7 Impressive Calendula Benefits & Uses

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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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.

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 officinalis is the most common species within the genus, but all species 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 made 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.

A small jar of calendula oil with calendula flowers on a wooden table

Health Benefits of Calendula

Let’s take a closer peek at the diverse health benefits of this flowering plant.

Healing Properties

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 its anti-inflammatory properties, 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.

Oral Health

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.

Skin Care

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 age 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.

Eye Care

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.

Reduced Inflammation

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.

Anti-Cancer Potential

Calendula oil has certain anti-tumor properties that make it very valuable in new cancer research exploring natural solutions to this global epidemic. Calendula extracts have shown anti-tumor properties. Research by Eva Jimenez Medina, Angela Garcia Lora et al, was conducted to evaluate if calendula extract can prevent toxicity and enable effective and non-toxic way in treating and preventing cancer. The study published in the BMC Cancer Journal states that calendula extracts show positive results in its possible role in cancer management, especially in cancer prevention, treatment, and palliative care. However, more research studies are awaited to corroborate this point.

Reduced Cramping

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 if it is used 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.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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