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Ingredient Spotlight: Calendula, Antibacterial of Choice Since Ancient Times

Marigolds are of significant cultural and religious importance. These brilliant yellow and orange flowers represent passion and creativity. Ancient Egyptians considered marigolds to have rejuvenating properties. In Catholic ceremonies, marigolds honor the Virgin Mary, and Hindis adorn statues of gods in temples. Although native to Mediterranean countries, marigold varieties can be found growing in Europe, Asia and the United States and are of the same family as daisies, chrysanthemums and ragweed.

Calendula [kuh-len-juh-luh] extract is steam distilled from marigold flowers resulting in a brown liquid commonly used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical skin care. Medicinally, calendula is rarely ingested but used topically* for wound care, rashes, bug bites, eczema, acne and other minor skin irritations. This is due to purported anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. These therapeutic properties are attributed to the diverse range of biologically active substances they contain.

Unlike many of its contemporaries in ancient herbal medicine, calendula has a history of scientific review and study to determine its use in modern medicine. Of the many studies on medicinal use of calendula, one aimed to identify why calendula is effective in wound care while another developed a gel using calendula to specifically study stability and performance in a wound. Calendula was also found to combat “radiation-induced dermatitis” in breast cancer patients. Parents of infants are surprised by a study that found calendula more effective than aloe vera in treating diaper rash. It is believed calendula may increase blood flow to a wounded area, which could be why it is considered to help wounds heal faster; however, this has yet to be proven.

We love calendula extract at Lemongrass Spa! It’s a powerful moisturizer that can combat dry, chapped skin. Calendula is part of our botanical complex in the Face Crème with Botanicals and Face Crème with Tea Tree and Citrus and can be found in the Organic Anti Aging Serum and Pomegranate Facial Polish, our two most popular face products. The Healing Elements Balm, the top seller two years in a row, boasts calendula as its top ingredient, next to zinc oxide. These are just a few products featuring this ancient healer.

Which Lemongrass product containing calendula do you love the most, and what do you use it for?

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