The first time I ever heard of calendula was about six years ago when my oldest daughter was two years old. She was – and still is – suffering from atopic dermatitis, and a friend suggested I try calendula cream on her skin. It seemed to work well on her mild breakouts, but not on her severe breakouts.
I eventually stopped using it, and then forgot about it. For a baby shower earlier this year, a good friend gave me a different calendula cream to use for diaper rashes. I absolutely love it. I put it all over my eight month old, and then cuddle with him just so I can take in the fragrance.
What is calendula and what else can it be used for?
Calendula is a flower that resembles a marigold. Its yellow-orange petals are used to make different kinds of medicines. It has traditionally been used to treat wounds because it contains anti-flammatory and anti-bacterial substances that promote healing.
Traditionally, it was used to treat ailments like stomach ulcers. In recent times, it is used topically to treat different skin ailments. I even found a hair lightening recipe that uses calendula.
I was excited to hear about calendula’s use for reducing the appearance of scars- I’ll be experimenting with this in the next couple of weeks. Besides regular cuts, scrapes, and burns, calendula is also attributed to helping varicose veins externally and helping with eczema. Some people have even used it to alleviate the pain associated with ear infections and menstruation. Hemorrhoids and sore breastfeeding nipples are yet more ailments calendula can help with. Depending on its intended use, you can buy calendula in many different forms, including lotions, salves, gels, and tinctures.
Here is a recipe for making your own calendula oil – cold infusion technique.
Place dried calendula flower petals in a glass jar. Fill the jar with enough of a carrier oil to cover petals by about an inch. Place jar in a place that receives a lot of sunshine for about a month. Drain the oil from the petals. The oil should be good for about a year, if kept in a closed container.
You can then soak a sponge in it and apply it to the skin where needed.
Krista currently lives in the Salt Lake Valley with her husband, three children, and dog. She loves reading, writing, and discussing childbirth and natural parenting methods and ideas. She has been a science teacher for the past decade, but resigned for a bit after having her third child this year. Now she can spend more time being crafty and playing with her children. See more of her writing at Everything Little Ones.