What is Calendula Salve?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Calendula salve is an emollient made with extracts from the calendula plant, which is also sometimes referred to as "pot marigold." The extracts of this plant are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. For this reason, calendula salve is often used to treat skin conditions and different kinds of wounds affecting the skin. Calendula is also believed to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, making it excellent for the treatment of skin problems and skin wounds.

Calendula salve can be applied to varicose veins or bruises.
Calendula salve can be applied to varicose veins or bruises.

There is a range of skin conditions that can be treated with calendula salve. It can be used to treat varicose veins and can help to heal bruises. It can also be used on burns, scrapes, and cuts on the skin. Calendula salve can also be used to heal and soothe skin that has been sunburned.

Beeswax is a common ingredient in calendula salve.
Beeswax is a common ingredient in calendula salve.

Emollients made with calendula can even be used on delicate baby skin. Some parents choose to use this kind of salve to help heal diaper rash. In addition to treating diaper rash on children, calendula salve can also be used to treat skin irritations and rashes on adults. While irritated skin should be left to breathe, scrapes and cuts that are treated with this kind of salve should be covered with a bandage or cotton dressing. The salve should be reapplied after bathing or washing the irritated or wounded area.

Calendula salve can be used to heal diaper rash.
Calendula salve can be used to heal diaper rash.

This kind of salve can be especially useful on wounds that are taking a long time to heal or bothersome sores. It can be used repeatedly on the same area and is easy to reapply. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of the essential oil help to reduce pain and swelling surrounding the troubled area.

Calendula salve is often used to heal sunburns.
Calendula salve is often used to heal sunburns.

Most salves made with calendula are formulated with only a few ingredients. Common ingredients include beeswax and olive oil. Sometimes other essential oils are added to the salve as well. A common additional essential oil is lavender oil, which makes the emollient smell lovely. Sometimes tee tree oil is added to the mix to boost the antibacterial properties of the salve.

It is important to note that, while calendula salve may be a very useful item to have in a household first aid kit, serious burns, rashes, cuts, and scrapes should be inspected and dressed by a medical professional. Any time the skin becomes infected, a medical professional should be consulted. For basic first aid and minor wounds, salves can be as useful, if not more so, than antibiotic ointments.

Calendula salve is often used to heal bruises.
Calendula salve is often used to heal bruises.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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