Calendula healing power
Petals of calendula (Calendula officinalis) flowers have been used since the 12th century for medicinal, culinary, and ceremonial uses. While native to countries around the Mediterranean, calendula attracts local pollinators, and thrives in Humboldt County, California.
Increasingly popular in its breadth of use, the most common and proven application revolves around external care of the skin. Calendula is rich with flavonoids, plant-based anti-oxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals. As such, calendula fights inflammation, viruses, fungi and bacteria. Calendula is proven to help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area. This helps the body to grow new tissue, improving skin hydration and firmness. Even during the Civil War and up through World War I, calendula flowers were used on battlefields in open wounds to slow bleeding, combat infection, dress wounds and speed healing.
Calendula is often put in suspension to topically treat acne. Salves and cremes are used to treat chapped or chafed skin, diaper rash, muscle aches, sunburns, minor burns, infections, eczema, athelete’s foot, yeast infections, insect bites and stings and warts. Used as eyewash, it helps alleviate conjunctivitis. It even stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. Calendula prevents damage or heals most any irritated skin tissue. Further, a 2010 study on mice indicates it may shield the skin from UV-induced oxidative stress (a destructive process linked to several skin diseases, as well as accelerated aging of the skin). It is also naturally rich in vitamin C, luteins, and beta-carotene.
Calendula infused olive oil naturally offers sun protection up to an SPF of 15.