Protect Your Skin From Sun Damage with This Herb

By , Category : General Health

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Protect Your SkinToday’s health advice comes in the form of an herbal cream. Calendula, or pot marigold, is a hardy annual herb. These plants have brightly colored flowers and you are likely familiar with them. They are a staple in many front-yard gardens. The petals of the flowers are actually edible and can be used either fresh or dry to add color to rice and salads.

Medicinally, calendula has been used since the 16th century. Today, the herb is often used in ointments and creams as a skin remedy. To create calendula ointment, an oil-based infusion is produced from the flower petals and then mixed with a base. The essential oil is thought to have wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it contains carotenoids, which are thought to help regenerate skin cells.

Researchers at BhagwantUniversityin Indiaperformed a study to investigate the sunscreen activity of a calendula herbal formulation. They noted that there have been no studies conducted to prove the evidence of a sun protection factor (SPF) in the essential oil of calendula flowers. They therefore conducted a study to investigate the in-vitro SPF of calendula flower oil in a cream formulation.   The research team first isolated the calendula oil and chemically identified all of its components. Then, they measured the SPF of the cream in vitro by using an instrument called a spectrophotometer. They were able to determine that the SPF of calendula cream exhibited good activity. Calendula could help fight free radical damage and may play a significant role in protecting against skin cancer. The researchers concluded that calendula cream could be used to protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Keep in mind that calendula ointment is also useful for treating skin wounds and inflammation, as well as frostbite.  However, because of oil content, it’s not generally recommended as a treatment for burns — in this case, try aloe vera instead. You can find calendula ointment in most natural pharmacies. You can also make your own calendula ointment: look online for a simple recipe that’s easy to

To learn about how calendula could help stave off cardiovascular disease, read A Flower That Helps Protect Your Heart.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

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Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »