If you’re searching for an all-natural remedy that can help soothe your baby’s sensitive skin and reduce his/her nappy rash, you’re in luck. The anti inflammatory and anti viral herb Calendula (commonly found in drugstores in the form of Calendula cream) can help you do just that. Read on to find out more about Calendula and Calendula cream, and their many applications!
What is Calendula?
Calendula broadly consists of 15 – 20 species of plants that are known colloquially as Marigolds. These have been used as both culinary and medicinal herbs through the ages, and they can be either taken orally, or applied topically. In the kitchen, Calendula can be used fresh (in salads) or after it has been processed and dried (as a garnish and herb). For wellness, Calendula is a popular ingredient that is used in countless products including lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and more.
What are the uses and benefits of Calendula?
There are plenty!
Firstly, Calendula is great for battling cancer. According to a 2006 study in the BMC Cancer journal, Calendula was found to fight carcinogenic activity within tumors. This was corroborated by research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which also showed that Calendula is more effective than other highly recommended topical agents when it came to reducing the incidence of dermatitis caused by radiation used for breast cancer treatment.
Secondly, Calendula helps to relax muscle spasms. According to a study conducted by the Aga Khan University Medical College, Calendula flower extract helped to relax spontaneous muscle contractions. Because of these properties that Calendula has, it’s traditionally used for treating abdominal cramps and constipation.
However, the one most commonly studied benefit of Calendula is how it aids in healing wounds and soothing sensitive skin.
Studies from the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology (as well as numerous other sources!) show that Calendula has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and contains antioxidants which protect cells from free radical damage. Because of this, Calendula is perfect for treating inflammations of all sorts, including diaper rash, dermatitis, ulcers, sore throats, ear infections, and more.
Apart from that, a study from the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology also found that Calendula-based gels and topical ointments are extremely useful in speeding up recovery rate and healing. In this study, animals were treated with Calendula-based gels, and their wounds were monitored for an eight-day window following said treatment. The result? Those who used Calendula-based gels saw a 90% closure of their wounds, as opposed to the 51% closure experienced by those who used other gels and ointments.
Why is Calendula cream especially beneficial for babies?
Where babies are concerned, it’s better to be safe instead of sorry. According to a report published in Clinical Pediatrics, over 75% of newborns experience rashes within the first few months of birth; whilst results weren’t conclusive, they did seem to indicate that these rashes are caused by baby lotions and oils which contain petrochemicals and pesticides.
This begs the question: how do you look for gentle baby products that won’t result in your baby breaking out in rashes? When in doubt, always go for Calendula lotions, oils, and creams; other soothing and natural ingredients such as aloe vera are also a good bet. One highly recommended product is Martin and Pleasance’s Calendula Cream. Martin and Pleasance is one of the most established and trusted names in Australian wellness, with over 150 years of providing natural remedies and medicines.
Another tip: make sure the baby products that you’re purchasing do not contain lanolin, which is a fatty substance obtained from sheep wool. Several surveys by America’s Environmental Protection Agency found that a vast majority of commercial lanolin used in baby products contains high concentrations of pesticides such as DDT, lindane, and diazinon – and you wouldn’t want these chemicals to be absorbed into your baby’s skin.
How to use Calendula cream on babies
For nappy rash, wash your baby gently and apply a small amount of Calendula cream before putting on a new diaper. Calendula cream can be used to soothe and heal cuts, bruises, and sunburn (if any); it may also be applied daily in order to prevent irritation if the air is dry and your baby’s skin needs some relief.