The Many Benefits of Calendula Oil
I’m planting a new herb garden at the homestead and relying on all the old favorites like rosemary, lavender and calendula. Calendula officinalis (commonly known as Pot Marigold) is a must have for your garden. It has a sunny disposition, pest deterrent qualities and its soothing and gentle herbal qualities are a bonus in your infused oils.
I planted a small flat of seeds, not sure it they would all germinate – but they did! I’m transplanting my starts to bigger pots today and plan to give them as gifts – along with a recipe for using calendula oil and its benefits.
Herbal Properties of Calendula
Used in remedies for external sores, cuts, burns and bruises, calendula is powerful at healing wounds and promoting cell repair. It is a common ingredient in herbal preparations because if its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula petals were used during the Civil War to stop bleeding and promote the healing of wounds.
You can feel confident and use this wonderful herb even on babies. So, go ahead – add it to your homemade salves, creams and ointments.
Calendula is Easy to Grow
The hardy annual herb calendula has been around for centuries and is most beloved for it’s sunny disposition. It’s flowers open in the morning when the sun appears and close again at night and is often one of the first early spring flowers to appear . Calendula originated in southern Europe and will self-sow in places where winters are not too severe.
Calendula likes well-drained soil and the plant will maintain its bushy habit if occasionally pinched back. This should not be a problem if you are growing it to harvest the flower petals, which hold the medicinal healing properties.
It may be hard to find in the local nursery, because it is so old fashioned. Keep looking, ask a friend or purchase seed, it is definitely worth growing. You can find calendula seeds at Botanical Interests or you can purchase Whole Organic Calendula Flowers from Starwest Botanicals or Bulk Herb Store.
Harvest newly opened flowers by pinching the flower head off at the stem. It’s best to do this on a dry and sunny day to preserve the resins. You can dry flowers whole or pull each petal and dry them on paper. Keep the petals from touching each other to cut down on discoloration. They are filled with a sticky resin, so make sure the petals are completely dry before you store it.
Once you have an abundance of dried petals you can make a skin soothing powder. Mix 1/3 part powdered calendula petals with 2/3 parts cornstarch or arrowroot and apply to rashes in both adults and children. Here’s a recipe for Calendula Foot Powder.
Make calendula infused oil for medicinal preparations;
- Fill a jar 3/4 of the way with freshly picked calendula flower buds
- Cover the buds with olive oil
- Place it in a warm, sunny spot for 3 weeks
- Strain the buds through cheesecloth, getting out as much oil as you can
- Place it in a clean bottle, out of direct sunlight. It will store for at least one year
Want to shorten the time? Gently simmer your oil and calendula petals on the stove. Gently is the key here – If you burn it, you will have to start over. A small crock pot also works great.
Apply this calendula oil on rashes or eczema, or use as a massage oil on stiff muscles. Substitute apricot kernel oil (for the olive oil) if you are going to use it in cosmetics.
You can also use this infused oil in herbal salves. You can make a salve used for athlete’s foot with black walnut and calendula infused oil.
Calendula oil benefits are legendary and making it yourself is too easy to pass up. Be sure you have the beneficial herb Calendula in your herb garden. You’ll be glad you do!