Calendula ointment is an herbal remedy made from the flower of the marigold plant Calendula officinalis, and applied topically. An ointment is an oil base whereas a cream is water-soluble. Calendulas have been used for medical purposes since at least the 12th century. This plant is native to Mediterranean regions, but it is grown throughout the world. Habitually, calendula has been used to treat upset stomachs and ulcers, as well as to relieve menstrual cramps. Calendula has the ability to speed up the healing of wounds, and the dried petals of the calendula plant are used in tinctures, ointments, and washes for the healing of burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as minor infections.
The best way to enjoy health benefits of calendula ointment is to prepare it at home. This way one can choose organic ingredients and exclude from the preparation any kind of allergens. To prepare calendula ointment at home, try this simple recipe. Simmer 2 cups of dried calendula flowers with 3 cups of coconut oil and 2 1/2 cups beeswax for 90 minutes over a double boiler. Mix in 10 drops of essential oil, if desired, and strain the preparation through a coffee filter or tea towel set in a wire mesh strainer. Pour it into dry sterilized glass jars and let it cool before using or storing. The ointment should be kept at room temperature.
Essential oils of calendula flowers are excellent choice for any skin type. The ointment forms a protective layer on the skin, prevents scarring and reduces scar tissue. Calendula skin treatment is very effective for skin inflammations, such as sun or windburn. This plant has anti-viral, anti-genotoxic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective in the treatment of acne, radiation dermatitis and dermatitis associated with breast cancer therapy. The ointment can also be used to treat hemorrhoids. Certain studies reveal that the possible mechanism at which calendula oils work involve increasing the blood flow to the affected area and helping the body to produce collagen proteins. Collagen proteins are used to heal the skin and connective tissues.
Calendula can cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae or Compositae herbal family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. People prone to allergies should consult their medical advisor before using calendula.
Applied topically calendula should not cause any kind of serious complications. However, pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid using calendula as it might cause a miscarriage.