Calendula is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs. Its many forms (tea, tincture, infused oil and poultice), have long been used internally and externally to treat a myriad of ailments from digestive to menstrual disorders (teas), for wound healing (oil and tea) to treating cold sores and fungal infections (tincture) and for varicose veins (poultice).
Calendula is best known for it’s skin care properties. It can be used to soothe rashes, dry skin conditions to promote cell regeneration and speed wound healing.
The reason for its broad effectiveness is it’s rich tapestry of active compounds which individually have multiple benefits and collectively create a formidable healing force.
The inimitable nature of this force has prompted much scientific research. Calendula’s wound healing, collagen promoting and anti-inflammatory properties are no longer doubted. It is now even being investigated as an anti-cancer drug and is prescribed to patients with skin damage following radiation therapy.
Triterpenoids, and carotenoids are among the prolific active compounds found in Calendula. Eight Triterpenoids and nineteen carotenoids have been identified in dried Calendula officinalis petals. They also contain flavonoids, mucilage, polysaccharides, saponins, glycosides and phytosterols.
Uses for Calendula can be divided in to two broad groups:
There are three significant avenues of approach to anti ageing skincare.
Firstly antioxidants: Triterpenoids, flavonoids carotenoids and saponins are potent antioxidants. This high concentration of antioxidants gives Calendula its reputation as an anti ageing herb. Antioxidants bolster the skins natural defences against free radical damage. To read a full explanation see our free radical page.
Carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A, (which means the body can convert them to vitamin A). Vitamin A is a renowned anti-ageing vitamin and an antioxidant. Retinol is a form of vitamin A
Secondly hydration is essential if you want to look younger. Mucilage and Saponins actively attract moisture improving skins hydration. Polysaccharides hold water in the Dermis. Hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide.
Thirdly, but by no means least important is cell regeneration. As we age the cells in our dermis and epidermis regenerate more slowly. The epidermis does not function so well in it’s battle against trans-epidermal water loss. In the dermis collagen and elastin are not regenerated as quickly in later years. Failings in the epidermis, which cause the dermis to dry out, combined with free radical damage all add up to a lack of firmness and the loss of structural integrity associated with ageing skin. Calendula improves this situation with its multi lateral approach.
Calendula is mostly known for it’s wound healing and skin soothing qualities.
Calendula is soothing because it contains anti-inflammatory compounds such as triterpenoids and glycosides. They have a similar effect on the skin as the pharmaceutical steroids found in prescription creams for inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne, but they do not have the side effects of long term steroid use such as skin thinning and burning.
Because of its anti-septic and anti-microbial effect Calendula not only attacks inflammation, but prevents further infection. It also has remarkable epithelisation promoting qualities. Epithelisation is part of the wound healing process. Collagen is generated at the site of the wound to re-seal the broken skin. When calendula is used wounds have been scientifically proven to epithelize faster with less scarring. This multi-faceted healing influence is the reason Calendula is so effective.
Our high potency Healing Calendula cream uses these qualities for treating rashes and inflammatory skin disorders.
We also sell Calendula infused Oil. It is a high oleic organic sunflower oil infused with our home grown calendula flowers. We sell a 1:5 herb to oil ratio.
We extract the herb into cold pressed vegetable and nut oils using a traditional maceration method.
Our Calendula is grown by us at our farm. We do not subscribe to organic certification. We do, however, grow our flowers, and indeed everything at our farm, without the use of chemicals.
Lyonsleaf Ltd • Registered address: Cheddarlea Farm, Cheddar Road, Compton Martin, Bristol. BS40 6LD • Tel: 01761 221 267
Company Number: 09749596