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Calendula extract is a nutritional supplement that is made from a flower that is known as the marigold, pot marigold, or the maybud. A basic recipe for the extract calls for steeping the petals of the flower in almond oil. The resulting product is used in a number of applications, including cooking, aromatherapy and various schools of alternative healing. Both internal and external uses of the product are common, either as stand-alone remedies or as one of several herbal supplements used simultaneously.
One of the more common uses for calendula extract is as a healing agent for sores in the mouth. Using the product as a mouth rinse or as a gargle is said to expedite the body’s ability to heal the sores. At the same time, the properties of the extract help to dull the pain that is often associated with these mouth sores.
There are also internal uses for calendula extract. When taken as an ingredient in a tea, the extract is said to calm any type of distress in the gastrointestinal system, including heartburn. In some cultures, the extract is used by women to lessen cramps and other types of pain during menstruation. People suffering with hepatitis also report that the extract helps to restore energy and make the condition more manageable.
Externally, calendula extract can be used in tinctures or combined with other ingredients to make soothing balms and creams that are applied directly to the skin. Various recipes involving the extract note that the oil from the marigold flower helps to calm dry and itchy skin, and may even help to minimize inflammation. This makes the product ideal for use in situations where conjunctivitis or eczema is present. A small amount can also help ease the pain of bug or ant bites.
Calendula extract can be purchased at many herb shops, through alternative medical practitioners, and at some health food stores in many nations around the world. The product is also available at a number of online herbal supply businesses. It is possible to find recipes online that provide step by step instructions on how to prepare the extract from scratch, including when to pick the marigold petals, alternatives for the almond oil, and how long the petals must steep in order for the extract to be effective. As with all herbal remedies, it is important to consult a physician before using this product internally, especially if prescription medications for the same ailment are already being utilized.