With its beautiful brightly-colored flowers and gentle healing properties, Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) has been venerated as a magical plant for centuries.
The word "calendula" derives from the Latin "calendas" (small calendar or little clock) and refers to the tendency of the plant to flower at the beginning of every month or on the new moon.
The ancient Egyptians used calendula to rejuvenate their skin. The Greeks and the Romans used it as a culinary garnish. While in ancient India (and still today), calendula is considered sacred and often chained to garlands for weddings and religious rituals.
Medicinally, calendula was used during the American Civil War and the First World War, as an antihemorrhagic and antiseptic to treat open wounds.
It has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties due to powerful flavanoids - plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage, as well as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Some studies have even shown it to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and candida.
As a tea, Calendula has historically been used as an infusion to induce menstruation and relieve menstrual symptoms, with the flavonoids thought to help relax the muscles. For this reason pregnant women are advised to exercise caution or consult a trusted health professional before using it internally.
Backed by numerous studies, today calendula is still beloved as a gentle cicatrisant, used to disinfect and help heal wounds, burns, bruises, hemorrhoids, dry or inflamed skin, rashes, pastures, acne, eczema and insect bites.
It is also a popular ingredient in toothpastes and mouth rinses to reduce inflammation of the gums and fight gingivitis, cavities and plaque.
Calendula is one of the star ingredients of our Little Miracles Skin Balm (along with the equally magical chamomile).