Calendula Uses and Homemade Calendula Infused Oil

Calendula Officinalis

Calendula – often call pot marigold – is actually not a marigold at all, but a separate species.

Calendula Officinalis

Calendula officinalis is a group of very healing plants in the asteraceae family. They are mostly yellow, but a whole new subset of these plants have popped up lately. From the pretty pastel pinks and yellows of the Zeolites to the bold orange and bright yellow of the Sunset series, these pretty plants pack quite a punch. They are annuals in much of the world but often reseed to come back the following spring.

As soon as the blossoms open, I watch for the flower to be pollinated. Then, I strip all the outer petals off of the flower, leaving the seeds to form. Once the seeds form, I pick the heads and set them to dry. These plants will sprout quite easily and tend to bloom just a few weeks after the first true leaves start to form. You can save the seeds from year to year if kept in a cool, dry place.

Some say soak the seeds, but I just plant them in potting soil and water them. They will need the warmth of the sun as they are native to Egypt. Watch the young plants for powdery mildew. I spray mine with a mixture of water and neem oil to help with mildew and discourage bugs.

Calendula Infused Oil Recipe

Calendula has been used for many years as a healing herb, but there has been some use as a fungicide. The brightly colored petals of the common calendula are often dried and infused into oil.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the dried flowers into the jar and cover with oil. Shake and let sit for an hour or so. Check to see if there is enough oil. It should cover the flowers by at least half an inch or if the flowers are floating, have a half inch at the bottom with no flowers.
  2. Place the jar in the sun, on a picnic table outdoors (if you’re in a warm climate), or in a sunny window.
  3. Shake the jar every few days for up to six weeks. I usually use mine after two to three weeks. You will notice the oil turn yellow and it will smell kind of toasty or nutty. That’s when you know it’s ready to use.
  4. Strain the oil. (I keep the used petals in the freezer until I need them for a batch of homemade soap. I often just sprinkle the petals right into a batch of soap as this is one herb that is not discolored by the lye. In most cases reactive lye will cause dried herbs to turn brown, but calendula will remain yellow for the life of the soap.)

Ways to Use It

So what do you do with it now? The oil has many uses:

  • I use it in place of antibacterial cream for scratches and scrapes. You can make it into a healing salve using this recipe.
  • It works great as a hair oil, leaving your hair shiny and healthy. Just place a few drops in your palm and work it into the ends. If you use a very small amount, your hair won’t feel greasy.
  • You can use the oil as a healing make up remover. Just dab a bit on a cotton pad and use this to remove the make up.
  • It works great on healing acne. Just dab a bit on a pimple and it will start to heal right away. Calendula has the added benefit of reducing redness, so this can help with acne eruptions.
  • It could help with the redness from rosacea, but this has not been studied much. Either way, it can’t hurt.
  • Use the oil to make a great homemade herbal body cream.
  • It would be a great addition to a DIY moisturizing body wash, helping with breakouts and skin imperfections all over the body.

More About Calendula

Calendula petals are also full of antioxidants. This may be why they are so good for healing the skin. They are also edible. I add them to salads and soups quite frequently. They also look very pretty mixed into dips and cream cheese spreads. I have not tried them deep fried, but I’ve been told they are very good dipped in a batter and deep fried in a healthy oil. I have also added them to cornbread and muffins. Calendula is such a versatile herb and you can have fun using it in many ways!

How about you?

Have you used calendula? If so, what have you used it for? Share in the comments section below!

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Comments

  1. I make a healing salve/ointment with Calendula along with Comphrey and clove EO’s it is a huge hit to moms for diaper rash, cuts and scrapes and works well for Eczema. Mothers say it cured the baby’s diaper rashes overnight. I have a daycare near me who I have supplied to for use on the children and they believe it is the bomb. This ointment will take you through baby years to toddler to teenagers as a great first aide kit product.

  2. thank you, Deborah, for expanding my awareness of this lovely plant. I had no idea it has so many uses!

    • It can be hard to tell, Alex, but usually the base of the flower in the inside starts to turn brown. If it looks like the petals are starting to droop, it’s usually time. You don’t have to wait, i just do to be sure I’ll have more to plant later.

  3. I will try using them next year. I was given some starts two years ago and they fill my entrance border after the spring bulbs have finished blooming. I like that they have a variation of shades from pale yellow to almost orange.

  4. I will try using them next year. I was given some starts two years ago and they fill my entrance border after the spring bulbs have finished blooming. I like that they have a variation of shades from pale yellow to almost orange.

  5. I made Calendula oil many times over the years. Using the top medical yielding seed. It has a lovely medicinal smell and is remarkable for healing some pretty bad cuts I have had while carving.I also used it in soap and lip balm as well as making it into a salve. Kids love it and call it Nanna’s bobo cream.Good for burns and scratches.I have used the leaves in teas for stomach problems along with Marshmallow. I warm the oil and pack the whole flower head into the jar and leave in the sun for many weeks. The smell of the oil is wonderful. I do leave flower heads on plants to produce seed for the next yr. Just buy the plants with the strongest medical value.(seed) and make sure its not a monsanto influenced seed.

  6. Is there an alternative to leaving the oil in the sun? Unfortunately, winter here is not very sunny. If the heat is what’s needed, could it be processed in crock pot perhaps? I would love to be able to make this oil before summer.

  7. I have made a tincture of Calendula petals with water, and used it on a cat who had lost most of the skin on his belly and legs….healed beautifully, with very little scarring. It also prevented infection, as the cat had none throughout the healing time.

  8. I took off the information that was about the uses of coconut oil.
    Did not mean to could you please put it back on my site.
    thank you