More commonly known as marigold, the calendula has a bright orange or yellow flower, and grows abundantly in Mediterranean countries. In the United States as well as throughout much of Europe, calendula tea is also known for its ability to heal skin infections, cuts, and bruises, as well as a host of other benefits. Calendula is a natural anti-oxidant, and as such, assists in recovery and healing from surgery as it helps to clean the body. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which helps control swelling after surgical procedures.
To prepare this tea, you can simply steep dried calendula flowers in boiling water for approximately five minutes. Use 1 or 2 teaspoons for each 4 ounces of water, depending on how strong you like it.
The component of the calendula flower that gives it its bright orange color is beta-carotene, also found in carrots. Because of this, it has many of the same basic health benefits and is high in vitamin A. The flowers of the calendula plant also contain essential oils and sugars that are known to stimulate the immune system, making calendula tea ideal to drink when you think you are on the verge of a cold, or to speed healing.
In addition to offering a general improvement of the immune system, calendula tea is thought to have a number of other health benefits. Calendula has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and it has been shown in clinical trials to be effective against infections. It is used for ear infections, eye infections such as conjunctivitis, and for the relief the effects of sore throats. It's also quite helpful for anyone suffering from digestive disorders, and it helps limit the symptoms you would associate with stomach cancer, peptic ulcers, or diseases like gastritis.
When used as a skin care treatment as a salve, it has been shown to increase the production of collagen in the body, leading to a more youthful appearance. Some also keep a store of calendula tea in the refrigerator, so that it can be used directly on the skin to help clear up acne, hemorrhoids, or other areas where the skin is inflamed. However, these are just a few of the health benefits that may be associated with calendula, as the actual list of benefits is quite lengthy. Many people prefer to drink it just for the refreshing taste and bold color.
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