Calendula is a skin health tonic for all skin types. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine, but is also used in Western medicine to internally treat ulcers, prevent muscle spasms, reduce fevers. In this blog we will explore the comfort of Calendula and the 3 key benefits for skin and what makes it a true hero ingredient for skin.
Calendula, scientifically known as Calendula officinalis, is a plant with bright orange or yellow flowers. A member of the daisy family calles asteraceae and often known as 'pot marigold' (not to be mistaken with French/African Marigold (Tagetes spp) which is considered inedible and toxic to dogs) they grow well in pots and in all climates and readily grow back year after year.
In England Calendula has been cultivated since the 1200's and the flowers used for their natural dye to colour food and clothing for centuries. By the 1800's doctors discovered that Calendula when used as a poultice, could stop bleeding. Pronounced kuh-len-juh-luh, Calendula gets its name from the Latin word Calendae, meaning 'little calendar', likely referring to the fact that several species of this plant flower almost all year round.
It is a great flower to plant for bees and other important pollinators and with the bee population at risk of heavy decline due in (big!) part to the overuse of pesticides, it is now more important than ever to make sure we are planting flowers that support bees to thrive.
The cleansing effects are a soothsayer for skin. With their citrus slightly peppery taste, Calendula flowers are deliciously edible. When taken internally, calendula flowers can soothe indigestion and ease heartburn. Also, on account of their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antimicrobial they're a welcome tonic and boost to the immune system. Safe for children too but not advised for internal use for pregnant women.
1.Calendula has Skin Regenerative Properties
Calendula has regenerative properties, which is why it’s often found in products to rebuild skin tissue and lighten scars. Used for centuries as a medicinal herb Calendula's ability to heal wounds, reduce inflammation, and promote skin health is well documented. Calendula can be used topically as a salve or tincture, and it can also be taken orally in the form of a tea or tincture. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for treating skin issues. Additionally, it has been shown to stimulate the production of collagen, which helps to promote skin regeneration whilst tightening the skin so it really great in products for the face (check out my beauty here: Magnificent Night Oil ).
2. Calendula Is Rich In Natural Antioxidants
Both powerfully medicinal and edible it's a plant hailed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Calendula flowers are rich in antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids, polyphenols, and carotenoids. These antioxidants help neutralise free radicals, limiting the effect they can have on the skin. One of calendula’s most notable benefits in terms of skincare is its ability to help protect the skin from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a catch-all term to describe the damage that occurs when the skin is exposed to free radicals, or reactive oxygen species. These damaging compounds form after exposure to a stressor, like UV radiation or pollution, and accumulate on the skin. Without intervention, free radicals can alter cellular DNA, ultimately resulting in damage to necessary structural compounds like collagen and elastin.
3. Calendula Helps Keep Skin Hydrated
Studies show that calendula flower extract is rich in a variety of skin-friendly oils. Though the exact quantities of these compounds vary depending on where the flowers were grown, when they were harvested, and how the extract was made, research indicates that calendula seeds typically include a high concentration of linoleic and calendic acid. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in the skin’s natural moisture barrier and is involved in maintaining the skin barrier’s proper functioning. Evidence suggests that using topical skincare products containing linoleic acid—like those made with calendula extract—may help promote a more hydrated, healthy skin moisture barrier. Calendula is preventative in that it aids skin's ability to retain water which means fewer fine lines and crow's feet.
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