Calendula is an annual plant which belongs to the same genus as marigolds. The flowers of this plant are known to have immense medicinal properties. Calendula ointment is derived from flowers of Calendula officinalis, a commonly found plant of this genus. Calendula infusion was earlier used to treat several ailments. The ointment is used for topical application against an array of skin diseases. It is very effective and gently soothes skin. It can be easily made at home from dried calendula flower petals.
Calendula Ointment Uses
Calendula is very rich in flavonoids, natural antioxidants which protect the body against cell damage. It also contains several other compounds which have great antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Earlier, calendula was used for stomach upsets, ulcers and also to relieve menstrual cramps. However, there is not enough medical evidence to suggest that calendula is indeed effective against these ailments. Today, calendula is mostly used for topical application. It is used in tinctures, ointments, oils, washes, etc.
Calendula ointment is extremely effective in healing cuts, burns as well as skin irritations. The healing properties of calendula are mainly due to its ability to stimulate blood flow in the affected area. The ointment is not to be applied on fresh, bleeding wounds. The antibacterial and antiviral properties of calendula can efficiently treat a variety of infections. Applying this ointment on the cuts, bruises prevents bacterial growth, thereby reducing chances of infection. Its antibacterial properties are also useful in treating acne. Whereas, the anti-inflammatory properties of calendula are particularly helpful against insect bites.
Calendula ointment corrects the damage caused to the skin due to sunburns. It can also be safely used on babies for treating diaper rash. It is helpful for people who have dry, scaly skin. Calendula is now being used as a remedy for dermatitis. Among the new found uses of this ointment, its ability to repair cell damage due to radiation therapy in cancer patients, is particularly remarkable.
Calendula Ointment Recipe
You can easily make this ointment at home, if you are allergic to certain ingredients found in commercially available ointment. Some people may be allergic to the animal extract used in calendula ointment for the binding effect. By using alternative ingredients, you can certainly alleviate this problem. The recipe for making ointment is simple and can be made using a variety of ingredients. You will need some dried petals of calendula flowers, vegetable shortening and beeswax to make the simplest type of ointment.
About 8 oz of vegetable shortening and 1 tbsp beeswax is sufficient to steep half a cup of dried calendula petals. Vegetable shortening is at times referred as 'cream C' and has hypoallergenic properties. Melt vegetable shortening and beeswax in a saucepan and add dried calendula petals to the mixture. Dried calendula petals are easily available at herbal supply store.
However, you may also grow your own celendula flowers in your garden. Allow the petals to steep in the oil solution and then repeat the procedure. Press the petals against the sides of the pan so that all the extract enters the solution. Strain the solution and pour it into glass jars or wide necked bottles. Allow the solution to cool and harden before applying on skin. Take generous amount of this ointment and apply on the wound or affected body part.
Calendula ointment is a must have item in your first aid box for its immense healing properties. Carry a tube while camping, as a cure against possible insect bites.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.