Monday, January 18, 2010

Calendula: Herbal Remedies>>>
When looking for an herbal remedy to treat skin or wounds, think flower power -- or, more specifically, calendula. Its flowers, and occasionally its leaves, can be used to treat a variety of afflictions in different ways.

Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical. This lovely marigoldlike flower (although called pot marigold, it is not a true marigold) is considered a vulnerary agent, a substance that promotes healing. Calendula also has anti-inflammatory and weak antimicrobial activity. It is most often used topically for lacerations, abrasions, and skin infections; less commonly, it is used internally to heal inflamed and infected mucous membranes.

Uses of Calendula

Numerous topical preparations exist for external use. Calendula salve, for example, is a useful and versatile product to keep in the first-aid kit or home medicine chest. In addition to treating minor cuts and abrasions, the salve is great for chapped lips and diaper rash. You can use calendula teas as a mouthwash for gum and tooth infections, a gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis, and a sitz bath for genital inflammation or hemorrhoids. Or drink the tea to help treat bladder infections or stomach ulcers.

Calendula Preparations and Dosage

Most health food stores carry calendula soaps, oils, lotions, salves, and creams. Herb stores also supply bulk dried flowers, tincture, and calendula succus, which is made by extracting the fresh juice from the leaves and young flowers and preserving it with a bit of alcohol. Calendula succus is popular among naturopathic physicians, who use it during minor surgical procedures (to help heal the incision) and topically on skin wounds and infections. For internal use, take 1 teaspoon, three or more times daily.

Calendula Precautions and Warnings

Do not apply any fat-based ointments, including calendula salve, to wounds that are oozing or weeping; use watery preparations only, such as calendula tea, and allow the area to air dry completely between applications. On recently stitched wounds, wait until stitches have been removed and scabs have formed before applying calendula ointments or other calendula preparations. An exception would be a very brief and light application of calendula succus or tea applied without any rubbing or friction. Calendula should not be taken internally during pregnancy.

Side Effects of Calendula

Luckily, no side effects are commonly reported; calendula is considered safe and nontoxic.


RMCrowley said...

its a wonderful herb! golden and liquid in light!
i use it as an healing salve and also a tea daily.i am starting to grow it now.i make my own salve!
blessings to you thanks. does this herb work for acne redness and scars??

Josie said...

Is Calendula more potent than aloe? Or just as?