In regular use since the 12th century, calendula is a pot of gold in the first-aid cabinet today. Nicked your finger while snipping open an envelope? Got a nasty scrape while rollerblading? Chafed your legs from regular running? For everything from a minor burn to sunburn, calendula is the go-to remedy mothers and grandmothers have turned to for generations.
Here are a handful of ways in which calendula works its magic – some might surprise you!
Heal Cuts, Scrapes, And Bites
There’s a reason your mom reached out for her trusty tube of calendula every time you took a tumble! Calendula cream can be used on scrapes, cuts, or even chafing. Calendula boosts blood flow to the injured area, helping the body heal the wound faster by aiding new tissue growth.1 It also helps soothe insect bites and stings thanks to its antiseptic properties.2
Treat Burns and Bruises
For similar reasons, calendula is often used for first-aid when someone receives a bad bruise or burn. The anti-inflammatory properties of calendula can also protect you from any potential minor infections.3
Fight Infections and Calm a Fever
If you’ve come down with a fever, calendula can actually help you sweat it out and cool down the body. It also fights inflammation and some believe it can even help the body fight off bacteria and viruses.4
And that’s not all!
- If applied to the skin in the area of the nose, calendula can help stem nosebleeds.5
- It can also be used topically to reduce varicose veins.6
- Calendula can also reduce inflammation along the eyelid, like in cases of pinkeye (conjunctivitis).7
- You can even use it to treat problems down under, including hemorrhoids and proctitis (inflammation of the rectum).8
Calendula Benefits For Cancer Patients
The humble calendula may even be potent enough to take on cancer. As an injectable or orally administered treatment, calendula is now being researched for its anti-tumor and immunomodulatory properties. If proven effective, the use of calendula could be an invaluable part of cancer treatment. The plant’s high count of antioxidants, called flavonoids, can help counter damage caused by free radicals.9
Calendula may offer some other benefits to cancer patients as well. Breast cancer patients going through radiation therapy sometimes experience skin inflammation called dermatitis as a side effect. Studies have shown that calendula can help ease this when applied topically, and when little else has helped.10
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Calendula. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|2.||↑||Steel, Susannah, ed. Neal’s Yard Remedies. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. 2011.|
|3.||↑||Braun, Lesley, and Marc Cohen. Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: An Evidence-Based Guide. Vol. 2. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015.|
|4, 5, 6, 8.||↑||Calendula. US National Library of Medicine.|
|7.||↑||Safdar, Waseem, Hamid Majeed, Ishrat Naveed, Waqas Khan Kayani, Haroon Ahmed, Saqib Hussain, and Atif Kamal. “Pharmacognostical study of the medicinal plant Calendula officinalis L.(family Compositae).” Int J Cell Mol Biol 1 (2010): 108-16.|
|9.||↑||Jiménez-Medina, Eva, Angel Garcia-Lora, Laura Paco, Ignacio Algarra, Antonia Collado, and Federico Garrido. “A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation.” BMC câncer 6, no. 1 (2006): 1.|
|10.||↑||Pommier, P., F. Gomez, M. P. Sunyach, A. D’hombres, C. Carrie, and X. Montbarbon. “Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer.” Journal of Clinical Oncology 22, no. 8 (2004): 1447-1453.|