Calendula, commonly known as pot marigold, is considered a mainstay in alternative medicine for the treatment of inflammation, to speed wound healing and as an antiseptic. Available in topical herbal forms and as a homeopathic preparation, the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of calendula may be helpful for treating your acne. As with any alternative therapy you should consult with your health-care provider prior to use.
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Medicinal Use of Calendula
The calendula plant, believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, is now a common garden plant throughout North America and Europe. The yellow or golden-orange flowers have been used for centuries in a variety of medicinal applications. Tea preparations have been used in cases of conjunctivitis and to sooth stomach irritations. During the American Civil War, calendula was used to draw out infection. Calendula has been used to treat various skin conditions from ulcerations to eczema as well as acne.
The Herb Research Foundation reports test-tube research indicates calendula contains antimicrobial compounds that may prevent the growth of certain strains of bacteria, fungus and protozoa. The antibacterial properties of calendula may kill the bacteria trapped inside skin pores leading to the condition known as acne. High iodine, carotene and manganese, which promote skin cell regeneration have also been found in the plant.
Calendula is available in a number of ointment, cream and salve preparations in a variety of strengths. Calendula oils and infusions are also widely available in health-food stores and through online sources. Calendula is also commonly available in tea and liquid tinctures which can be applied directly to the acne prone areas of the skin.
In the homeopathic preparation of calendula, the plant is pounded to a pulp and the juice is expressed and mixed with alcohol and succussed in the traditional homeopathic method to create a variety of potentised strengths. Frans Vermeulen in “The Concordent Materia Medica,” identifies calendula as a remarkable healing agent when applied locally or taken internally. It is recommended in the Material Medica for skin rashes including acne.
As with any alternative therapy, you should consult with your health-care practitioner prior to using calendula to treat your acne. People with allergies to plants, particularly those of the aster family such as ragweed, may have an allergic reaction to calendula. Herbalists recommend you spot-test a small area of the skin before using any herbal medication. A number of inactive ingredients may be combined with calendula to produce commercial ointment and cream preparations. You should always read the package carefully prior to use.