The marigold ( Calendula officinalis ) is a perennial herbaceous plant with excellent properties for the skin. The calendula plant fears the frost and can reach 50 cm in height.
Thanks to its properties it is widely cultivated both for ornamental and food / therapeutic use and yet it can also be found in the wild.
The calendula is characterized by large orange-yellow flowers, very showy that are still used by farmers to know the local weather during the day. In fact, if the flowers remain closed in the morning it means that during the day it will rain.
The plant is native to Egypt and grows spontaneously in meadows and grassy places, up to a height of 600 meters. Its flowering occurs from June to November.
The main components are: vitamin C, essential oil, flavonoids (narcissin and rutin), resin, mucilage, carotenoids, triterpenoids and saponins. The typical coloring of the flower is made up of a pigment having betacarotene, lycopene and vilaxanthin as main components.
It also contains beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful antioxidants.
The flower extract contains 15 amino acids: alanine, arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid, asparagine, valine, histidine, leucine, lysine, proline, serine, tyrosine, threonine, methionine and phenylalanine.
Marigold: Properties and Benefits
Its taste is very strong so its juice must be mixed with other juices before being consumed.
The therapeutic properties of calendula are manifold and in particular, one of its characteristics for internal use is that of having a valid antispasmodic effect while, in the form of a decoction, it is very useful in case of gastric ulcer.
It has anti-inflammatory and calming properties of menstrual pain and has benefits in order to regulate its flow. The infusion obtained with its dried flowers is useful for alleviating menopausal symptoms.
Thanks to the presence of flavonoids the calendula has properties antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is then used in the cosmetic field for the preparation of mouthwashes and in the pharmaceutical field for the preparation of ointments for the treatment of hemorrhoids.
With regard to the external use, usually in the form of ointments, the marigold has excellent healing, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
It has useful properties against sore throat and toothache and can be used to treat herpes outbreak.
Not to be underestimated among the many properties is the anti-carcinogenic one that scholars have recently attributed to this interesting plant, especially as regards gastric cancer.
The ointment of marigold is also used by women suffering from breast cancer to reduce the rash that is usually caused by chemotherapy.
Benefits to the Skin
In the dermatological field it is used in the form of powder, which is then inserted in the preparation of creams to treat acne and skin blemishes. Marigold extract is also successfully used for the treatment of warts.
With the stem and flowers of the plant they can prepare juices useful for the treatment of warts and other skin diseases.
In the form of ointment it is used for the treatment of varicose veins and in newborns for the treatment of diaper rash.
The marigold is one of many plants used by popular tradition to treat conjunctivitis and puffy eyes due to inflammation. Its properties in fact manage to reduce swelling and redness due to inflammation.
The flower also has diuretic and disinfectant properties of the urinary tract and, ultimately, calendula helps in the treatment of liver and gallbladder dysfunctions.
The infusion of flowers has digestive properties. With a tablespoon of dried flowers and a cup of boiling water you prepare a tea of calendula, which can be useful to purify the blood and improve the overall health status.
Benefits for Sunburn
If you want to prepare yourself an excellent ointment against sunburn to always have on hand you can do it this way:
get 40 grams of dried marigold flowers and dip them in about 30 cl of olive oil. After a week of soaking the ointment is ready.
You can keep it in a glass bottle and use it for the first time.
Although the plant has many therapeutic properties, it is also true that it causes allergies in some particularly sensitive people. It is therefore not suitable for pregnant women and children. In any case, it is recommended to test it before its regular use.
In the kitchen
The flowers , if used in broths and risotto, give the typical yellow color of saffron. Its leaves can be added to mixed salads thus giving the typical bitter taste. The flower buds, dried or fresh, can be used to flavor sauces and condiments.
Immerse the calendula flowers in a solution of apple cider vinegar and alcohol at 90 ° for 20 days and then filter. The mother tincture is thus obtained which can be used for the treatment of menstrual cramps and for anemia.
The name derives from the Latin word calendae which means the first day of each month. Probably the assignment of this name is attributable to the fact that this plant begins to bloom in spring and continues for almost the whole year.
The emollient, soothing and healing properties that calendula has on the skin, are mainly due to the presence of flavonoids.
In Germany it is customary to use an infusion of flowers to gargle in order to treat tonsillitis, sore throat and gingivitis.
The benefits that the ointment brings in case of chilblains on feet and hands are very useful, not only in terms of care but also preventive if used regularly at the beginning of the cold season.
During the American Civil War and the First World War, calendula flowers were used to treat wound infections.
Lately it has been discovered that some not very estone saffron producers usually mix calendula powder (the color is practically the same) with the more expensive saffron powder for the sole purpose of increasing their earnings. Fortunately, this trick, given the excellent properties of the flower, does not present any risk to the health of the consumer.
The plant is non-toxic and taken in moderate doses does not present any type of contraindication.
In order not to deteriorate the medicinal properties of calendula it is good that its flowers are dried quickly and stored in a dark place.
Maybe not Everyone Knows That
Folk medicine has used this flower over time to treat:
- Snake bites
- Sore throat
- Menstrual cramps
- Skin irritations
Marigold: Properties and Benefits
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