Focus on Calendula (Califlora)

Written by on October 19, 2005 in Natural Treatments, Rosacea Fact Sheets with 0 Comments

Herbal anti-inflammatory agents for skin disease.

Skin Therapy Letter. 2000, Volume 5, Number 4, Page 3-5.

Herbs have been used in clinical medicine for thousands of years. However, it is only in recent times that we have been able to employ scientific methods to prove the efficacy of many of these herbs and to give us a better understanding of their mechanisms of action. This article will focus on the use of herbs in various dermatological conditions characterized by inflammation and pruritus. Topical preparations of many of these herbs are more commonplace in Europe. However, their availability is increasing in the US. As this is occurring we are witnessing a growing marriage between alternative and traditional medicines.

Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis), derived from the marigold plant, is quite widely used in topical skin and hair preparations as a soothing ingredient. Its anti-inflammatory effects are a result of triterpene flavonoids and saponins. It has been used topically as an antiseptic agent and applied to poorly healing wounds.

Bioflavenoids

The bioflavenoids, including quercetin and hesperidin, inhibit histamine release and mast cell degranulation, and support capillary integrity. Quercetin (found in high levels in onions) inhibits phospholipase A2 and lipoxygenase enzymes. This results in the inhibition of proinflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Conclusion: As our familiarity with herbal ingredients increases and we employ our known scientific methodology to study them physiologically, our ability to treat patients satisfactorily, with fewer side effects will be enhanced. Many more herbs are being studied for their therapeutic as well as preventative roles in traditional medicine, thus narrowing a gap that has been present for many years.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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