Calendula flowers (Calendula flores)
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Calendula officinalis, a brightly orange-colored flower of the Asteraceae family, is a particular species of Marigolds. But while common Marigolds are more suited for flowerbeds, Calendula is used for making healing teas, infusions and tinctures, which have been used for hundreds of years.
In Russian herbal medicine, Calendula has been known since the 12th century, and both Romans and Greeks had been using it even before that.
These flowers are mostly utilized for their anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antiviral properties, and due to the unobtrusive taste and attractive aroma, Calendula tea has found its way into many households.
Therapeutic Properties of Calendula Flowers
Calendula flowers contain a lot of biologically active substances, but the most essential ones are the following:
- Lycopene is an antioxidant, that protects the body from the likelihood of heart disease, hypertension and even a number of cancers;
- Lutein, which is well-deservedly called “the eye vitamin.” It has been scientifically proven that lutein prevents cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis;
- Saponins, which thin the sputum during bronchitis and other lung disorders;
- Salicylic acid is a known component of ointments intended for the treatment of skin diseases;
- Essential oils have both anti-inflammatory properties and are responsible for the excellent taste and aroma of Calendula tea.
Therefore, Calendula has pronounced anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, antispasmodic and regenerative properties. It stimulates the secretory activity of the digestive organs, has sedative and antiarrhythmic effects and even the registered oncoprotective activity.
And last but not the least, Calendula flowers have a high antiviral activity in relation to influenza virus types A and A2.
Storage and Handling
Store Calendula flowers in the original package, in a dry, dark place; store the boiled infusion in a cool place for no more than 2 days. Keep out of the reach of children!
2 years. Do not use after the expiration date.
Main Uses of Calendula Flowers
Calendula flowers are used in the form of rinsing for the following conditions:
- Inflammatory diseases of the pharynx (tonsillitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis);
- Inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity (stomatitis, gingivitis and periodontitis).
Calendula flowers are used internally for the following conditions:
- Digestive tract disorders: chronic gastritis, colitis, non-calculous cholecystitis, cholangitis, acid reflux, ulcers and stomach cramps;
- Immune system boosting: Calendula replenishes vital energy, helps break a fever and removes free radicals from the body;
- Urogenital disorders: cystitis, menstrual cramps, hemorrhoids and anal fissures;
- Prevention of cardiovascular diseases and relieving stress.
Calendula in cosmetology
Calendula infusion treats eczema, acne and ulcerations, in addition to healing wounds, dry skin and blisters. It also soothes sunburns, boils and various bites.
Cosmetologists also recommend using this infusion to whiten the skin, lighten freckles or age spots.
- Hypersensitivity to Calendula or any other plant of the Aster family (i.e. Chamomile, Ragweed, Chrysanthemums or Yarrow);
- Gastric and duodenal ulcers in the period of exacerbation;
- Calculous cholecystitis;
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding period;
- Children under 12 years.
- Possible allergic reactions;
- Possible feeling of bitterness in the mouth or pain in the abdomen (when ingesting);
Calendula may increase drowsiness, especially when combined with sleep medications, anti-anxiety medications or tranquilizers.
Caution should be exercised when driving vehicles, working with mechanisms, etc.
Before using, consult your doctor.
Dosage and Brewing Instructions
Place 2 filter bags (3.0 g) in a glass or enamel bowl, pour 100 ml (⅖ cup) of boiling water over the bags, cover and let steep for 30 minutes, periodically pressing the bags with a spoon, then squeeze the liquid out of them.
Heat up the infusion and drink 1-2 tablespoons of it 2-3 times a day before meals. The course of treatment is 3-4 weeks.
For mouth and pharynx rinsing, use 0.5-1 cup of warm infusion 3-5 times a day.
Shake the infusion up beforehand.