Calendula officinalis, with its yellow-orange flower heads, is a perennial herbaceous plant, with a taproot belonging to the Asteraceae family, the same as the cornflower and chamomile.
Calendula has always received particular attention over the centuries. It is said that the Egyptians considered calendula to be the plant of youth. The Persians, Greeks and Hindus used it to decorate their temples and food.
Originally from central and southern Europe, it is now found almost all over the world and boasts remarkable and significant properties.
Cosmetic properties and uses
The part used for herbal and cosmetic purposes consists of the flower heads and flowering tips, without the leaves.
It has many active ingredients with important anti-inflammatory, calming, soothing and healing properties, making it very useful for damaged, irritated and sensitive skin.
These characteristics make it an excellent ingredient of creams and ointments.
The use of calendula oil in creams conveys an emollient, soothing and anti-wrinkle effect, helping skin regeneration and protecting against redness, irritation and inflammation.
A cream containing macerated calendula oil is an ideal skincare aid.
Calendula grows wild in Italy and can be sown directly in the field in early spring or in a seed bed in September–October.
Soil that is not too dry and a sunny position are required. After germination, thinning is recommended, leaving a distance of 30 cm between one seedling and the next.
Calendula has no particular needs, apart from sunlight, well-drained soil and constant watering, but without exaggerating, to avoid stagnation.
Flowering takes place from May until the end of autumn.