|Binomial Name||Calendula Officinalis|
Calendula Officinalis is a Marigold plant (also known as pot marigold) and it is widely known for its truly diverse benefits. Calendulas are a common garden plant and it belongs to the Asteraceae family. It can grow up to 60 centimeters and it yields brightly coloured yellow and orange flowers. This plant has been historically used to treat a large number of ailments. It derives its name from the Latin calendae which refers to its long blooming season. In some areas, calendula flowers bloom almost every month of the calendar year. This medicinal plant is native to southwestern Asia, western Europe, Macaronesia and the Mediterranean.
The medicinal part of this plant is the yellow and orange flower. Calendula petals are rich in flavonoids which help regulate cellular activity and fight free radicals which cause oxidative stress on the body. Since it has so many therapeutic properties, calendula tea is consumed as a traditional medicine by many people all around the world. Calendula has been taken internally to help treat fevers, regulate and promote menstruation and to help treat cancer. The Calendula flowers are made into extracts, balms and salves and it is applied topically to heal wounds and soothe damaged and inflamed skin.
The dominant compounds that are present in Calendula Officinalis are triterpenoids which contain anti-inflammatory properties. A few other constituents of the calendula plant are saponins, micronutrients, flavonoids and polysaccharides. The petals and pollen of the calendula plant contain antioxidants, triterpenoid esters and carotenoids flavaxanthin. The ethanol extract from the Calendula flowers is reported to show the presence of 15 amino acids in free form: alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, asparagine, valine, histidine, glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, proline, serine, tyrosine, threonine, methionine and phenylalanine. The leaves and the stems of the plant contain carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene. The yellowish orange colour of the petals is due to the carotenoids found in the plant. Other phtytochemicals include the bitter constituent, loliolide, calendulin and n-paraffins.
- Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralise the detrimental effects of oxidative stress in the body. Calendula contains many potent antioxidants like triterpenes, flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols. In several studies, calendula’s triterpenoids have helped reduce experimentally induced inflammation. In a study, calendula extract was given to monosodium glutamate fed rats to study the protective effects of calendula officinalis against oxidative stress. The study concluded that calendula extract had a neuroprotective effect which can be attributed the plant’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It Can Help Support Oral Health
Calendula is often used to treat oral diseases like gingivitis. Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums and it is one of the most common types of oral diseases. A six-month study was conducted on 240 people who suffered from gingivitis. It concluded that those who were given a calendula mouthwash had 46% lesser inflammation levels than before.
- Can Help Improve Skin Health
It’s no secret that calendula can help improve your skin’s health due it’s anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Hence, it’s a popular ingredient in the skincare industry. When consumed orally, calendula can help reduce oxidative stress, hence minimising skin damage. In a study conducted to evaluate the various functional skin parameters using a topical cream of calendula officinalis extract, the results showed that there was an increase in the skin’s moisture levels within 5 weeks of topical application. Calendula extract showed a significant effect on skin moisture content. It helps repair the skin’s barrier and helps retain moisture content.
- Helps Soothe The Digestive System
Consuming calendula orally in the form of tea can help heal gastric and intestinal inflammation due to calendula’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial actions. Consuming calendula tea can also help peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux and inflammatory bowel disease.
- May Help Regulate Menstruation And Soothe Cramps
Consuming calendula tea can help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can also help soothe mild menstrual cramps. However, it is advised that calendula extract should be avoided by pregnant women due its ability to stimulate menstruation.
- Helps Relieve Muscle Ache
According study conducted on mice, consuming calendula extract helped soothe muscle fatigue and soreness that was caused due to rigorous exercise. The conclusion suggests that since calendula officinalis extract is rich in phenolic-rich extracts and dietary antioxidants, it can help reduce the oxidative stress caused by exercise.