Making Calendula Oil
Calendula (Calendula officinalis), aka “Pot Marigold” or sometimes referred to as “Garden Marigold”, is amazingly healing to the skin and has proven itself profoundly useful in wound care.
Stephanie Tourles includes directions for making a quick calendula oil in her book “Natural Foot Care Herbal Treatments, Massage, and Exercises for Healthy Feet“.
Basically, it involves placing 4 to 5 cups of calendula blossoms in a pot and putting in just enough extra virgin olive oil to cover them by about two inches. Heat on low for approximately 5 to 10 hours, being careful not to simmer. Remove from heat when it appears rich and golden-orange in color and smells “herby”. Cool and strain with cheesecloth. Store refrigerated and it should last 6 months to a year. (If not refrigerated, use within 60 days.)
A longer process of making calendula oil at home can be found at:
https://healthyherbs.about.com/od/howtos/ht/calendoil.htm. You can do it by using either fresh calendula flowers (bruising them to release oils) or by using the dried calendula flowers that you can find at health or natural stores. Fill a glass jar completely with the flowers, then add olive or sesame oil, and store covered in a dark place for two weeks, shaking daily. When the time is up, strain oil into a dark glass container and add tincture of benzoin or vitamin E to help preserve your oil.
According to Dana Ullman in her book Essential Homeopathy: What It Is and What It Can Do for You:
“…Calendula is rich in carotenoids that help to nourish the skin and even has small amounts of salicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin) that helps to reduce the pain…”
Reported uses for Calendula include:
compresses, poultices, salves, creams, balms, ointments, liniments, insect repellent, and tinctures
Self-help uses reported by Andrew Chevallier in The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants include:
- acne and boils
- athlete’s foot
- bites and stings
- breast tenderness and sore nipples
- diaper rash
- digestive infections
- inflamed skin rashes
- nettle rash
- varicose veins
- wound and bruises
Calendula can also be used as a saffron colored food coloring for broth, rice, and frosting.
If you don’t want to make your own calendula infused oil, cream or ointment, a product that I’ve found to be amazing as a salve is Arbordoun’s Abundantly Herbal Calendula Cream. Extremely effective when applied to blemishes (acne) and minor wounds / burns. I’ve also known of people who have found it to be effective on excema, diaper rash, and in general on dry, cracked skin. I love it and won’t be without it.
*Warning: According to University of Maryland Medical Center —
“Calendula is also known to affect the menstrual cycle and should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”