Calendula officinalis, often called the garden marigold or medicinal marigold, is a flower with a very bright yellow orange color which opens and closes following the movement of the sun. This special characteristic has led the flower to be dubbed the “sun’s fiancee”. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.
It comes in different cultivars but growing it is easy. Simply sow in ordinary soil that drains well between April and June, and that’s enough for the marigold to reseed itself naturally from one year to the next. It can be sown in a pot or in a garden and only requires very little care.
Native to the Mediterranean area, it is grown in all parts of the world that benefit from a temperate climate. It grows to a height of 16 to 28 inches (40 to 70 cm). Its blooming begins with the first days of spring and can last during the entire year if the weather is mild enough. Its flowers are edible.
Marigold, a short story
From Greek and Roman times, use of medicinal marigold is noted in culinary tradition and also in cosmetics. It won over the hearts of Europeans in the 7thcentury, and its cultivation spread during the Middle Ages. Its medicinal properties brought attention to it: it soothes insect bites, snake bites, and seemed effective against jaundice, conjunctivitis and fever.
Herbalists and doctors took to the plant and added it as an ingredient in personal hygiene and skin products thanks to its therapeutic benefits.
Calendula oil benefits for skin
Calendula oil may be an alternative remedy to treat various skin conditions as well as improve the quality and appearance of the skin. Here are seven ways calendula oil may be used for the skin.
Calendula oil for wounds
Calendula oil might accelerate wound healing. Research from 2013 suggested that using aloe vera or calendula ointment along with standard care sped up episiotomy recovery time.
In the study, women who used either ointment every eight hours for five days showed improvement in symptoms such as redness, swelling, and bruising. Adding aloe or calendula ointment to standard care was found to be more effective than using standard care alone.
Calendula oil for acne
Some people use calendula oil to treat acne. A 2011 study done in petri dishes found that calendula extract may be useful in treating and preventing acne vulgaris, but more research is needed to back this up.
You can try washing your face using a calendula cleanser. You can apply calendula cream, oil, or spot treatment to your whole face or use it to target acne-prone areas. You may even wish to try a face mask treatment once per week.
Calendula oil for eczema
Although there’s no research to support it, some people use calendula oil to treat eczema. However, a 2004 study found it can help relieve pain from dermatitis in people receiving radiation for breast cancer.
Calendula oil for diaper rash
Calendula oil might help soothe diaper rash. A small 2012 study found that while an aloe vera cream was effective in treating diaper rash, a calendula ointment was significantly more beneficial. However, this research is preliminary.
To relieve diaper rash, you can try applying a small amount of calendula oil on its own or mixed with aloe vera on the affected area a few times per day (7).
Calendula oil for better skin
Calendula oil might improve the overall appearance of your skin. A small 2011 study found that a cream containing calendula extract may promote skin hydration and firmness, but more research is needed.
It’s also speculated that calendula might help treat contact dermatitis, which includes reactions to poison ivy.
You can try applying a calendula oil or cream on your skin twice per day.
SKIN PATCH TEST
Do a skin patch test to ensure you’re not allergic to a new skin care product. Apply a small amount of the product to a small patch of skin, like your inner wrist. Wait for 24 to 48 hours. If you see or feel irritation in that area after that time frame, discontinue use.
Are there any risks?
This herb is one of the safest herbs out there. It is not counter indicated with any medication. But if you are allergic to marigold, plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family topical application of this herb may cause rashes.
Pregnant and lactating women should avoid using this herb in any of its forms, just to be safe.