Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Herb Profile: Calendula

A bit of just-picked Boline calendula,
mixed with California Poppy and Nasturtium.
Calendula, aka Pot Marigold (Although it is not actually in that family), is a wonderful healing herb for skin and we use it in a lot of our products.

We use the dried petals in our Facial Scrub, and calendula-infused oil in many of our lotions, salves and balms.

We have four calendula patches growing here in Columbus for our purposes, and we keep clipping the flowers off of the tops in order to get more and more flowers over the course of the summer. After all, we need them to produce enough to create remedies for the entirety of 2014!

We will be making an oil blend for our salves next year that mixes two great skin care herbs- cultivated, organic calendula and ethically wildcrafted, plentiful plantain.
There's calendula oil in there!
Calendula "has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks." - Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
Research has shown that calendula is beneficial for treatment of pain and dermatitis due to radiation therapy in breast cancer patients, and it may protect skin against sun damage. Overall, it gentle sunny disposition helps myriad skin issues gently and effectively, making it a real favorite- from diaper rash creams to lip balms to our Belly Butter for Baby Bumps to our Eczema and Psoriasis Salve.

Wanna hear more "technical stuff" about calendula? According to the Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center:
Myriad salves, many use calendula.
The triterpenoids from calendula have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-HIV effects, and a calendula extract suppressed cell fusion, which may inhibit early events in the HIV replication cycle. The most active triterpenoid is a monoester of faradiol. Calendula also exhibits hepato- and reno-protective effects which are likely due to its antioxidant activity. The photoprotective effect of topical gel formulations of calendula is thought to be associated with an improvement in collagen synthesis in the sub-epidermal connective tissue. Calendula also affords cardioprotection which involves modulating the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways by activation of Akt (a serine/threonine protein kinase) and Bcl2 (a protein that regulates apoptosis) and down regulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF alpha). In another study, calendula was shown to inhibit human gingival fibroblast-mediated degradation of collagen and matrix metalloprotease (MMP-2) activity.In a recent study, the essential oil from calendula flowers was shown to have sun protection activity Application of a cream containing essential oil of calendula prevented UV-B-induced alterations in the skin in a study of rats. Calendula extract also accelerated healing of experimentally-induced thermal burns in rats by increasing collagen-hydroxyproline and hexosamine, bio-indicators of wound healing.
So, this herb, like all the ones Boline uses in its formulations are backed by generations of folk medicine practitioners as well as modern science.

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