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The Wonders of Calendula

Bunches of fresh orange and yellow calendula flowers

Calendula is one of my very favorite herbs. The cheerful orange and yellow blossoms look gorgeous in the garden and are incredibly versatile in an array of preparations.
Calendula officinalis, also known as "pot marigold" or "garden marigold," has been used for centuries for minor skin irritations. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It's also gentle enough to use for babies or children. Internally, gargling with calendula-infused water may ease sensitive areas on the throat,  mouth, and more.

Not only is calendula a soothing traditional herb, but it is also a lovely and useful plant in the garden. It grows quickly and is easy to cultivate from seed, plus it helps to keep many common garden bugs at bay.

The fresh, vibrant petals are a wonderful natural dye too! They can be used to color butter, cheese, custards, or sauces. Or sprinkle them atop salads, cakes, and sandwiches for a bright burst of color. 

Recipes with Calendula

There are many ways to put your calendula flowers to use in herbal preparations. I've shared some of my favorites below. Enjoy!

CALENDULA-infused herbal oil

This traditionl oil is simple to prepare and has so many uses. The gentle, soothing oil is perfect used alone or incorporated into salves, massage oils, lip balms, ointments, creams, and lotions.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place calendula flowers in a clean, dry glass jar.We recommend using dried flowers in this recipe, but if using fresh calendula, wilt for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar.
  2. Pour olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the flowers by at least 1” of oil so they will have space to expand.
  3. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
  4. Place the jar in a warm, sunny windowsill and shake once or more daily.
  5. After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth.
  6. Pour the infused oil into glass bottles and store in a cool, dark place.

I prefer to infuse oils utilizing the solar or folk method described above, but heat can be applied if you need the oil quickly.

Terra cotta bowl full of organic calendula powder surrounded by calendula flowers

Calendula Salve

This soothing and skin-softening salve, can be rubbed on sore muscles after a long day outdoors or in the garden, applied to lips during the winter months, or dabbed on other minor skin irritations.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop the beeswax or use beeswax pastilles.
  2. Melt beeswax and calendula oil over a double boiler.
  3. Once melted, remove from burner and stir in the lavender essential oil.
  4. Pour into tins or glass jars.
  5. Allow to cool thoroughly before using or placing lids on the containers.

Calendula & Shea Butter Lip Balm

This nourishing balm is made from healthful ingredients that soothe dry lips.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop the beeswax or use beeswax pastilles.
  2. Place beeswax, butter, and oil in a small pot or glass measuring cup and gently heat in the top of a double boiler until the beeswax and butters have melted.
  3. Once melted, remove from 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 1/4 oz jars, or a 3.5 oz tin.

CalendulaHydrosol_lr.jpg

Calendula Spray

This spray can be misted on minor skin irritations or used as a soothing facial toner.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. pour into a 4 oz bottle with a mister top.
  3. Use as often as desired!

Calendula Compress

A soothing and traditional remedy that’s simple to prepare. Calendula compresses can be applied warm or cold to areas that would benefit from an extended application.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Pour boiling water over calendula flowers.
  3. Cover and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  4. Once cooled, strain out flowers and reserve remaining liquid.
  5. Create a compress by soaking a clean cloth in the herbal infusion and placing it on the skin.
  6. This gentle process may be repeated several times a day.

 

Looking For More Information herbal Preparations? 

Learn How To Make DIY Salves With Other Herbs! 

 

Topics: All Recipes

Irene

Written by Irene on August 4, 2011

Irene, Customer Experience Director, supervises the daily operations of all our customer-facing activities at Mountain Rose Herbs. She also serves on the board of directors for Eugene-based nonprofit Cascadia Wildlands, protecting our precious outdoors. When she isn’t ensuring your experience aligns with the goals and mission of our company, she can be found taking care of her adorable twin boys, crafting her own line of body care products, and even harvesting wild plants and gardening.