“The Marigold goes to bed
With the sun and with him rises”.
The common bright orange Marigold flower.
Not to be underestimated when it comes to skin care.
Calendula flower opens when the sun rises and closes when it sets.
This is why Calendula is referred to as a herb of the sun, and is associated with the suns journey across the sky.
The herb also has associations with pain and grief, as it was said to mourn the daily departure of the sun, when its petals are forced closed.
Personally I have always had a real affinity with calendula officinalis, it is a perfect gentle oil for a sensitive skin type like myself.
Not only is it aesthetically pleasing with it’s lovely orange hue, but it also has some wonderful properties.
Calendulas powerful components include flavonoids, glycoside, polysachharide, sterol and mucilage.
It is extremely rich in carotenoids, which are responsible for many of the herbs healing properties and lovely colour.
Properties and uses
The tiny flowers contain a potent oil, that is both soothing and protective:
- Skin repairing, effective for slow healing wounds
- Ideal for dribble rash, baby eczema and nappy rash
- Perfect first aid remedy for sores, cuts, wounds, insect bites
- Decreases varicose veins and skin irritations such as chicken pox and measles
- Ideal for sore nipples during breast feeding, it is non toxic making it ideal for babies
- It is used for the treatment of skin problems, due to its wound healing abilities
- Astringent, antiseptic and anti-fungal, it also has mild anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties
- It’s a potent wound and skin healer
- It has powerful moisturising properties because of all the lovely linoleic acid
- Calendula officinalis contains 60% conjugated linoleic acid, an interesting compound that has fantastic anti inflammatory properties, perfect for an inflammation
- It’s valuable properties make it a suitable carrier for essential oils
- It is astringent, so it is quite a dry oil
- A great anti ageing oil due to the flavonoids and tocopherols, important oxidising compounds that keep skin youthful
- Calendula contains oil soluble sterols that repair skin, keeping it plump, thick and healthy
- Much of the healing properties of calendula are due to the high levels of carotenoids, a precursor to vitamin A that mops up damaging free radicals
- Calendula has excellent stability with a virtual unlimited shelf life
Oleic Acid 3%
Palmitic Acid 2%
Stearic Acid 2-3%
Linoleic Acid 25 to 28%
Conjugated Linoleic Acid 60 to 65%
THE NAKED TRUTH
Calendula can be extracted in a number of different ways.
Macerating the flowers in an infused oil, this is a great way to harness the healing powers of the delicate flower.
After steeping for a few weeks the oil can be used directly on the skin, to treat inflammatory conditions such as sunburn.
A tea will harnesses the water soluble saponinins and polysaccharides, perfect for skin damage and stomach ulcers.
Personally I choose to use the oil that has been extracted in caprylic capric triglycerides, instead of the traditional oil; when suspended in triglycerides it helps to limit any potential for irritation and oxidation, so it gives the product a lovely long shelf life.
The caprylic capric triglycerides, are a specific type of esterification of coconut oil fatty acids, which results in a more stable, and skin loving formula.