Saturday, October 27, 2012

Uses for Calendula

calendula is a gentle, soothing herb used for lumps and bumps, mosquito bites, cuts, scrapes, scratches and wounds; for red and inflamed skin, including minor burns and sunburns; for acne, eczema, chapped lips, many rashes (including rashes in small children) and for fungal conditions such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush. It is very helpful for diaper rash and cradle cap and soothes nipples that are sore from breastfeeding. Calendula is also useful to treat skin eruptions or lesions caused by viruses, e.g. herpes sores, skin ulcers, warts, chicken pox and shingles.
  • A healing herb for rough or problem skin.
  • Generous application of the cream will greatly diminish the discomfort of itchy skin. This is probably due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Use to soothe irritated, chapped skin on the hands.
  • *Will help skin heal faster and hurt less (whether applied in tincture or cream form). Calendula has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal actions, which will eliminate infection on the wound site, as well as an anti-inflammatory action, which will reduce pain.
  • Increases epithelialization (the skin’s ability to knit itself back together): a chemical in the plant stimulates the rejoining of broken skin, so it is wonderful for abrasions.
  • As an injury remedy, calendula helps the body clean up the debris that results from trauma to a joint. It helps to resolve the swelling of injuries by facilitating lymphatic cleanup.
  • Formerly just the flowers of calendula were used in skin ointments, but recent discoveries hint that some of the best parts of the plant can be found in the stem!
  • Where the skin is scarred (like from chicken pox, acne, cuts or more severe wounds) try and use calendula oil as a carrier. In many cases, it has significantly reduced the appearance of scar tissue. (aromatherapy)
  • It is softening and encouraging for the skin’s normal growth. (aromatherapy)
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can be used separately or together for an astringent bath that is especially helpful for those with oily or blemished skin.
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can also be infused and mixed with a decoction of distilled water and witch hazel to make a facial cleanser.
  • Calendula and chamomile are particularly useful for young children and babies (a couple drops in the bath of chamomile can soothe and help sleep, as with lavender.)
  • In recent studies, calendula has been proven to help heal venous leg ulcers, which are notoriously slow-healing wounds caused by poor circulation.
  • Eczema: calendula cream works to keep the condition under control. Part of the syndrome is terrible itching which leads to scratching which leads to scabs which leads to scratching, and so on. Calendula cream both soothes the itching and speeds the healing of the broken tissue, thus ending the itch cycle.
  • Gum disease: start gargling with a light tea made with calendula flowers.
  • Calendula is also wonderful for healing any sort of ulcer in the mouth, be it from the herpes virus or another source.
  • Warts: break open marigold leaves and apply the plant juice directly to wart. Do this daily until wart is gone.
  • Sunburn: bathe the sunburn with an infusion of calendula. It repairs damaged skin cells.
  • An infusion of calendula can be used as an effective douche or wash to remedy vaginal thrush.
  • Herpes: sensing an outbreak before it happens is critical when planning to use calendula to avert an actual breakout. Herbalists have found that if herpes sufferers apply calendula cream at the first warning signs, they can avoid a full-blown case of ulcers. Some herbalists feel that it is best to take calendula internally as well as externally, and they recommend a tea of the flowers as well as generous applications of the cream on the areas usually affected.
  • Herpes: due to its combination of anti-inflammatory, antiulcerous and antiviral capacities.

v Stimulates the liver: the daisy family is famous for containing a number of bitter elements that stimulate the liver. The liver’s function is to remove toxins from the body. When it cannot do its job (for instance due to alcoholism), toxins that would otherwise be flushed from the system just sit around, making the skin look bad. I.e. a poorly functioning liver is at the root of many skin conditions. Thus using dandelion, burdock, and globe artichoke to successfully treat liver also helps to improve skin conditions.


  • Taken as a mouthwash, this is an ancient remedy for a toothache.

  Colitis, intestinal problems

  Gastric ulcers

  Speed the healing of nerve damage

  Neuritis, pink eye

  • Antiseptic agents are great for eye irritation and helps with inflammation and itching. Calundula possesses antiseptic properties and works well as an eye wash or a warm compress over the eye.


  • Redheads and blonds: to enrich the natural colours of your hair try a hair oil or try using a calendula infusions as a final rinse after washing your hair. Calendula combines well with chamomile – another skin-caring herb.

  Muscle spasms

  Abdominal cramps, helps to regulate the menstrual cycle

  Constipation, aids digestion

  Cleans lymph and blood

  • Lymphatic herbs are used to decongest or otherwise improve the flow of the lymph within the body. Lymphatic fluid is responsible for supplying the cells with nutrition, cleaning up metabolic wastes, acting as the environment in which immune activity takes place and pretty much makes up most of the interstitial fluid of the body. Lymphatic fluid is not circulated by a pump as is the blood (though it does travel with the blood on its way to the cells), but rather relies on movement of the body to circulate. Inactivity – which more or less comes along with most injuries – impairs lymphatic flow, and thus an herb like Calendula can be useful to prevent stagnation. Dose of tincture would be 5-30 drops.

  Lessens fever

  • The herb can be used fresh, dry, or in tincture.


  • From the Romans forward, calendula has been used to treat carcinoma, and recent evidence indicates that it may in fact contain chemicals that are both antitumor and anticancer. With the plant’s anticancer and immunostimulating powers, a daily once-over with calendula cream may be the answer to protect the skin from the sun. This is particularly true for people who work outdoors.


  • Use a calendula infusion for dogs and cats as a natural way to remedy a flea or mite infestation or skin irritation.
  • If your pet is suffering from ulcers, give him two drops each of calendula, comfrey, knotgrass and nettle twice per day. Couple this with a bland, easy to digest diet until the ulcer has healed.
  • Cuts can be simply disinfected and healing promoted by spraying a tea made from calendula flowers onto the injured area or alternatively you can have a salve made with calendula flowers. When using a salve you will need to cover the area with a bandage as pets are likely to lick it off.


*Our skin is a barometer of our overall health. Using calendula or any other cream on skin that is indicating bad health is a complete waste of time. You need to determine whether or not your skin troubles are rooted in poor general health or some other underlying condition. If your skin is bad because you do not take care of yourself, using calendula in combination with improving your overall health routine will truly make a difference.

*Skin is permeable. What you put on your skin can and will make its way into your body. For this reason, calendula cream is much healthier than steroid cream.

*Doctors used to wonder why at times it seemed that calendula cream worked and at other times it did not. The solution to the query lies in the manner in which the calendula cream was prepared. Calendula cream is prepared from either a water extract or an alcohol extract. Recently, it has been discovered that calendula has two kinds of components: some of which are water-soluble and others which are alcohol-soluble. Modern research has discovered that the water-soluble ingredients are the elements that treat viral infections and the alcohol-soluble ingredients are those that treat bacterial infection. This is why sometimes calendula creams worked on for instance herpes sores and other times it did not: if the cream was not made with a water extract, the viral-suppressing chemicals would not be present.

Marigold medicine

* A tea can be used as a compress for external application, as can an oil, tincture or salve.

*Tincture: There are four types of poisons in plants: alkaloids, glycosides, essential oils and resins. The first three are fairly easy to move from plants to a tincture. Resins, because they “fear” water (hydrophobic) are difficult to tincture. Use high proof alcohol in order to tincture a resin, for example in order to obtain calendula flower tincture.

  • Astringent for Acne (Wysti’s Notes)

This works best for oily skin types.

6 drops peppermint e.o.

15 drops benzoin tincture

1 T. yarrow

1 T. calendula (or chamomile)

2 c. distilled water

Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the herbs. Cover & steep for about 30 minutes. Now add the benzoin tincture and peppermint e.o. Store in the refrigerator.

To use: Shake well before each use. Use 1 t. for each application. Always use a good moisturizer afterwards.

Makes about 96 treatments.

  • Marigold balm (author unknown)

This is a recipe for a simple Marigold ointment, which is excellent for cuts, sores or minor burns.

Take 60g/2oz (about a handful) of freshly picked Marigold flowers, add to 200g/7oz melted petroleum jelly and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer it very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring well. Then sift it through fine gauze and press out all the liquid from the flowers. Pour the liquid into a container and seal it after it has cooled.

  • Calendula salves: The healing properties of calendula are a good addition to any salve. It is particularly appropriate for salves designed to treat sores or ulcers that have not responded very well to other methods or that have shown a resistance to healing.

  • Formula No. 135: Calendula Compound Salve for Eyes


Calendula Flowers 5

Spanish Saffron 1/2

Yellow Precipitate 8

Camphor 10

White Petrolatum 1 ounce

Melt No. 5, then add Nos. I and 2 and heat for about 5 minutes, then strain and add Nos. 3 and 4, rubbing well until a smooth salve is obtained.

Directions: Apply to eye lids morning and night.

This salve is also good for cloudy eyes and may be applied to the eye itself, as it has the tendency of removing film. This formula is very effective for sore, inflamed, granulated eyelids and also for the small furuncular abscesses on the eyelids, called styes.

  • All purpose salve:

Mix together 1 ounce comfrey (aids in cell production, relieves pain), 1 ounce plantain leaves (also promotes healing), and 1 ounce calendula leaves (another great aid in preventing bacteria, healing.)

  • (strong) Calendula tea: Herbs rich in colouring compounds – such as calendula- make enticing and tasty teas.

v Remedies

  • Nettle rash, skin problems
  • Digestive infections
  • Fungal problems. E.g thrush
  • An excellent footbath for athlete’s foot
  • A facial wash for acne
  • An eyewash for conjunctivitis
  • A mouth rinse for aphthous ulcers (canker sores)
  • A vaginal wash for yeast infections

v Recipe: steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes, take one teaspoon per hour.


Tincture (1:5, 25% alcohol): 2.5ml 3 times daily

Spray (1:5, 25% alcohol): Apply to affected area 3 times daily


  • To help gain faerie sight:

Rub a wash of marigold water rubbed on the eyelids.

  • The faeries and nature spirits associated with this flower can help you develop clairaudience. You will find that as begin to attune to them, you will actually start hearing them.
    • They hold the mysteries and magic of thunderstorms.
    • They also hold great knowledge of the power of words – especially those used in the healing process.
    • They have knowledge of the mysteries of love and sacrifice.

Benefits of Calendula
To date, there is limited scientific support for calendula's effectiveness
in treatment of any type of condition. However, findings from the available
research suggest that calendula may be of some benefit in treatment of these
health problems:

1) Radiation-Induced Dermatitis
Calendula may help relieve dermatitis resulting from radiation therapy,
according to a 2004 study of 254 breast cancer patients undergoing radiation
Study results showed that occurrence of severe dermatitis was significantly
lower among patients who used calendula (compared to those who were treated
with trolamine). Patients receiving calendula also experienced significantly
reduced radiation-related pain.

2) Sun Damage
Research in animals suggests that calendula may help protect against
sun-exposure- induced damaged to the skin. For instance, a 2010 study on mice
indicates that calendula 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).

3) Ear Pain
When combined with other botanical extracts, calendula may help soothe pain
caused by ear infections. In a 2003 study of 171 children with
infection-induced ear pain, researchers found that treatment with ear drops
containing calendula, garlic, mullein, St. John's wort, lavender, vitamin E,
and olive oil led to a significant improvement in pain over the course of
three days.

In fact, those who were given ear drops alone had a better
response than those who were treated with both ear drops and amoxicillin.
Is Calendula Safe?

Although calendula is generally considered safe, it may cause allergic
reactions in some individuals. Use of calendula should also be avoided
during pregnancy and lactation.

How to Use Calendula
Sold in most natural-foods stores, calendula is commonly available in cream
and ointment form.
If you're considering the use of calendula for any kind of health condition,
make sure to consult your physician before beginning treatment.

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