Marigold Flowers Chemical Description and Marigold Uses
Calendula officinalis is in the plant family known as Asteraceae or Compositae. Calendula marigolds are yellow-orange in color and form small florets of petals that are harvested and dried for their numerous medicinal properties. While there are various species of marigold flowers grown around the world, calendula is considered to be the most medicinal. It’s native to Egypt and parts of the Mediterranean but is now grown in every continent, usually blooming during the warmer months of the year (from about May through October in the Northern Hemisphere).
Botanical research shows that calendula marigolds contain many active constituents, including various antioxidants and volatile oils. These are responsible for the flowers’ bright color and strong smell; ability to repel certain fungi, pests and insects; and also its capability of improving blood flow and controlling inflammation. (3)
Due to their antioxidant properties, uses for marigolds include:
1. Homemade Skin Treatment
Ointment can be used to soothe sunburns, warts, bites, acne and ulcerations, in addition to healing wounds, dry skin and blisters.
2. Digestive-Soothing Tea
Tea can be made with marigold flowers to lower symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel diseases/colitis. Marigold tea is also beneficial for treating gastritis, acid reflux and ulcers, as well as reducing stomach or menstrual cramps.
3. Immune-Boosting Formula
Marigold (calendula) drops or extract are sometimes used to manage symptoms of coughs, sore throats, or fevers.
4. Eye, Genital or Skin Infection Treatment
Salves made with marigold have long been used to treat fungal infections of the genitals, feet, eyes, mouth, skin, and also to lower hemorrhoids, anal tears and candida.
Some of the active ingredients found in marigolds (calendula) that give it these capabilities include: (4)
- Plant sterols known as calendulin
- Calendic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Triterpenes saponins, such as triterpenoid
- Oleanolic acid glycosides
7 Benefits of Marigolds
1. Lowers Inflammation and Free Radical Damage
Research shows that calendula’s dozens of active chemicals make it a natural cytotoxic, hepatoprotective and spasmogenic herb that’s been demonstrated in both animal and human experiments. Extracts taken from the flower have been shown to lower C-reactive protein and cytokine levels and protect cells from being damaged by free radicals — one of the primary causes of aging and cell deterioration. Calendula not only controls oxidative damage from free radicals that can affect delicate tissues, such as those of the eyes, but also defend against infections of the skin, GI tract and genitals caused by viruses or bacteria. (5)
In addition, research also shows that calendula marigold helps fight growth of bacteria in wounds and might even be able to reduce symptoms associated with chemotherapy and cancer treatments. (6)
2. Reduces Eye Inflammation and Conjunctivitis
Findings from animal studies show that calendula extract is capable of treating conjunctivitis and other chronic ocular inflammatory conditions.
These extracts have demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immuno-stimulating properties that not only reduce eye infections, but protect vision by guarding delicate tissues of the eyes from the effects of UV light, deterioration/aging and oxidative damage. (7)
3. Has Natural Antiseptic Properties
One well-researched use of marigold/calendula extract is applying it in drop form to the inside of the ear canal to help treat bacterial ear infections and decrease pain. It’s been found that calendula drops can lower inner-ear swelling and inflammation within just a couple short days of use, even without the use of antibiotics in some cases.
Due to its antifungal properties, calendula can also be used to treat vaginitis/vaginal infections and jock itch. Applying an ointment or cream containing marigold/calendula, probiotic “good bacteria” like Lactobacillus sporogenes and lactic acid to the affected area of the groin/genitals for four weeks can help decrease symptoms, including pain, itchiness, burning when urinating and dryness.
-For older kids (4 years and up), drink like a normal tea, add honey, if you please. Several cups in a 24 hour period is great.
-For babies, put some in their bottle or a dropper full in their mouths. Give them 1 or 2 dropperfuls per 24 hours.
-Add several cups to a bath for older kids and adults for a nice soak. You can even add full fresh blooms to the bath.
-Freeze small portions of the tea in sandwich plastic bags or ice cube trays to always have some on hand.
50 grams in ecofriendly recycled Paper Bag