Calendula is a flowering plant used for medicinal purposes. The calendula plant or more specifically its flower is generally used to start menstrual periods, alleviate the symptoms of fever and decrease the possibility of muscle spasms.
It has also been used to treat menstrual cramps, treat sore throat, stomach ulcers, cancers, smallpox, measles, and jaundice. With such a wide range of application, the calendula flower can indeed be considered a flower with excellent health benefits. In this article, we will look at the interesting details about this flower and the specific uses of calendula.
Calendula: A General Overview
Calendula is called by a number of different names such as Zergul, Souci Officinal, Souci des Vignes, Souci des Jardins, and Souci des Champs, among others.
It is generally used as a topical solution. It is applied to an individual’s skin to treat various health and skin conditions. It can alleviate the symptoms of swelling, inflammation, and pain and address various leg ulcers and other wounds or injuries.
It is also applied to the skin to alleviate other health conditions such as varicose veins, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, rectum inflammation, infection of the ear, diseases of the gum, skin peeling of the lips also known as exfoliative cheilitis, eyelid inflammation also known as conjunctivitis, diaper rash and yeast infection of the vagina. It has also been shown to effective against warding off insects and therefore is also used as an insect repellant.
Calendula looks similar to other ornamental marigolds. However, it should not be confused with the said plant usually grown in residential gardens. It is believed that it can do all of these things in terms of improved health and enhanced skin condition because of the presence of certain chemicals in calendula. The said chemical compounds in this flowering plant can generally help lessen the swelling in the throat and mouth aid the body in growing new tissues for injuries or wounds.
Specific Uses of Calendula
Looking at the myriad ailments and health conditions calendula can address, it seems that calendula can be an almost jack of all trades kind of flowering plant to patients who need relief from the aforementioned illnesses. Listed below are some of the specific uses and additional benefits:
1. Help alleviate the symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers
Studies suggest that spraying calendula on diabetic foot ulcers can actually help prevent further infection and lessen the bad smell coming from the said part of the patient’s body. However, patients are reminded that spraying calendula on diabetic foot ulcers should be accompanied by proper hygiene and standard diabetic care.
2. Ease the symptoms of anal fissures or tears
Patients with anal fissures or tears who do not respond to the standard treatment of medication and sitz bath may find that applying calendula on the affected portion of their bodies may help decrease the level of pain for patients.
3. Potentially address the symptoms of exfoliative cheilitis or peeling lips
Evidence suggests that the application of calendula ointment on a patient’s lips may help to alleviate the symptoms caused by peeling lips or exfoliative cheilitis in as fast as fifteen (15) days.
4. Help patients with diaper rash
Studies have shown that diaper rash may be much better handled by calendula than the standard aloe gel. The application of calendula on diaper rash for ten (10) days showed significant improvement on the condition of the diaper rash compared to gel from the aloe vera plant.
5. May be used as an insect repellant
Calendula applied to the skin can be used to repel insects. Evidence suggests, however, that it is not as effective as other commercially available mosquito repellents.
6. Ease the symptoms of gum inflammation
A recent study observed that rinsing and soaking the mouth for half a year with a certain calendula formula may reduce the instances of plaque, inflammation of the gums and gum bleeding by up to 18% versus just using water to wash out the mouth. Combining it with ginger and rosemary as a rinsing regimen for two (2) weeks showed signs of lowered levels of inflammation of the gums, plaque, and gum bleeding.
7. Speed up the healing of pressure ulcers
Evidence suggests that the healing of pressure ulcers is sped up with the use of calendula.
8. Aid patients experiencing vaginal atrophy
Vaginal atrophy or the thinning of the walls of the vagina may be addressed by calendula. One study found that applying a gel that is a mixture of calendula, isoflavones, lactobacillus sporogenes, and lactic acid can help alleviate the symptoms of vaginal atrophy. These include drying of the vaginal skin, itching of the vagina and a burning sensation in the vagina.
9. Speed up the healing of wounds and injuries
Regular application of calendula paired with standard wound care can actually speed up the healing process of wounds and injuries.
10. Help patients with a vaginal yeast infection
Calendula cream can help patients address the infection brought about by vaginal yeast. However, it must also be noted that calendula is not as effective as other vaginal creams meant for this purpose.
Considerations Before Using Calendula
Calendula is relatively safe for use by most individuals. However, there are some considerations in terms of side effects that people should look into before using it. Listed below are the said possible side effects:
- Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients: Patients who are pregnant and breastfeeding are discouraged from taking calendula orally as it may possibly cause a miscarriage.
- Allergic Reactions to Certain Plants: Since it is a flowering plant, patients who have allergic reactions to similar plants may want to avoid taking Calendula as it may trigger an allergic response from the patient.
- Right before and after surgery: It may cause patient drowsiness when taken together with drugs for surgical procedures. As such, it is best to avoid taking calendula right before and after the conduct of a surgical procedure.