By Jennifer Pederson
Calendula Oil - More than just a GREAT Carrier Oil
One of the questions I'm asked all the time is, "What is your favorite carrier oil?" This is such a simple question, however, it requires a very thoughtful reply since there are A LOT of variables to consider. The truth is, my favorite carrier oil depends on the purpose. The human body is so complex, yet works in harmony with nature -- which is why I LOVE botany. Plants are incredible, and in this post we're diving into Calendula officinalis!
what is calendula officinalis??
Calendula officinalis or C. officinalis is also known as the pot marigold plant. Yes, the very same edible blooms you have most likely planted around your tomatoes (but not to be confused with the Tagetes genus!) if you are familiar with strategic companion planting in efforts to keep garden pests away. Calendula officinalis is part of the Asteraceae family, which I'm personally, a huge fan of. If you're familiar with the health benefits of dandelion root, then you will appreciate the Calendula officinalis benefits as well. In addition to making our gardens &/or plates "prettier" there are a lot of health benefits and in this post we're specifically discussing the topical benefits of Calendula oil + why it's one of my favorite carrier oils.
Calendula officinalis as a carrier oil
I have incredibly sensitive skin and it doesn't seem to matter what time of year it is for it to get angry. I have to be extremely careful what I put on my skin because in more instances than not -- it will react. My body doesn't tolerate anything fake or synthetic, especially when it's already angry -- so depending on the situation I'm either applying a certain Young Living Essential Oil "neat" or simply applying something like Calendula or Shea Butter, raw, all by itself, until there are signs of relief. We're going to shelf the Shea Butter conversation for now because it deserves an entire post of its own. ;)
When I have dry, chapped, itchy skin &/or any signs of a rash, eczema, or psoriasis I'm quick to reach for my Calendula oil. It's a soothing, mild oil, which makes it perfect for treating burns, acute dermatitis, inflammation, and wounds in general. It's by all means a "first aid" oil because it has antiseptic, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, ideal for basically every scenario life throws our way.
Not only is Calendula amazingly effective all by itself, but when complimented with a skin supporting essential oil from Young Living, it turns into a POWER COUPLE. When people ask me what carrier oil I think they should use for topical application, I will generally always recommend Calendula because of the known medical benefits is provides, so in my opinion it is an incredible multi-tasking solution.
medical benefits of calendula officinalis
If you know me even a little you probably already know that my main medical focus is generally toward cancer prevention &/or alternative treatments. Calendula officinalis is scientifically known to discourage cancer cells (apoptosis). Big claims, right? Well, this is because of the inherent anti-inflammatory properties, which is what helps fuel the fight against cancer cells as well as the irritations that come with traditional Western cancer treatments (I.E.: chemotherapy/radiation). Actual medical case studies have shown that in addition to Calendula officinalis activating the lymphocytes (which fight uninvited virus type intruders), it literally fights carcinogenic activity within tumors (SOURCE).
According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, they have case studies that support the medical claims of Calendula officinalis being significantly more effective than the traditionally prescribed topical agents (such as trolamine) when it comes to reducing + preventing the skin irritation caused by radiation to treat breast cancer (SOURCE). This specific case study was referring to acute dermatitis of grade 2 or higher, which is pretty extreme, so don't you agree Calendula officinalis would be equally helpful for minor everyday type of skin irritants?
every day benefits of calendula officinalis
The ancient Egyptians considered this oil to have rejuvenating properties, which over time science has confirmed with evidence-based research. Traditionally used for abdominal pain, cramps, constipation, etc. it's actually our SKIN that receives the brunt of the benefits, which is due to the innate anti-inflammation, antibacterial related properties we've discussed above. Here is a quick reference/summary of benefits with this oil:
- Dry skin. Calendula oil is a GREAT moisturizer for thirsty skin, including severely chapped or split skin. It will help soothe, reduce pain + heal the wound(s).
- Inflammation. Calendula oil + Young Living's Panaway essential oil blend are a match made in heaven. They work well together on sprained muscles, bruises, etc. and help lessen swelling from injury. Calendula (+ Panaway!) is also known for calming and relaxing muscle spasms/spontaneous muscle contractions. Talk about a great pre and post work out massage (SOURCE). Combine with Myrrh + Frankincense and that combo with the Calendula oil will help reduce spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and chilblains.
- Baby. Calendula is fantastic for relieving diaper rashes. Consider combining with Young Living's Gentle Baby essential oil blend for added benefits -- and yes, you can make a bulk batch to use for basically anything.
- Skin issues. When it comes to the skin, when in doubt -- reach for Calendula! It's truly the best for eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin irritants. Simply apply topically and know that the anti fungal properties will be put to work -- especially for anything such as athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch, etc.
Calendula is a fantastic base when making your own DIY's. I enjoy combining it with Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and others when whipping up my own Lip Balms, Body Butters + Lotions, and always keep a bottle or two on hand at all times. If you want to get some Calendula oil, I highly recommend getting it from Herb Pharm.
There are truly SO MANY more health benefits of Calendula -- this post barely scratches the surface but correlates with our essential oil use perfectly. If you'd like to know MORE about Calendula + other ways it is extremely beneficial, let me know.