In spring, we all like to hike and play outdoors. Getting bumped and bruised is more apt to occur as well. A natural remedy for this is calendula, and it’s sold in health food stores nationwide. It’s natural first aid!
Calendula oil is a natural oil extracted from flowers, specifically the marigold flowers, also known as Calendula officinalis. Calendula oil has some antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. This makes it great for topical use, especially for minor cuts, wounds and skin rashes. More specifically, calendula creams can be used to help cradle cap, diaper rash, eczema, poison ivy and allergic rashes.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine fell off her horse. She had some minor aches and pains, and her skin was broken. I recommended the calendula cream and reassured her this herbal remedy had been used for centuries. My friend used the cream on her bruises and scrapes and within several days she was as good as new. If you are creating a first-aid cabinet, I highly recommend you include Calendula. Put it next to your hydrocortisone and tea tree oil.
There was a study in October 2018, published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. This study evaluated calendula ointment on cesarean wound healing. The trial evaluated 72 women and they concluded that “using calendula ointment considerably increases the speed of cesarean wound healing.”
There was a more recent study in February 2019, that evaluated calendula for patients who had suffered from dermatitis associated with their radiation. This is pretty common, up to 95% of patients develop radiation-related skin pain. Calendula appears to be a viable option and should be considered as an adjunct to pharmaceutical skin treatments.
I think calendula would make for a fantastic tea. I make it myself all the time at home, using locally grown flowers.
The marigold flowers are beautiful orange, and they’re dried. You just steep them in water for about 10 minutes, and add honey if desired. Calendula is a type of marigold. Not all marigold flowers can be ingested so if you make the tea, make sure you buy the dried flowers that are consumable, and buy them from a reputable source.
One reason you might consider calendula as a tea, or dietary supplement is if you have ulcerative colitis. There is reason to believe this may be soothing to the intestinal tract and it’s been studied for this very condition. It might be one of the most healing herbs to consider if you have gastritis or reflux, but of course ask your practitioner if it’s right for you.
Some people are allergic to flowers in the marigold family, in which case calendula should be avoided. In addition, avoid calendula if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums or daisies due to potential reactions. Please consult with your doctor about taking any herb orally, including calendula, if you take blood thinners.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.