Nutrition  

Calendula: The Golden Wonder for Joint Pain and Beauty

Written by M. Macdonald

Updated May 16, 2023

Table of Contents
  1. Sources

Introducing Calendula

Calendula officinalis, a plant with a vibrant flower renowned for its medicinal properties, holds a treasure trove of health benefits. From its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties to its ability to calm muscle spasms and combat microbial threats, calendula oil has gained recognition in various realms of wellness.

The magical and powerful herb offers a myriad of uses and is a sight to behold whether adorning a pot or steeping in a large glass jar. It can be used in various forms such as creams, oils, gels, compresses, tinctures, or teas, making it extremely versatile. It can also make your baths invigorating and be used in facial steams, it adds a delightful touch to salads and stews when consumed, and even can be found in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Notably, calendula’s gentle nature renders it suitable for individuals of all ages, including babies and the elderly.

Benefits of Calendula Oil

– Incredible anti-inflammatory properties:
Calendula contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds called flavonoids, which fight against environmental stress, and protect cells from free radical damage via their antioxidant capacity. Calendula contains high levels of anti-inflammatory lineloeic acid, an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, making it widely used for issues like nappy rashes, dermatitis, ear infections, ulcers…

The Indian Journal of Experimental Biology testifies to the effectiveness of calendula’s anti-inflammatory response because of its capacity to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines and Cox-2 in the body.

– Calms muscle spasms:
Muscle spasms are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles, causing them to cramp up and tighten. It can sometimes last in time and make it difficult for the muscles to relax. Data from a study conducted by the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences provides evidence that calendula can reduce muscle spasms and abdominal cramping, allowing muscle relaxation. This can apply to muscles everywhere in the body, including uterine muscles that can cause menstrual cramps and gastro-intestinal muscles.

– Contains antimicrobial compounds:
The oils in the calendula plant contain acids which have been proven to be effective in fighting off pathogens, as well as candida symptoms (like thrush) and even antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria. This explains why calendula is a common ingredient in antiseptic topical products.

The Journal of Applied Oral Science has a study on the antimicrobial activity of Calendula officinalis and especially within the mouth. The study concluded that the use of mouthwashes containing calendula resulted in significant oral microbial and fungal reduction.

How to use Calendula

Calendula is very easy to grow, so you could even plant your own and reap the benefits of your crop! If you want to use your own calendula, pick the flowers at the hight of their bloom on a sunny day to allow the plant to dry. You can use the flowers fresh in a tea infusion, or you can use them dried for cooking or for medicinal or cosmetic purposes.

Topical application: Calendula oil can be applied directly to the skin to soothe and moisturise dry or irritated skin. To use calendula oil topically, apply a few drops to the affected area and massage gently until absorbed. This method can help reduce inflammation and redness, as well as promote wound healing.

Tea: Calendula tea can be made by steeping dried calendula flowers in hot water for 5-10 minutes. This method can help relieve digestive issues such as indigestion and stomach ulcers, as well as boost the immune system. One cup on calendula tea is enough to achieve great benefits.

Culinary use: Calendula petals can be added to salads or soups to add colour and flavour, as well as provide a nutritional boost. The petals can also be used to make infused oils, which can be used in cooking or as a salad dressing.

Supplements: Calendula supplements are available in capsule or tablet form and can be taken orally to support overall health and well-being.

Potential Side Effects

If you have allergies to plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae family such as ragweed, chamomile, and echinacea, it is not recommended to use calendula. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, and individuals trying to conceive should also avoid calendula teas due to its ability to promote menstruation, which may increase the risk of miscarriage. Calendula’s potent pro-menstruation effects could potentially cause complications. Additionally, caution should be exercised when combining calendula with sedatives, as it may interact adversely due to its muscle-relaxing properties.

Conclusion

The remarkable properties of calendula oil make it a valuable addition to one’s wellness routine. Its anti-inflammatory capabilities, attributed to flavonoids and linoleic acid, offer relief from numerous ailments and provides a natural solution for muscle relaxation throughout the body Furthermore, the antimicrobial compounds found in calendula oil make it an effective ally in combating pathogens and addressing candida symptoms.

Calendula can be applied in so many ways, including topical use, tea infusions, culinary incorporation, and supplements, providing numerous benefits for skin, digestion, culinary enjoyment, and overall health. It is suitable for all ages, however, precautions should be taken, as individuals allergic to Asteraceae/Compositae plants, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those using sedatives could encounter adverse effects. Calendula oil presents a natural and effective way to enhance well-being and promote health.

Sources

Preethi KC, Kuttan G, Kuttan R. Anti-inflammatory activity of flower extract of Calendula officinalis Linn. and its possible mechanism of action. Indian J Exp Biol. 2009 Feb;47(2):113-20. PMID: 19374166.

Qiu X, Reed DW, Hong H, MacKenzie SL, Covello PS. Identification and analysis of a gene from Calendula officinalis encoding a fatty acid conjugase. Plant Physiol. 2001 Feb;125(2):847-55. doi: 10.1104/pp.125.2.847. PMID: 11161042; PMCID: PMC64886.

Bashir S, Janbaz KH, Jabeen Q, Gilani AH. Studies on spasmogenic and spasmolytic activities of Calendula officinalis flowers. Phytother Res. 2006 Oct;20(10):906-10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1980. PMID: 16906636.

Faria RL, Cardoso LM, Akisue G, Pereira CA, Junqueira JC, Jorge AO, Santos Júnior PV. Antimicrobial activity of Calendula officinalis, Camellia sinensis and chlorhexidine against the adherence of microorganisms to sutures after extraction of unerupted third molars. J Appl Oral Sci. 2011 Oct;19(5):476-82. doi: 10.1590/s1678-77572011000500007. PMID: 21986652; PMCID: PMC3984193.


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