Calendula (Ca-lén-du-la) is Marigold.

I use calendula infused olive oil in several of my bars.

Calendula intrigues me. Traditional medicine and the FDA do not recognize the value of calendula, but my grandmother did and yours might have, too. The name calendula stems from the Latin kalendae, meaning first day of the month, presumably because pot marigolds are in bloom at the start of most months of the year. The common name marigold probably refers to the Virgin Mary. Claims that its Anglo-Saxon name is “ymbglidegold” are unsubstantiated, as is the claim that this means “it turns with the sun”.

Calendula is known to be high in anti-oxidants that may help prevent skin cell damage caused by free radicals; it also is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.Calendula cream is often used as a topical salve to heal and prevent dry skin as well as to promote wound healing. It also may be used to help soothe the irritation and redness caused by skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Calendula has been used for centuries in herbal medicine to treat skin ailments and injuries such as burns, scrapes or insect bites. Special uses for creams made with calendula can include healing cracked heels or palms, hangnails, and wind chapped or sunburned skin.

Commercial calendula cream preparations can be found in health food stores or pharmacies that stock natural remedies. Calendula is not only a skin cream ingredient, but may also be found in shampoos for oily hair. Calendula cream bath products are also commonly available for children and adults who need a cleansing agent that is also soothing to dry and irritated skin. For babies, calendula cream often is used as an ointment to heal and prevent diaper rash and flaky dry scalps, commonly called cradle cap. Calendula is generally considered safe and effective, but it should not be used by anyone who suffers from allergies to daisies or plants of the daisy family such as asters or sunflowers.

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