Health Benefits of Calendula
Calendula officinalis is commonly known as common marigold, pot marigold or English marigold. It belongs to the genus Calendula in the family Asteraceae. It is a plant with native origins to Southern Europe, even though it has spread on to northern parts in Europe and other warm temperate regions in the world. The calendula plant is a perennial plant with herbaceous properties. The plant is short lived and aromatic in nature. It may grow up to 80 cm (31 in) tall with erect stems. The leaves are long up to 5-17 cm in size and hairy on both sides. Calendula officinalis is widely cultivated in sunny locations all around the world in all types of soil. It is annual by existence in colder and hotter extreme regions where survival is poor.
The calendula herb is primarily used as a medicinal herb. The flower of the calendula plant is used to make medicines. Pot marigold florets are usually edible with uses in adding colour to dishes or as a garnish to dishes. The flowers have a spicy aroma. The flower was sued as a dyeing agent for costumes and clothes. In recent times, calendula is also used to make oil that protects the skin.
The chemical content of calendula officinalis is mainly reported by experimental studies. The studies indicated the presence of a number of oleanolic acid glycosides. A number of other chemicals like calendulin (also known as bassorin), sterols and fatty acids such as calendic acid have also been identified. The carotenoid pigments have been used widely as colouring agents in cosmetics and the oil has widespread acceptance as perfumes. The plant also contains Triterpenoid in free as well as ester forms along with tocopherols, mucilage and a volatile oil.
Calendula plant is mostly used as a remedy for ailments and diseases. In some cases it has also been used as perfumes and cosmetics. Here are the health benefits of the herb:
Calendula tea has been known to work effectively in the healing of peptic ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases. It is particularly helpful for gastro-intestinal problems. Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, it helps prevent inflammation due to infections.
FOR ENHANCING IMMUNITY
This herb is helpful to improve the immunity of the body and helps prevent infection by stimulation of the lymphatic systems.
It is helpful as topical remedies for rashes, stings, burns, sunburns, swellings, eczema, acne etc.
GUM AND MOUTH GARGLE
It is also used as a mouth gargle for sore and bleeding gums and sore throats as well.
The flowers of the calendula plant are the most useful part of the plant. The extracts of the flower have been particularly helpful in treatment of cancer. The dried petals of the calendula plant may be used as a seasoning for saffron and consequently as a saffron adulterate. The oil extracted from the flower can also be used as a means to protect skin.
The plant appears to have low potential for toxicity. Despite this, it has been seen to induce allergic reactions and contact sensitization in some cases.