Calendula can reduce inflammation, heal the skin and help protect the heart

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by: P. Simard
Tags: calendula, inflammation, chemotherapy

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(NaturalNews) Calendula, sometimes named marigold by certain people, is a plant that comes from the Asteraceae family. It grows up to be approximately two feet tall and usually produces some very beautiful yellow flowers. Calendula is believed to originate from Egypt and certain parts of Southern Europe but it is now grown all over the world.

Way back in time it was used to treat conditions such as eczema, blepharitis, gastritis, conjunctivitis, minor burns like sunburns, warts and minor injuries such as sprains and small wounds. Thanks to the observations and studies forwarded by various sources, we now know that calendula also has interesting anti-inflammatory virtues. Like with many other herbs, its flavonoids provide some much needed protection against the free radicals that can seriously harm the immune system if left unattended.

The University of Connecticut's School of Medicine experimented on rats in order to test the cardioprotective benefits of calendula when faced with symptoms related to ischemic heart disease. The calendula effects turned out to be very beneficial, mainly by stimulating aortic flow as well as diminishing myocardial infarct size and cardiovascular cell deaths. Calendula basically activates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways and therefore encourages a return to homeostasis.

Calendula provides a form of skin protection to radiation

The unfortunate development of eczema and dermatitis often becomes the end result to an individual's exposure to radiation-induced therapies such as chemotherapy. A 2004 study implicating over 250 breast cancer patients showed it was possible to drastically diminish and even halt the spread of eczema or dermatitis while undergoing radiation treatments when a calendula-based cream was topically applied twice a day from the very start of the procedures.

It is known that extensive skin damage may lead to skin disease and by the same token facilitate its aging process. Fortunately back in 2010, a study conducted on mice led the involved scientists to conclude that calendula may very well protect the skin from UV induced damages.

Women may wish to know that calendula tea has been used in the past to regulate menstrual periods and more specifically to alleviate the cramping and pain associated to it. It is also believed to help with symptoms such as menopausal flashes, headaches, vomiting or simply general nausea.

In a few animal studies, some of calendula's chemicals have shown to speed up the healing process by encouraging blood flow to the irritated and affected areas of the body. They also do so by promoting the production of collagen proteins directly involved with skin repair.

Some people may use calendula as a mouthwash in order to heal a sore throat and in some cases others will apply it topically to help treat annoying hemorrhoids.

Editor's note: NaturalNews does not condone nor support the use of animals for experiments or testing of any kind.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
After spending several years working in property management and being a web consultant for PS Communications, P. Simard is now focusing on being a naturopath in Quebec.

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