Things to do with Calendula: Make Calendula Infused Herbal Oil

Calendula  (also known as pot marigold) has been a tremendous success for me this season.    From seed, I planted Calendula Officinalis in a whiskey barrel in April.   The beautiful daisy like flowers have continuously bloomed for months until the Texas heat arrived.  Now, my pot marigold is no longer happy so I decided to harvest the remaining flowers.  I’ll  plant new seeds in a few weeks to hopefully have more this Fall.

Calendula

There was no need to ponder what to do with these blooms.  I have known for months what I wanted to make.  Here’s what I came up with:

Things to do with Calendula: Make Calendula Infused Herbal Oil.

This lovely herb is well known for her healing attributes for skin conditions such as burns, sores, athlete’s foot and rashes. Next time you are at a natural health store check out the label on some of the creams.  Chances are it will contain Calendula as an ingredient because it’s:

  • Antiseptic  (ie-prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms)
  • Antifungal (ie-destroys fungi or prevents its growth)
  • Anti-inflammatory (ie-reduces inflammation or swelling)

Basically, this herb quickens the healing processes in our skin. During the Civil War,  doctors used these flowers and leaves to treat wounds during the Civil War as a way to staunch bleeding and heal wounds.

Calendula

I’m making my own Calendula oil (which I have purchased in the past) mainly for rashes and eczema.

You can use fresh or dried flowers.  If you are using fresh flowers, you want to harvest in the morning and pick the flowers that have just opened. These contain the highest concentration of healing oils.  Here’s a picture of what to look for.

Calendula bud

Here’s what a Calendula  bloom looks like that is fully matured.

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Make sure you have a high quality Olive Oil.  I use Organic Mountain Rose Olive Oil that I use strictly for soap making and other medicinal projects.  You could also use Grapeseed, Almond, or Apricot Kernel Oil.

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Fill a jar 3/4 full with Calendula buds.

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Next,  fill the jar with your oil of choice to around 1 inch above your flowers.

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Cover and place in a warm sunny spot (but not direct sunlight unless using a dark colored bottle or jar) and let the herbs and oil infuse for 3-4 weeks. Be sure you have it labeled with the date it will be ready.  I also put a reminder on my calendar.

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Calendula Oil

Once it’s complete, I’ll strain into a new jar using cheesecloth.  Then, I’ll store in a cool place out of direct sunlight for up to a year.  I’m excited to have my own Calendula Oil made with my very own Calendula flowers to use next time someone gets a cut, scrape, or rash.  I’ve got kids…it’s bound to happen.

One more note, there are no known side effects (according to research out there) UNLESS you are allergic to daisy-like flowers.  If this applies to you, consider yourself warned!

References:

1.) Beautiful Easy Herbs, Sombke, Laurence. 1997. Rodale Books.

2.) What can I do with my herbs?  Barrett, Judy. 2009. Texas A & M University Press.

3.) The Essential Guide to Home Herbal Remedies, Wenzel, Melanie.  2014.  Robert Rose Inc.

4.) Medicinal Herbs: a Beginner’s Guide. Gladstar, Rosemary. 2012.  Storey Publishing

 

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