odor. While they’re still very effective at what they do, the smell might be too much for some people to deal with. Also, calendula tends to have a sticky, honey-like consistency that might be off-putting for some people.
How Do You Use Calendula?
The herb comes in many different forms. You can find it in oils, tinctures, ointments, salves, lotions, tea, toothpaste, and much more. Because it's such a safe and mild herb, you’re free to experiment with many different possibilities and see what you come up with.
In particular, you might be interested in making your own infused oil. That is actually a very simple process. Along with calendula flowers, you’ll also need olive oil. You start by filling a jar two-thirds full of dried flowers. Then, you pour the olive oil into the jar. Make sure you cover the flowers with at least one inch of oil. After that, you stir the ingredients together and cap the jar.
Once you’ve done that, put the jar on a sunny windowsill. Shake the jar at least once a day. Do this for four to six weeks. After that, you’ll use a cheesecloth to strain the herbs. Finally, you’ll pour the oil into glass bottles and store them in a cool place. You’ll now have your own oil that you can use however you like.
Where Can You Buy Calendula Products?
While it’s easy enough to grow your own flowers, we can forgive you if you just want to buy products that already contain calendula. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do. You can find them in many local brick and mortar stores. A few of these include Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and Lowe’s. You can also find a great number of calendula products online. Amazon, in particular, has an excellent selection to choose from.
The Best Calendula Products
There are a ton of calendula products on the market today. Here are just a few that you need to be aware of.
Cavin Schon Pure Calendula Oil
- NO additives, chemicals or artificial preservatives, non-GMO, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free.
- Calendula oil is primarily used in topical applications on the skin, and the biggest benefits include pore...
- It works well on sprained muscles or bruises; its anti-inflammatory action helps lessen swelling from injury
Cavin Schon Pure Calendula Oil is a 100 percent pure calendula oil with no additional chemicals or additives. Like most calendula oil products, it has many potential benefits for your skin. It's great for treating bug bites and small wounds. You can also use it for bruises and sprained muscles. In these cases, it’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce swelling. You can even use it for your hair and nails. Keep in mind that this product is a carrier oil, not an essential oil.
This product will cost between $$ and $$$ for 4 fluid ounces. Most customers have really loved it. They said it worked wonders when it comes to soothing dry skin. It was also good at clearing up other stubborn skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, and sunburns. Furthermore, some customers enjoyed using it with other products such as lotions and salves. The most common complaint was about the smell. Like many calendula products, this carrier oil has a very strong odor. Some customers might have a problem dealing with this.
- The flowers of the Calendula officinalis plant, also known as the Garden marigold, have been used topically for...
- The heavier texture of Calendula Ointment promotes healing by moisturizing the irritation. Calendula Ointment adheres to...
- Try it on minor first degree burns, blisters, chafing, cuts, scrapes or cracked heels. It also works well on chapped...
Calendula Ointment is another excellent product for healing minor wounds. Like the Cavin Schon carrier oil, it consists of 100 percent all natural ingredients. That allows you to take care of your skin without getting any nasty chemicals involved. This ointment is particularly good at reducing the appearance of stretch marks. It’s also great at treating burns. Additionally, you can use it to treat other skin conditions such as acne and rashes.
Calendula Ointment will cost between $ and $$. Most customers loved what this product does for their skin. Many of them used it to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It was also effective in treating dryness, rashes, and many other skin conditions. Once again, the main complaint was about the smell. Also, some customers thought it had a rather strange consistency. They felt it seemed more like a salve than an ointment. A few customers were also surprised at how little came in the container
- No Artificial Colors, Preservatives or Additives; Naturally Sourced from Egypt.
- Bleach-Free Biodegradable Tea Bags.
- Has a Floral Fragrance and Taste.
If you’d prefer to try it in a beverage form, this Calendula Tea might be what you’re looking for. This tea is 100 percent certified organic by the OEFFA. It is free of pesticides and herbicides. The calendula in this tea is farmed in Egypt and is believed to have antibacterial properties. That can be useful for fighting ulcers or conjunctivitis.
This product will cost between $ and $$. Most customers have absolutely loved this tea. Many of them enjoyed the taste, and a few felt it was effective in treating their allergies or ulcers. While this product qualifies as a tea, several people also use it to make their own infused oils or salves. This is a great choice if you want to make your own oil without growing your own flowers. Most complaints were few and far between, but a few customers thought the taste was somewhat bitter. Amazon gave this product 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Can Calendula Products Improve Your Life?
At the end of the day, calendula has a lot of great things going for it. It has a staggering array of potential uses and benefits, it’s very easy to grow and use, and it’s also very safe. Again, the only thing you really need to watch out for is a potential allergic reaction. And of course, you should never use it if you’re pregnant or nursing.
When choosing the products, you really need to consider your needs. Do you plan to use it for your skin? Then you might try an oil or ointment-based product. Do you want to improve your oral hygiene? In that case, a toothpaste might be right for you. No matter what it is you’re looking for, you have a very good chance of finding a calendula product that’s right for you.