How to make a healing calendula-infused oil from scratch at home using only two ingredients. Calendula oil is a wonderful oil that has many uses. Two of my favourites are to use in my skincare cleansing oils or homemade calendula cream.
Calendula is a flower with many uses, some of which include first aid for cuts, scrapes and bug bites, to soothe a sunburn, as a rinse for pinkeye, relief for sore throats, as a salve for diaper rash, as a lip balm to help heal chapped, dry lips, in a massage oil, salad dressing, calendula shortbread, body butter, and more. It’s also wonderful for attracting bees and other beneficial insects to my garden, and I love the colour it brings to my home.
According to The Kitchen Apothecary, the name “Calendula” comes from the Latin word, calends, meaning the first day of the month. This name was chosen to highlight how calendula can flower almost continuously throughout the year.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures like Ayurveda, Unani, even in Western herbal medicine for it’s medicinal properties.
What is Calendula Oil?
Calendula oil is made by steeping dried calendula flowers in a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, or jojoba oil for 4-6 weeks or longer. Whole dry flower heads or just the petals can be used, but it is important that they’re completely dry before they are placed in the oil to steep. While fresh flowers can technically be used to create calendula oil, this increases the risk for bacterial growth or for the oil to become rancid due to the moisture content in the fresh flowers. Therefore, I prefer to use dry flowers.
While the flowers are steeping, the natural active resins within the calendula flowers are extracted and drawn into the oil, making it a concentrated oil full of the herb’s healing properties.
The finished calendula oil can either be used on its own, or used as an ingredient to create other products like natural salves, ointments, or creams. Depending on the type of oil you choose to infuse the calendula flowers with, this will likely dictate the uses for your finished calendula oil. For example, some oils are inedible, while others may not be great for skin.
Calendula flowers are often brewed into a tea, tincture, or oil extract to obtain the variety of beneficial compounds contained within the flower, such as triterpenoids, flavonoids, essential oil and polysaccharides, according to Mommypotamus:
Tea Extractions – Water based extracts (a.k.a tea) are usually consumed internally, but occasionally some (like calendula and chamomile) are used externally for issues like skin or eye irritation.
In general they have a very short shelf life, however some very concentrated teas are mixed with honey to make long-lasting herbal syrups such as elderberry syrup.
Tinctures – This type of herbal preparation uses alcohol or glycerin to extract beneficial compounds, which gives them an extremely long shelf life. They’re taken internally and used occasionally for external wound care or other skin applications.
Oil Extractions – The calendula oil recipe below is an oil extraction, which has a much longer shelf life than tea. They’re most often used externally, however calendula oil also makes a delicious, gut-soothing addition to homemade salad dressing. (Use it like you would regular olive oil.)
Also known as infused oils, herbs extracted using oil can be made in a number of ways. In the tutorial below I’ll share two methods with you. With both methods the goal is the same – mix herbs and oil so that the oil can draw out the helpful properties of the herbs.Heather Dessinger, Mommypotamus
Calendula is tolerated by most people, however, those who are allergic to plants of the daisy (Asteraceae) family or ragweed should be wary of this plant, and possibly do a spot test to ensure they have no adverse reactions to calendula before using.
It is not recommended for internal use during pregnancy. Topical use is considered fine.
As always, please check with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
Don’t Have Time to Make Your Own?
I totally get it. No one has time to make everything they need all of the time. If you’re looking for a quality pre-made option, this organic calendula oil is a great choice.
Before we get started in learning how to make this homemade calendula-infused oil – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!
How to Make Calendula Oil
Calendula oil can be used both internally or externally to support the immune system, heal infections, and treat skin ailments. Calendula can help promote cell repair and growth, and is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, and lymphatic.
According to the Chestnut School of Herbs, calendula can be helpful in treating ailments like rashes, sunburn, swelling, eczema, acne, stings, wounds, mild burns, scrapes, chicken pox, cold sores, razor burn (from after shaving), and even genital herpes sores.
The traditional method for making calendula oil takes around 4-6 weeks to complete as it involves infusing the oil using natural sunlight. This is my preferred method as it best preserves the delicate constituents found in calendula, and yields a better quality oil.
- Fill a glass mason jar 2/3 of the way full with dried calendula flowers. If using fresh calendula, allow the flowers to dry for 12 to 24 hours to remove as much of the moisture as possible (too much moisture will cause the oil to go rancid) before adding to the jar.
- Pour the olive oil over the flowers, making sure to completely cover them by at least one inch so they will have room to expand.
- Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
- Place on a warm, sunny windowsill for 4 to 6 weeks, or until the oil takes on the colour of the flowers (developing a golden-yellow colour). Shake once or more daily.
- After 4 to 6 weeks, strain out the flowers using some cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Compost the flowers.
- Pour the infused oil into glass bottles or jars and store in a cool, dark place.
I prefer to infuse oils using the solar method described above, but you can also infuse oils by applying heat if you need the oil quickly.
As always, none of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and is not meant to diagnose, cure, or treat any condition. This is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. I am not a doctor. All opinions expressed are my own personal thoughts and feelings of the products mentioned. Check with your doctor or health practitioner if you are uncertain about trying out any of the products, recipes or tips mentioned in this post.
Have you made calendula oil before? What have you used it for? Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,