Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is a plant that belongs to the Calendula genus of plant. It is also regarded as pot marigold by some people. It is a perennial or annual herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family. This plant is native to Macaronesia, Mediterranean region and Iran. It is also found in the areas around this region. In most cases, people confuse this plant with others such as desert marigold, corn marigold mash marigold and others belonging to Tagetes genus. Over the years, this plant has been used as a herbal weed in many parts of the world.
Calendula extracts are used for their anti-genotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. These properties have made this plant a very important herb in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. It has been used in the treatment of acne, controlling bleeding, soothing the irritated tissues in the body and reducing inflammation among others. Some herbalists also say that this herb helps in the treatment of radiation dermatitis.
Calendula has also been used in treating constipation and abdominal cramps. Research carried on this herb has revealed that it has spasmogenic and spasmolytic effects acting as a scientific rationale for basing its traditional use as a medicine. Calendula extract of this herb has also revealed presence of cytotoxic or anti-tumor activity and also immunomodulatory properties. These properties have made calendula a suitable cure for skin ailments such as cuts, abrasions, scrapes, blisters, scalds, rashes athlete’s foot, acne and chicken pox among others.
Dosage and Administration
There is no specified dosage for calendula. This is because effective dosage of this herb depends on many factors such as the health and age of the user among other medical conditions. It is important to always bear in mind that although herbal medications are natural, they are not necessarily safe. Therefore, inform your doctor before taking this medication. Also read the label on the product you purchase and consult your physician or pharmacist for guidance on how to use it.
Nevertheless, there is a dosage and administration that is recommended by majority of the herbalists. One to two teaspoons of this herb should be mixed with 200ml of boiled water. Calendula tea made this way should be left to mix for about 15 minutes. For effective results, a patient should take this tea about three times in a day. Calendula tincture should be taken at least thrice per day in a dosage of one to two ml. This should be made by soaking a cup of calendula flowers in 5qts of whiskey or rectified alcohol for a period of five to six weeks. Five to fifteen drops are the recommended tincture dosage. One tablespoonful of calendula that has been freshly pressed should be used in making juice. For external application, a calendula salve should be used. This can be prepared by boiling one ounce of dried leaves or flower in an ounce of lard. It is important to note that calendula can seal dirt. Therefore, ensure that the body part you want to apply it on is clean.
The main parts of calendula that are used in medication are the leaves and flowers. Flowers are used on injured parts of the body to facilitate reduction of inflammation. Petals and leaves are also used as antiseptic for treating and preventing a wide range of bacterial infections. Leaves and petals are also used in treating a wide array of skin conditions such as eczema and ulcerations. When used to make tea, leaves have helped in relieving conjunctivitis. They have also been used in making salve for treating pulled muscles, bruises, sprains, and sores among others.
Using calendula has a lot of benefits. Being a natural remedy, this herb does not have side effects on the user when used correctly. It is also easy to find in some places making it cheap and affordable.
Although calendula is safe in most people, there is a portion that has reported side effects after applying it on the skin or inhaling it orally. It has been reported to cause allergic reactions in people who have sensitive bodies. It can also cause drowsiness when combined with surgery medications. Breast-feeding and pregnant mothers should also avoid taking calendula.
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