Ingredient Spotlight – Calendula
The Wonder Herb!
Calendula. Well what can I say about this amazing little flower? Looks very pretty doesn’t it? Did you know it’s edible? Yup! The flower petals make a great herbal tea (More on the benefits of that later!) and they’re also pretty yummy in a salad!
Calendula oil comes from the flower tops of the marigold, native to Southwestern Asia. It is usually made by infusing the flowers with a light carrier oil such as Sweet Almond (That’s how we do it anyway!) The infusion can take up to eight weeks depending on the strength of the oil you want to end up with.
Calendula contains antioxidants including flavanoids and carotenoids. The leaves contain beta-carotenes and lutien which are Vitamin A carotenoids. These also work as antioxidants. Phew! That was very sciencey wasn’t it?! Basically antioxidants are what help to stop your skin producing too many free radicals, reducing the signs of ageing! that can’t be bad can it?
Calendula also works well as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic! Told you it was a wonder herb!
So what does this mean for your skin? Well the antiseptic properties obviously make it great for use on small wounds, burns and insect bites, while the combined other properties work amazingly well for dry skin, inflammation, nappy rash, skin irritations such as eczema, psoriasis and athlete’s foot. That’s why you’ll find it in our Skin Soothing Balm! The powerful antioxidants will work to reduce redness and scars! Great if you suffer with stretch marks or acne scars (Like me!)That’s why you’ll find calendula in our Skin Soothing Balm!
If you have painful joints or suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, you can add some calendula to a skin balm and apply it to your aching joints.
So what about eating it??
We obviously we don’t recommend eating (well, drinking) the oil! The petals however are a different story! When brewed as part of a herbal tea, calendula can help reduce congestion, can aid digestion by elimination inflammation, and will also ease a sore throat and help to reduce the effects of tonsillitis. It is also wonderful for reducing the pain of menstrual cramps!
The beta-carotene found in calendula can also cut down on risks associated with joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and even some forms of cancer!
Lots of research has been carried out and so far, calendula is pretty much unmatched in terms of its healing abilities. It is not known to cause any reactions to medications, however, if you do have any concerns, we would always recommend speaking to your GP.