Calendula


Calendula officinalis

Synonyms - Calendula is commonly known as "pot marigold," "garden marigold," or sometimes just plain "marigold." Here is where we get into some trouble. There are two marigolds sold at garden centers. One is medicinal, and the other is not. The two plants are entirely different and unrelated. One is Tagetes erecta, and the other is Calendula officinalis.

Description - Calendula is a member of the daisy family, along with chrysanthemums, sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, elecampane, asters, thistles, chamomile, dandelion, burdock, and globe artichokes. A number of members of this family, most notably chamomile, elecampane, dandelion, and burdock, are used to treat skin problems. It would seem that this family contains a set of chemicals that in some fashion speed skin healing, although the exact nature of these chemicals and their interaction remains a mystery.

Calendula plants should be harvested in full bloom, a period that starts about one month after planting. You will want to harvest ten plants as we will need five for our water extract and five for our alcohol extract. Once you have pulled them out by their roots, drag the lot into the kitchen, put them in the sink, pull off any dead leaves and slugs, and wash the plants from top to bottom, taking extra care to get the dirt off and down the sink. Once you have washed your ten plants, it is time to chop them into bits Ė stems, roots, petals, the works!

Calendula creme - Calendula creme has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifugal actions, which will eliminate infection on the wound site, and as well an anti-inflammatory action, which will reduce pain. It's ingredient are volatile oil, bitter substances, carotenoid substances (lycopin, neolycopin, citroxathin, carotin, violaxanthin, flavoxaanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin), gums, mucilage, resin, albumine, malic acid, cholesterin esters of laurin, myristin, palmatin acids, vitamin C, arnidol and faradiol (dihydroxy alcohols), calendin, triterpendiols, parafine, cerylalcholhol, stimasterin, glycosides and glucosides.

Therapeutic Uses - Calendula extracts have been proven to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, antiulcerous, immuno-stimulating and promoting of epithelization. Extracts of calendula both take care of several causes of skin problems, such as bacterial and viral infections, and treat a number of the symptoms, such as inflammation and ulceration. Increasing epithelialization is a critical element referring to the skinís ability to knit itself back together.

Even with these two known causes of the disorder out of the way, some people still suffer from eczema and calendula creme both soothes the itching and speeds the healing of the broken tissue, thus ending the itch cycle. Athleteís foot fungus is yet another unpleasant condition that can be eradicated with the use of calendula creme, ingredients contained in the plant have antifungal powers.

 

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