Calendula is one of my very favorite herbs, yes I said herb. Its cheerful orange and yellow blossoms look gorgeous in the garden and have incredible healing properties. Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds & treat skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immune-stimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. Crazy, right?!? This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.
Not only is Calendula a wonderful healing and medicinal herb, but it is also a lovely and useful plant in the garden! Calendula repels many common garden pests including aphids, eelworms, asparagus beetles, and tomato hornworms, and is a companion plant for potatoes, beans, and lettuce. Plus, it grows quickly and is easy to cultivate from seed. Now do you see why this is one of my fav herbs?!
Calendula Infused Oil
This medicinal oil is simple to prepare and has so many uses. The gentle, soothing, and healing oil is perfect for cradle cap, diaper rash, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, and sore or inflamed muscles. The oil can be used alone, or incorporated into salves, massage oils, lip balms, ointments, creams, and lotions.
There are two methods to making Calendula Infused Oil, the Solar or Folk Method or the Stove-top Method. I prefer the Folk Method, I like the old school, traditional ways. Either way, all you’ll need is:
- Organic Olive oil
- Organic Calendula flowers
Solar/Folk Method: Place Calendula flowers in a clean, dry glass jar. If using fresh Calendula, wilt flowers for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar.
Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers by at least 1 inch of oil so they will have space to expand. Stir well and seal the jar tightly.
Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake to mix up the oil at least once a day, more if you think to.
After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth. Pour the infused oil into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place.
Stove-Top Method: As I said above, I prefer to infuse oils utilizing the solar or folk method described above, but when I first started making my own Calendula Oil, I used the Stove-Top Method, it’s quicker & my patience had not quite blossomed yet (ha! See my pun there?). To prepare, follow step 1 from above, but place the Olive oil and Calendula flowers in an uncovered thick-bottomed medium-sized saucepan. Warm over low heat at approximately 100 degrees F for at least 12 hours, & the longer the better. Just make sure to check the temperature occasionally to ensure that the oil isn’t getting too warm, you never want this to boil, ever. Once the oil has infused, strain out the herbs using cheesecloth and store the infused oil into glass bottles or in my case, a large mason jar.
A soothing and healing salve. Rub into sore or inflamed muscles, apply to minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites, rashes, diaper rashes, stretch marks, chapped lips, chafed skin, bruises, and other skin irritations.
- 4 oz. Calendula flower infused herbal oil (from above recipe)
- ½ oz. Beeswax
- 20 drops organic Lavender essential oil (optional)
Coarsely chop the beeswax or use beeswax pastilles (soooo much easier but hard to find).
Melt beeswax and Calendula oil over a double boiler.
Once melted, remove from burner and stir in the Lavender essential oil.
Pour into tins or glass jars.
Allow to cool thoroughly before using or placing caps on the jars.
Calendula & Shea Butter Lip Balm
This nourishing lip balm is made from healing ingredients, which soothe dry and chapped lips.
- 1 Tablespoon Shea Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Calendula Herbal Oil (from above recipe)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Beeswax
10-15 drops essential oil of choice
- A few drops of Vitamin E Oil
Coarsely chop the beeswax or use beeswax pastilles.
Place beeswax, shea butter, and oil in a small pot or glass Pyrex measuring cup and gently heat in the top of a double boiler until the beeswax and butter has melted.
Once melted, remove from the stovetop and stir in the essential oil and Vitamin E Oil.
Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm tubes or small containers.
This recipe will make approximately 1.5 oz. of lip balm, enough to fill 10 lip balm tubes, 6 of your 1/4 oz. plastic jars, or 3 1/2 oz. tins or plastic jars.
I love Calendula Tea . It is a health and immune system booster. The same 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 coming down with a cold, or to speed healing.
But to be honest, I really use Calendula Tea to help ease the pain of Menstrual Cramps. During that time of the month, Calendula Tea becomes my BFF. The flavonoids found in this herbal remedy can reduce inflammation, and alleviate hot flashes as well! Its relaxing and soothing and pretty. I love my Calendula Tea.
I always have dried Calendula on hand as I use it all of the time in my “potions”. I simply throw a few pinches of dried Calendula petals into a pot and make tea, but they do sell Calendula Tea in proper tea-bags. I add a bit of honey, it’s a wee bit bitter without. Check your local health food store, I bet you’ll find Calendula Tea there. Or start growing & drying your own, or buy bags of it. I always love Mountain Rose Herbs for all of my herbs, butters, oils, etc. They are a good, reliable and sustainable source.
Calendula, yeah, the Marigold, who knew?!?!!? Well, our ancestors did, back when things were considered to be of beauty for their function and not just for their appearance. Folk Medicine has long touted the plant for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immune-stimulant properties, it seems that we living in the modern day need to catch up! Calendula’s versatility has proven itself to me time and time again and earned its way to my top spot for “Favourite Herb”. They’re easy to grow and cheap to buy. Get on the Calendula Bandwagon.
Love Thy Self, & Love the Skin You’re In!