Well known for its ability to soothe and heal the skin, calendula can be used in many home remedies and DIY body care products.
The blooms have been used both therapeutically as an herbal remedy, as a dye, and as a food plant for centuries.
Most commonly known as for its topical use, as a tea, or infused oil for wounds and skin trauma. The bright orange or yellow flower contain many important health benefits and it can be taken both externally for wound treatment, and internally for a variety of ailments.
A bit of caution: Calendula or Pot Marigold, while looking similar, are not the same as French Marigold. Calendula is an edible flower while French Marigold is not edible.
One of the first things I suggest once you get your hands on some dried calendula flowers is to create a simple calendula oil.
This is done by steeping dried herbs in oil for a period of time, allowing them to infuse the oil with their many benefits. The herbs are then strained from the oil, leaving an herb-infused oil for use in all manner of natural remedies and body care products. (Similar methods can be used to infuse honey.)
How to Make Calendula Oil
My favorite method of creating calendula oil is to use the cold-infusion method.
This method is extremely easy but takes some time, so it's necessary to plan ahead if you want to have it ready for a specific use.
I generally use dried herbs and flowers when creating oil infusions, as the water that may be present on fresh herbs and flowers could cause bacteria to grow. If you choose to use fresh flowers, be sure they are clean and dry before beginning. It’s best to let flowers dry for a few days before using.
How Much Oil and Calendula to Use when Making Calendula Oil?
Common measurements for creating herb-infused oils via the cold/solar method include filling the jar ¼ to ½ full with herbs, then filling the jar with oil.
If you would like a more precise measurement, use the common ratio of one ounce dried herb to 10 ounces of oil.
- Place herbs into a clean jar and add the carrier oil. Close jar and leave herbs to infuse for 4-6 weeks.
- Jar needs to be placed in a consistently warm area, but out of direct sunlight.
- Make sure your lid is secured tightly and your herbs are totally submerged into the carrier oil. As you think of it, stop by and give your jar a gentle shake every now and then.
- Once infused, strain out the herbs.
Which oil to use?
When making Calendula oil (or any other herb-infused oil), olive oil is the most popular choice. This is because it is a sturdy oil with a decent shelf life. It resists oxidation and is less likely to go rancid than other more fragile oils.
Olive oil is also great for the skin.
However, that said, many other oils would work very well.
Some possibilities include:
Grapeseed, sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba, or sunflower oil. Coconut oil will also work but will need to be infused using one of the hot methods due to its solid state.
How to Use Calendula Oil
- The strained oil can be applied to cuts, scrapes, rashes, bug bites, dry skin, and other irritations.
- To make the oil easier to apply, add beeswax to create a salve.
- Use oil to make a conditioning lip balm
- Use the oil to create a skin-soothing lotion bar
- Use the oil (or create a salve) to treat diaper rash
- Add a little calendula oil to a simple homemade salad dressing only if an ingestible oil is used to make the calendula oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil (use as part of the olive oil portion in any salad dressing recipe)
Want more Calendula Recipes?
My new ebook, The Calendula Guidebook, is packed full of home remedies and simple skin care recipes.