Calendula
06-Feb-2007

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Botanical Name:   Calendula officinalis
 
Common NamesAklelmulk, Atunjaq, Chin Chan Hua, China, Garden Marigold,
Golds, Holigold, Kamisha Bahar, Maravilla, Marigold, Mary Bud, Mary Gowles, Mercadela, Oculus Christi, Oqhuwan, Poet\'s Marigold, Pot Calendula, , Pot Marigold, Qaraqus, Ruddes, Solis Sponsa, Tibbi Nergis, To-Kinsen-Ka, Tuingoudsbloem, and Virreina
 
Overview
 
Calendula is an herb that is part of the daisy family. Each year, Calendula can grow to heights of approximately 60 centimeters. The Calendula blooms, which are typically a vibrant yellow or rich orange, tend to appear between the months of June and November. Calendula is a plant that is loved by bees and is therefore perpetuated by the pollination process and both male and female Calendulas are known to appear separately on the same plant.
 
The Calendula is a plant that thrives in sandy, heavy or loamy soils. Such soil is supportive for adequate drainage. In fact, the Calendula can survive well in areas where the soil fails to possess adequate nutrients; consequently, the Calendula is a hearty plant beloved by gardeners for its easy care and maintenance. Requiring only semi-lit areas and water, the Calendula flourishes well in most environments.
 
Healing Properties
Calendula is often used a natural wash for wounds because of its amazing ability to speed up the natural healing process. Most wounds, including wounds like bruises, cuts and scrapes, and even burns can benefit from the use of a Calendula wash. Plus, victims of sunburn will find that a Calendula wash aids the healing process significantly. Noted for its rejuvenating properties, the Calendula is revered as an herb that stimulates healthy skin growth and can be safely compared to the Aloe plant for its burn healing properties.
 
Treatment for Pain
Studies have revealed that Calendula is an herb that also has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies conducted on children further reveal that Calendula can be used to safely treat the pain associated with childhood ear infections. However, potential users should speak with their doctors about such treatment; as such treatment has yet to undergo further testing. In addition, Calendula may not treat the underlying infection that is causing the ear pain in the first place and it may be necessary to treat the infection with an antibiotic. Ear pain can be an indication of serious illness and if not properly treated, can result in hearing loss.
 
 
Calendula and HIV Treatment
Current studies suggest that Calendula may benefit patients that have HIV. According to researchers, when the dehydrated petals of the Calendula plant are used in tests on the HIV virus, the tests display a marked decrease in the activity of the virus. Tests have yet to be conducted in humans, but the initial findings certainly look positive.
 
 
Plant Description
Calendula is a plant that grows each year; one that has little trouble flourishing in almost any environment it is exposed to. Besides being a fantastic addition to any garden or flower bed, Calendula is revered for its healing properties. Native to regions of Europe, Asia, and the US, Calendula is easily accessible to purchase and equally easy to grow.
 
Calendula is an herb that possesses stems that branch out from its base. Often the plant can grow as high as 60 centimeters tall. The bloom of the Calendula possesses a number of florets, a clear indication of a flower that is associated with the Daisy family.
 
 
 
What\'s It Made Of?
The herb Calendula has numerous leaves that can be eaten raw. The leaves of the Calendula are filled with vitamins, minerals, and much like the Dandelion, there are no baneful affects from eating the leaves off the plant. The leaves and petals are in fact, often added to salads for a unique flavor, while dried leaves and petals are used in many kitchen spices. Essentially, the leaves are filled with antioxidants like vitamin A and C.
Many individuals create a natural yellow dye from the florets of the Calendula and use the dye as a replacement for saffron. The natural dye can be used in recipes to add color and some individuals even use the dye to highlight their hair naturally. Further, there are fans of Calendula tea—the dried florets and leaves can be put into a tea ball, steeped in hot water and sweetened to taste.
 
Available Forms
Calendula can be acquired as an extract, in ointments, as an infusion, or as a tincture. The leaves can be eaten raw or in their dried form. Capsules are also available and can remain fresh for up to three years time if they are properly stored.
 
 
 
How to Take It
 
 
Pediatric
 
Internal use of Calendula is not recommended in children. The herb Calendula has not been thoroughly tested for its safety in pediatric uses and should therefore be used only externally on children. Ointments and Calendula washes are safe for pediatric use. The typical dose found in Calendula ointment is anywhere between 2-5 grams per 100 grams of the ointment. As a final point, whenever using herbs with children you should consult a physician or a specialist that deals with herbs first.
 
Adult
 
Adults can safely use Calendula in any of its available forms. The fluid extract of Calendula can be taken up to three times daily, while the tincture can also be taken up to three times a day. Finally, two to three cups of Calendula tea can be ingested three times a day without baneful side effects, as long as users take the herb while heeding the necessary precautions.
 
 
Precautions
 
 
When taking Calendula, a user needs to monitor what medications or other herbs they are taking in conjunction with the herb. Sometimes, certain medications and herbs will increase the properties of Calendula and it can result in certain side effects. If a users note the appearance of sudden rashes, swelling or adverse side effects, they may be having an allergic reaction and should stop taking the herb immediately.
 
Women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should refrain from using all herbs, including Calendula. There are not enough studies pertaining to how herbs may or may not affect an unborn child.
 
 
 
Possible Interactions
 
Currently, there are no known drug interactions associated with the use of Calendula. Nevertheless, it is imperative that users have their use of Calendula monitored by a physician or herbal specialist.

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