Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold, is actually a member of the Sunflower family. Calendula is cultivated throughout most of the world and its yellow and orange flowers are a common sight in many gardens.
Although its leaves and stems contain salicylic acid, the analgesic found in aspirin, its flowers are most often used.
Wound Healing And Pain Relief
Calendula has a long history of use as a wound healing botanical. When applied in either a tea or an ointment, Calendula is the first choice for many types of wounds including cuts, abrasions, burns and inflammations, making it an important part of any first aid kit.
Calendula salve is a great choice for rashes, insect bites, eczema and even sunburn, especially when mixed with comfrey or Saint John’s Wort.
Calendula effectively speeds wound healing and relieves pain and inflammation and its antimicrobial properties will also prevent infection. Calendula also promotes healing and tissue reconstruction by stimulating fibroblastic activity.
Be careful not to apply calendula salve to wounds that are oozing or weeping; use watery preparations only, such as calendula tea or tincture, and allow the area to air dry completely between applications. If the wound needs to drain, for example an abscess, then calendula might cause the wound to heal over too quickly and should not be applied until the wound is closed.
Calendula also has a strong affinity for the mucous membranes. Calendula tincture can be used internally to treat inflammation of the digestive or urinary tracts. It will not only reduce inflammation, but help in lymphatic drainage. Try mixing calendula with marshmallow or plantain, two other herbs that are effective for soothing irritated mucous membranes in the digestive tract. Calendula has also been shown to be effective for the treatment of chronic colitis.
Fungus And Yeast
Calendula has anti-fungal properties as well. Taken internally, it can be used in the treatment of Candida or yeast overgrowth in the digestive tract. Calendula can also be applied topically for a broad spectrum of fungal infections. To increase its effectiveness against fungal infections, try adding bee balm, Oregon grape or licorice root.
Calendula, when taken internally, can also stimulate the immune system, aid in liver function and calm the nervous system. There are animal studies showing that the saponin found in calendula can inhibit the growth of some tumors.
How To Use Calendula
If you’re using calendula topically, you can make your own tea with dried herbs. Just place a couple of tablespoons of the dried herb in a container with a cup or so of boiling water. Allow it to steep and when it’s cool, then strain the calendula out of the water.
Put the calendula tea in a spray bottle and spray it into your dog’s coat to relieve itching or soak a cloth with it and apply it directly to the wound. Leave it on to dry.
You can also buy calendula tincture and add a few drops to water in your spray bottle.
To use calendula internally, you can add one to several drops of liquid tincture or add some of your calendula to your dog’s food.
Calendula is one of the safest herbs to use. It should not, however, be given internally to pregnant animals or to cats.