The most impressive health benefits of calendula include its ability to speed healing, protect oral health, improve the appearance of the skin, boost vision, lower inflammation, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and eliminate cramps.
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What is Calendula?
You may not recognize the name calendula, but perhaps you have heard of marigolds, which is the broad classification of the flowering plants found within this genus. Calendula officianalis is the most common species within the genus, but all possess certain compounds and substances that make them valuable in certain parts of the world. You may hear the name marigold in reference to a different genus, but it specifically refers to 15-20 different species of pot marigold found throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean region, and parts of southern Asia.
In terms of the parts of these small, yellow-flowered plants that are consumed, the petals are edible and have traditionally been used in soups and stews and salads, while a powerful chemical extract can be removed from the stems and leaves of calendula plants. This extract is rich in a variety of organic compounds, including glycosides, saponins, and other powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
Health Benefits of Calendula
Let’s take a closer peek at the diverse health benefits of this flowering plant.
One of the best reasons to keep calendula handy is due to its healing abilities. If you apply this flower oil to your cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites, you can quickly speed the healing process, partially due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, in addition to the unique antioxidant compounds found in this miraculous plant. By protecting against infections, it keeps wounds and scrapes safe, allowing them to heal rapidly.
There are also certain antibacterial properties of calendula that have made it very popular in recent years. You will often find it on the ingredients list of various herbal health and hygiene products, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, and shampoos. In terms of oral health, toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain calendula are very effective in killing bacteria that cause everything from gingivitis to cavities.
Aside from stimulating healing, calendula oil can significantly boost the appearance of your skin. It can affect blood flow to the skin cells, provide antioxidant protection that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and ages spots, and even the visibility of scars. If you want smooth, even-toned skin that glows with youthful vitality, consider adding some organic products that contain calendula or consume it in another form, such as tea.
Research has shown that calendula contains certain antioxidant compounds that directly impact your vision. Beta-carotene is essential for the health and functioning of your eyes, and it is a wonderful source of this compound. You can prevent macular degeneration and the development of cataracts in this way.
Regardless of where inflammation is occurring, this flowering plant can significantly reduce the discomfort. If you are suffering from a cough or congestion, calendula tea can be a wonderful remedy. If your joints are hurting from arthritis or gout, add some calendula oil to a skin balm and enjoy a rapid reduction in pain. Finally, if your stomach is upset, it can help normalize your gastrointestinal system and eliminate any inflammation that may be causing discomfort.
Calendula oil has certain anti-tumor properties that make it very valuable in new cancer research exploring natural solutions to this global epidemic. Cancer remains one of the great mysteries of our species in terms of collective health, and compounds like those found in calendula offer an interesting new angle on this critical issue.
There are also some anti-spasmodic properties of calendula that are also taken advantage of by many people. If you suffer from a nervous system disorder, have painful cramping in relation to menstruation or some other type of spasmodic condition, adding calendula to your diet may be a wise choice.
Word of Caution: Some people have shown allergic reactions to the use of calendula oil, particularly in high doses and concentrations. However, if you consult a trained herbalist or medical professional before adding it to your health regimen, you should be able to avoid any major side effects.