Why We Choose Calendula For Skin Problems
Such As Atopic Dermatitis.
There is no other oil quite like calendula for skin that is damaged
Read how even breast cancer patients have been feeling its benefits.
Beautiful sunny marigolds.
They are so jolly and cheerful bobbing their heads in the sunshine, but don't let their congenial way deceive you . These are full on healing warriors with not just a past full of history of their properties but also very current and important research and scientific evidence.
There are in fact 20 different species of marigold that have healing properties but in aromatherapy we are mainly interested in just two main strains. Calendula and Tagetes.
You may also know it more commonly as Pot Marigold, Holligold, mary-bud and goldbloom.
Those vibrant orange/gold petals are edible and make a wonderful addition to any salad but also dye icings a gorgeous saffron colour.
Both leaves and petals are used to make the essential oil, and it is important that they are picked in the very finest of weathers. Legend has it that in days gone by in Russia so many were grown for their healing powers that they came to be known as Russian penicillin. Like all flowers calendula or marigold have beautiful meanings in flower language- imagine having a bouquet sent to you saying "affection " or "rememberance".
Archaeological evidence has shown that the ancient Greeks and also the Egyptians both grew marigolds, and there are many accounts of the Romans using the flowers to treat scorpion stings.
It was during this time that it gained its name Calendula, from the Latin term Calends, meaning the first day of each month, because of the way that it follows the sun in its growth cycle. It has an incredibly long flowering time from spring to late autumn.
It seems obvious that it would be ruled by the Sun in astrology but also the astrological sign Leo.
Through the centuries it has mainly been used in tinctures but we are lucky enough to be able to access not just the essential oil but also my personal favourite carrier oil which is made from a maceration of the petals.
The list of the ways that Calendula can be used is long but most important are the healing properties of calendula for skin, as it has the ability to stimulate the re-growth of skin cells at the granular layer.
The reason why we use calendula for skin over other oils is because it its high levels carotenoids , which are lovely and nourishing but it also contains small amounts of salicylic acid, the active ingredient contained in aspirin. So on top of the way it heals then it also has the power to take the sting out of broken skin.
It is antiviral and bactericidal and there are many accounts of soldiers using calendula for skin wounds that were completely open, in a bid to heal them but also to try to stave off any infections.
It is obvious then that we should use it to treat eczema but also atopic dermatitis an actually this is where the most exciting breakthroughs have been made in allopathic(the doctors) medicine.
Evidence of the mastery of calendula for skin healing is so strong that is now recommended that calendula ointment be used to treat the dermatitis that is symptomatic in breast cancer patients after radiation therapy.
Click here to read the recommendations for calendula for skin after radiation treatment.
Evidence also shows that healing of post operative scars of mastectomies and also caesarean scars have also been improved by daily use of calendula for skin care.
So, take this out on a broader scale. Think calendula for skin that is suppurating, blistering or broken. Abscesses are also improved.
It is also of great use for varicose veins, not only because of the help it gives to the eczema that often occurs with it but also that the salicylic acid thins the blood slightly, and releases some of the pressure.
For the same reason a compress,or some ointment on haemorrhoids will ease some of the discomfort.
It is stimulating to the uterus, and actually that would be a good supporting reason to use calendula for skin on cracked nipples for breast feeding, it will help to bring the uterus down too. I would add here though, to be careful that all traces are washed away before baby latches on for her next feed. Its bitter taste could very well put her off. Herbalists on the other hand recommend that calendula be avoided during pregnancy and lactation. You must draw your own conclusions here.
I will say that I have used marigold both to heal my nipples when I was feeding but also to release the pain and
when my milk came in when I had Aimée. It was absolutely tortuous; my already ample bosom was inflated to the size of a bowling ball, was totally engorged with milk and was burning on fire. I just lay in the bath for an hour alternating warm and cold compresses soaked in calendula and the milk slowly released and eased. Huge relief and ctually that was a massive hurdle in helping me to bond with my first child.
On the token on babies...there is nothing that beats calendula for skin that is red and raw from nappy rash.
Its uterine uses are also a boon for those suffering from painful periods. But its effects also work from a deeper level here too.
It stimulates the lymphatic system and so benefits any condition where the body is compacted.
Sluggish lymphatic system will definitely cause a pain in the pelvis, because of the build up of pressure. Not only is the menstruation eased at the source in the uterus but enjoys a freer flow with the toxins in the pelvis released.
As you would imagine from its yellow colour it also has an affinity to the liver, and can help reduce jaundice in some instances.
I would also recommend it for internal conditions where there is ulcerations too. Mouth ulcers of course benefit, but also chronic conditions such as ulcerative colitis. It is wonderfully anti- inflammatory and can really soothe the lesions. Although it is possible to take marigold internally I would still recommend using a cream to readily apply small amounts and let the oil absorb through the skin and do their jobs.
Ear infections and also conjunctivitis are also common uses for calendula.
Emotional properties of Calendula
Not much is written about how it affects the mental aspect of the body, strangely. In her book the Garden of Eden, mum lists it as helping to see the complexity of situations.
I would use it for nervous tension too, I suppose for situations where a decision must be made.
Disappointingly for me, as those who read my work a lot will know I love to be able to relate the spiritual aspects of an oil back, but this seems to be a such a grounded physical oil.
there is a common thread through many different sects and religions from Shamanism to Anglo-saxon folklore that if there are marigold around your door no evil can enter into the house.
Shamans go so far as to say that if evil walks by the golden flowers will change their colour and completely turn black.
Calendula is found in our Marigold Balm
And also our Aloe vera and Calendula Ointment
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