Ready to learn how to make calendula oil at home? This recipe is so easy, you just can’t get it wrong — but don’t let that fool you! Pure calendula oil may be simple to make, but it’s also a powerful herbal remedy you should have on hand at all times.
Calendula oil has been used as an herbal remedy since at least the 12th century, so calendula oil uses span many centuries and a variety of health concerns.
What’s so special about calendula oil?
So why is calendula so awesome?
First of all, let’s be clear about what calendula is. It’s actually a pot marigold (which is a different variety than the marigold that you might grow in your garden).
I personally think it looks more like a daisy. What do you think?
Here’s what the University of Maryland’s Medical Center has to say about calendula:
“Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Calendula appears to fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.
Traditionally, calendula has been used to treat stomach upset and ulcers, as well as relieve menstrual cramps, but there is no scientific evidence that calendula works for these problems.
Today, calendula is often used topically, meaning it is applied to the skin.
Calendula has been shown to help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which helps the body grow new tissue. It is also used to improve skin hydration and firmness.
The dried petals of the calendula plant are used in tinctures, ointments, and washes to treat burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as the minor infections they cause. Calendula also has been shown to help prevent dermatitis or skin inflammation in people with breast cancer during radiation therapy.” (source)
I’m officially impressed.
Skincare is probably the most popular category for calendula oil uses, but this infusion has a few more tricks up its sleeve beyond just skincare.
My Favorite Calendula Oil Uses
- Moisturize dry skin. Calendula is an emollient that helps nourish and moisturize your skin.
- Apply to dry, cracked hands and feet — this is especially therapeutic in wintertime!
- Apply to scars and stretch marks to aid your skin’s natural healing processes.
- Massage into tired legs — this is especially helpful if you have varicose veins (ahem, like me).
- Use as a healing balm for minor cuts, scrapes and wounds.
- Apply to soothe sunburned skin.
- Calm itchy skin and inflammatory skin irritations (like eczema).
- Use as a diaper balm for babies.
- Apply to insect bites to calm itching and speed recovery.
- Use it for oil pulling to cleanse the gums and mouth tissue (learn more about oil pulling in my post HERE).
- Apple to acne-prone skin as a moisturizer (or for oil cleansing — see below) to calm the skin and prevent breakouts.
- Massage into the abdomen and apply a heat pack to soothe away menstrual pain.
Where to Get Your Calendula Flowers
I personally love and use these dried organic calendula flowers. The quality is simply top-notch. You can also grow your own calendula if you have room for an herbal garden.
Why not salve?
I have nothing against a good salve, but I make calendula oil instead of salve because:
- It’s just so easy. Two ingredients, no melting, no beeswax… did I mention it was easy?
- It’s not messy. I like keeping my calendula infusion in a dropper bottle. It makes it so convenient to use without digging out salve with my fingers. You can also use a roll-on bottle (like this one), which makes it even more convenient to bring on-the-go and apply whenever you need it.
Calendula Infusion for the Oil Cleansing Method
Have you heard of the oil cleansing method? I love using my calendula oil for cleansing my face!
Since calendula helps support skin repair and it’s especially good for acne-prone skin, it makes the perfect herb to use for oil cleansing my skin.
Here’s what I do:
- First, I wet a wash cloth with very warm water and use it to gently wipe any excess makeup or oil off my face. I don’t worry about getting everything (the oil will do that). This is just a pre-cleansing step I like to use if I’m wearing heavy makeup or if my skin is especially icky.
- Next, I massage about a teaspoon of my calendula oil into my face with my fingers. I try to do this for at least 30-60 seconds to get a nice, deep clean. This will loosen all the makeup, dirt, and oil from my skin and pores, making it easy to wipe away.
- Last, I use very warm water to cleanse all the oil away with my wash cloth. Then I pat my skin dry with a clean towel.
- If I need a little extra moisture, I apply one more drop of my calendula infusion to my fingers and massage it into my face as a moisturizer. Voila! All done.
In case you’re wondering: yes, the oil does remove all my makeup and I don’t have to use soap afterward. Promise. 😉
How to Make Calendula Infused Oil (Cold Diffusion)
- 1 1/2 cups of dried organic calendula flowers (I use THESE)
- 1 3/4 cups organic jojoba oil (I use THIS)
- Fill a 16-ounce mason jar (I like these pretty ones) with your calendula flowers.
- Pour your jojoba oil over the flowers until they’re covered in oil.
- Cover tightly and store in a cool place (out of direct sunlight).
- Shake your jar gently once per day.
- In 6 weeks, your oil is ready!
- Strain the oil from the calendula flowers using a cheesecloth or a fine stainless steel mesh strainer.
- You can then transfer it to an amber dropper bottle or roll-on bottle as needed.
Since this oil takes a few weeks to infuse, it helps to make it ahead of time before you run out. A batch of this oil lasts me a few months, but when my jar is about 3/4 empty, I start a new one so I don’t run out unexpectedly!
When I do run out accidentally (after all, I’m very much human!), I use the hot infusion method below, or make calendula tea for quick applications. (Learn how to make calendula tea from from The Nerdy Farm Wife here.)
How to Make Calendula Oil (Hot Diffusion Version)
Hot diffusion requires an extra step, but the bonus is that your calendula will be ready in a flash! However, I’ve read that the hot infusion doesn’t have the same strength as the cold infusion. So if you have the time, stick to the cold calendula infusion.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s how to do a hot infusion:
- Use the same ingredients from the cold infusion list above.
- Add your calendula flowers and your jojoba oil to a small sauce pan.
- Heat on low for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Cool and store in a glass jar with a tight lid.
Calendula Oil FAQs
How long does this infusion stay fresh?
Calendula oil will stay fresh for a long time — at least one year.
Do I have to use jojoba oil?
No, this recipe will work with whatever your favorite oil is — avocado, sweet almond, rose hip, etc.
Is calendula safe to eat?
Yes! But it is a powerful medicinal herb, so treat it with care. (I’ll post more later on drinking calendula tea.)
Is calendula oil safe for pregnant and nursing women?
No, herbalists generally recommend avoiding calendula during pregnancy and nursing.
I’m taking medication. Can I use calendula?
Please be careful and refer to your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to use calendula with your medication. Just to be safe, if you have any medical condition, it’s best to consult your care provider before using herbs.
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What is your favorite way to use Calendula? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Elizabeth is the founder and creative director at The Nourished Life. Her mission is to help people find a more balanced (less stressful!) approach to living a happy, healthy life. Read more about Elizabeth here.