Flower of the Sun
Calendula officinalis has been used for centuries on multiple continents and is one of the most versatile herbs in the plant kingdom. This healing phenom is known as the “flower of the sun.” Calendula has an amazing history of documented healing. Its most outstanding distinction is its ability to heal the skin. It has no known drug interactions, no toxic effects and no adverse effects for long term use.
Five major steps occur in our skin’s healing process. According to the International Herb Association’s book, “Calendula – 2008 Herb of the Year”, calendula with its potent and complex array of phytonutrients helps facilitate the skin’s restorative cycle:
- The first thing that must be done with injured tissue is to prevent infection. Calendula inhibits bacterial, viral and fungal microorganisms.
- Calendula reduces inflammation of the tissue by inhibiting lipoxygenase, an enzyme that damages cell wall structure. It contains high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect the body against free radical cell damage. It’s amazingly effective on sunburn.
- A wound needs to be cleared of its dead cells. Calendula stimulates the appetite of lymphocytes which helps rid the wound from this debris.
- Calendula goes to work to increase the collagen level in a wound, prevents the formation of scar tissue and assists the healing tissue in remaining supple.
- Calendula stimulates angiogenic activity –the growth of new blood vessels and nerve cells in the tissue. The sooner high potency calendula is used following skin trauma, the less scarring will occur or even be prevented.
The chemical compounds in calendula’s resin include: many fatty acid esters, carotenoids including Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, lutein (it’s golden color) and lycopene, flavonoids (antioxidants that protect cells against damage), quercetin (anti-inflammatory), rutin (antioxidant), ubiquinone (CoQ10), iodine and manganese.
Calendula oil is a popular choice for many of today’s skin conditions.