7 Uses & benefits of marigolds, including for the skin, eyes & more
Marigold is a brightly-colored summer flower, also referred to by the name Calendula. It is an ancient herb with several medicinal properties. Calendula is a plant belongs to the family of Asteraceae. It is native to southern Europe through its long ancient events of cultivation.
Calendula is a short-lived sweet smelling perennial plant, grows up to 80 cm tall, with infrequently branched. The leaves of calendula are oblong lanceolate are hairy on both sides and are about 5–17 cm long. It is yellow in colour, consisting of a thick head or flowerbed which is 4–7 cm diameter encircled by two rows of hairy bracts.
The calendula flowers may appear all year long where environments are suitable. Other recorded English names include Scottish Marigold, English Marigold, Garden Marigold, Ruddles, Common Marigold; this absolutely amazing medicinal plant has forged its way into Egyptian, Indian, Greek and Roman medicine as well as into the herbal healing arenas of the Europeans.
Benefits of Marigolds
1. Lowers Inflammation and Free Radical Damage
Research shows that calendula’s dozens of active chemicals make it a natural cytotoxic, hepatoprotective and spasmogenic herb that’s been demonstrated in both animal and human experiments. Extracts taken from the flower have been shown to lower C-reactive protein and cytokine levels and protect cells from being damaged by free radicals — one of the primary causes of aging and cell deterioration.
Calendula not only controls oxidative damage from free radicals that can affect delicate tissues, such as those of the eyes, but also defend against infections of the skin, GI tract and genitals caused by viruses or bacteria.
In addition, research also shows that calendula marigold helps fight growth of bacteria in wounds and might even be able to reduce symptoms associated with chemotherapy and cancer treatments.
2. Reduces Eye Inflammation and Conjunctivitis
Findings from animal studies show that calendula extract is capable of treating conjunctivitis and other chronic ocular inflammatory conditions.
These extracts have demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and immuno-stimulating properties that not only reduce eye infections, but protect vision by guarding delicate tissues of the eyes from the effects of UV light, deterioration/aging and oxidative damage.
3. Has Natural Antiseptic Properties
One well-researched use of marigold/calendula extract is applying it in drop form to the inside of the ear canal to help treat bacterial ear infections and decrease pain. It’s been found that calendula drops can lower inner-ear swelling and inflammation within just a couple short days of use, even without the use of antibiotics in some cases.
Due to its antifungal properties, calendula can also be used to treat vaginitis/vaginal infections and jock itch. Applying an ointment or cream containing marigold/calendula, probiotic “good bacteria” like Lactobacillus sporogenes and lactic acid to the affected area of the groin/genitals for four weeks can help decrease symptoms, including pain, itchiness, burning when urinating and dryness.