Flower Power

The Power of a Flower

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Nature has many elements of power. We can see nature’s force in the crashing current of a waterfall, in the fierce fervor of a forest fire, and in the bullying bluster of the wind. These elements offer power to tap for energy. But nature also demonstrates purposeful power in more diminutive forms like the excretion of a bacteria, the bite of a small ant or the petal of a common flower. Calendula, or as more commonly known as the marigold, has more subtle strength than the rushing currents, frantic fire or rowdy wind. Calendula has the power to heal and to protect the human skin, the human intestinal tract, and the human brain.  Calendula is a wonder herb and has many healing properties. Bringing nature into healing and into supporting our bodies makes environmental and fiscal sense. You can easily grow your own medicine in your own space.

     Calendula flower extracts has been shown to help heal the skin. Research indicates that extracts of calendula acts as antioxidant agents on our skin when the tissue is damaged. The calendula in our soap, lotion or salve will take up all the extra radical oxygen and protect our skin (Alnuqaydan, Lenehan, Hughes & Sanderson, 2015).  Not only does Calendula heal skin cells, it has been determined to manage the inflammation of the stomach lining by inhibiting specific reactions (Colombo, 2015). These flowers may also help protect the brain against degenerative diseases like Huntington’s disease (Shivasharan, 2013). By drinking marigold tea, tossing some petal into soup, or using a tincture infused with calendula, we can support and protect not only our stomach but also our brain from current and potential future damage.

            Calendula has many more wonderful therapeutic applications. Grow a pot of marigolds, harvest some of the flowers, and enjoy the amazing gifts this powerful little plant has to offer.

Resources:

Alnuqaydan, A. M., Lenehan, C. E., Hughes, R. R.,& Sanderson, B. J. (2015). Extracts from    Calendula officinalis Offer in Vitro Protection Against H2 O2 Induced Oxidative Stress    Cell Killing of Human Skin Cells. Phytotherapy Research,29(1), 120-124.      doi:10.1002/ptr.5236

Colombo, E., Sangiovanni, E., D’Ambrosio, M., Bosisio, E., Ciocarlan, A., Fumagalli, M., &       …  Dell’Agli, M. (2015). A Bio-Guided Fractionation to Assess the Inhibitory Activity           of Calendula officinalis L. on the NF-κB Driven Transcription in Human Gastric       Epithelial Cells.  Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (Ecam), 20151-8.

Shivasharan, B. D., Nagakannan, P., Thippeswamy, B. S., Veerapur, V. P., Bansal, P., & Unnikrishnan, M. K. (2013). Protective effect of Calendula officinalis Linn. flowers against 3-nitropropionic acid induced experimental Huntington’s disease in rats. Drug & Chemical  Toxicology, 36(4), 466-473. doi:10.3109/01480545.2013.776583