Calendula is a medicinal plant, also known as well-wanted, bad-wanted, wonder, golden or warty daisy, which is widely used in popular culture to treat skin problems, especially burns and inflammations.
However, according to some studies, this plant also appears to have other incredible benefits of calendula, such as helping to protect the liver, regulate blood sugar levels and even strengthen the immune system.
The calendula’s scientific name is Calendula officinalis and can be purchased at health food stores, compounding pharmacies and at some open markets and markets.
The health benefits of calendula
The following are the main health benefits of calendula:
- Accelerates skin healing
Its ability to stimulate healing is the main benefits of calendula is known, and there are several studies that prove its positive effect on the healing of various types of wounds, from cuts to burns.
This effect seems to be related to its anti-inflammatory, soothing and antimicrobial properties, which in addition to reducing pain and swelling at the site, also prevent the development of microorganisms. In addition, other studies have also shown that calendula increases blood circulation at the wound site and stimulates the formation of collagen, which are two essential pillars for good healing.
- Protects the liver
According to some animal studies, the use of alcoholic marigold extract is able to protect liver cells against injuries caused by the use of some medications, especially acetominophen.
- Fights skin infections and inflammations
In addition to stimulating healing, calendula can also be used to complement the treatment of infected wounds, as it has a strong antimicrobial action, capable of eliminating fungi, bacteria and parasites. Thus, cold marigold tea can be a good option for cleaning wounds, for example.
- Regulates blood sugar levels
Calendula flowers contain compounds that appear to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, making blood sugar levels better controlled.
In addition, the use of this plant with oral antidiabetics also seemed to increase the effectiveness of these drugs, helping to control sugar levels in diabetics.
- Relieves inflammation of mucous membranes
Due to its strong anti-inflammatory, soothing and healing action, calendula can also be used to reduce inflammation in the mouth, such as thrush or gingivitis, as well as other body mucous membranes.
In some cultures, calendula tea is also used to relieve symptoms of gastric problems, however, there are few studies on this effect.
- Strengthens the immune system
Calendula has a strong antioxidant action due to its composition rich in alkaloids, carotenoids and flavonoids, which are able to eliminate free radicals and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, some laboratory investigations have also found that the use of aqueous marigold extracts also appears to increase the activation of lymphocytes, which are important cells of the immune system.
How to use the Calendula
The most used part of the Calendula is its dried flowers, which can be used to make teas, infusions, baths, ointments, poultices or tinctures.
Some of the most popular ways to use Calendula at home include:
Calendula tea: put 2 tablespoons of the Calendula flowers in 1 cup of boiling water and let stand for 5 minutes. Then strain and drink 1/2 cup in the morning and half a cup at night.
Calendula poultice: knead marigold leaves and flowers on a clean cloth (gauze) and put on top of the wound or acne, allowing to act for 30 minutes;
Gargles: prepare warm Calendula tea to gargle for 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times;
Infusion for cleaning wounds: prepare Calendula tea, let it cool and then use the infusion to wash the wound.
To facilitate application to the skin, calendula can also be found in some pharmacies and health food stores in the form of an ointment, which may contain other natural substances that also aid in healing.
Possible side effects Calendula
Although rare, some people may experience symptoms of an allergic skin reaction, such as redness, swelling and itching. In such cases, the skin should be washed with cold water to remove the substance.