Calendula or Calendula officinalis is an herbaceous plant of the family Asteraceae. It has commonly been referred to as Pot Marigold or Scotch Marigold, native to northern Europe and the Mediterranean regions. Its bright yellow to orange petals have been used medicinally by the Romans since the 12th century. It has been used to heal dry skin and wounds, prevent acne, reduce inflammation, cure fungal infection and protect from cancer and arthritis. Calendula also has great hair benefits such as ridding hair of dandruff, moisturizing a dry scalp, regenerating hair follicles and is used as a natural hair dye (for blondes and burnettes).
Calendula possesses three main properties that make it especially important for hair and skin health- anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral. Calendula contains powerful flavonoids and carotenoids that are antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage from the sun and environment. Calendula is also rich in anti-inflammatory linoleic acid (fatty acid) which reduces inflammation from dermatitis, rashes, and infections.
Calendula’s antimicrobial and antiviral components fight dandruff, bacterial growth (ringworm), and contact dermatitis. Dandruff and scalp damage can lead to hair fall, thus, healing the scalp is important to healthy strong hair. Calendula’s antimicrobial properties along with iodine, carotene, and manganese promote skin cell regeneration, speeding healing times for wounds or damaged hair follicles to allow for a thicker hair mane. In a study done on slow-healing wounds, calendula helped speed recovery time and healing rate by 90 percent. Calendula improved skin firmness and hydration by increasing blood flow and oxygen to wounds to allow new tissue to heal more rapidly.
How To Use
To make calendula infused oil, take dried calendula flowers in a glass jar. Then fill it with olive oil and close the lid. It should be stored in a dark place and needs to be shaken everyday for half-a-month. After 15 days, strain the oil into an applicator bottle, add 10 drops of Rosemary essential Oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil . To preserve it, mix vitamin E oil. This mixture can be applied to the skin, scalp, and hair.
Though Calendula is known as a safe herb, please consult with your doctor before consuming any herbal supplement.