The Wonders of Calendula

What did your granny or mother use on your skin when you were a child? Think back. The chances are your mother, or teacher or aunt or carer or dad may have used that wonder substance calendula.

Calendula is one of the tried and true plant substances that has been used by grandmothers and mothers from all around the world for generations. Originally from the Northern Hemisphere’s Mediterranean region, this plant has become a stalwart in the alternative medicine cabinet and can be used for a variety of problems or health issues.

According to The Gardening Australia website, “Calendula are undemanding plants that can be grown in sun or full sun and have a long history of herbal and culinary use.”[1]

Substances found in Calendula

A number of health giving substances are found in calendula. “The plant contains triterpene saponins and also mucilage which have the healing and softening properties that work so well on the mucous membranes and the skin surface. It also contains carotenoids which promote skin healing at a more rapid rate and maximise the strength and health of the cell wall.[2]

Many Uses

Both the leaves and the flowers of the calendula plant can be used to treat ailments. It is particularly good to use as a natural remedy for skin conditions, wounds, sores, allergies, burns and other skin irritations or issues. You can also use it for minor injuries such as lacerations, abrasions.

A calendula balm or salve/ointment is available from most health food stores, naturopathic clinics or natural remedy suppliers and is the most common form of preparation used. But you can also utilise calendula in other forms which include:

  • Calendula tea – use as a refreshing tea drink or use the tea leaves or tea bags as a home remedy poultice that can be applied to sores or used for the throat as a gargle for tonsils or inflammation.
  • Calendula succus – a tincture of calendula suspended in alcohol. This is often used by practitioners to clean up scraps and scrapes and cuts.

You can also use calendula on infants and babies. Calendula tea bags can soothe nappy rash and ointments can help with reddening and chafing on a baby’s delicate skin. It can also help with heat rash.

It is also particularly good for breastfeeding mothers who may have sore nipples. Apply a little to the sore or red area in between feeding times and your cracked and sore nipples will heal extra quickly.

The amazing properties of calendula are there for you to utilise. Speak with your practitioner about the best way for you to use this wonderful natural product.