Calendula oil may be one of the easiest products you can make and use from this versatile and medicinal plant.
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Making our own calendula oil is quick, easy, and something we use readily here on the hill. Its fresh flower petals have been widely used in ornamental gardening, culinary, cosmetic, and medicinal uses for centuries.
It is one of the easiest annually flowering plants to grow in your garden, beautiful amongst the veggies and is known for its pest repellant qualities.
Calendula, Calendula officinalis, is of the daisy family, Asteraceae, and is readily known as Pot Marigold. With the plants powerful antioxidant, antiviral, astringent and anti-spasmodic properties, this plant has a multitude of uses.
WHAT IS CALENDULA OIL USED FOR
For a complete listing of Calendula Flower Uses be sure to check out my post on just that!
In the meantime, the flowering petals can be used fresh, adding to salads and dishes, having a similar taste to that of saffron. They can be dried and used in teas, wonderful for menstrual issues. The dried petals can be tinctured, easing gastrointestinal issues as well as promoting oral health in homemade toothpaste and mouthwashes. Infused into an oil it can be used for skin issues ranging from diaper rash, eczema/psoriasis, acne, and dry/chapping skin.
WHAT IS CALENDULA OIL
Calendula oil is the oil which is extracted from the flowers petals and used in a wide variety of ways. I use my oil during the summer months straight out of the bottle. During the winter months, I make an amazing butter moisturizer using the calendula oil as one of the carriers. You can find the tutorial here at “How To Make The Best Homemade Moisturizer For Dry Winter Skin”.
The oil makes for a skin nourishing, strongly hydrating moisturizer with anti-aging properties. Sign me up for that! In an anti-aging study, it was concluded that:
Calendula officinalis is a herbal plant whose
effects on the skin have not been studied extensively.
Our study has shown that a cream containing
Calendula Officinalis can produce some valuable
effects on the skin. In this study it was found that the
formulation had the ability of inducing skin tightness
which prevents the damage of skin and also
delays the aging process.
My Calendula grows steadily throughout the growing months here in New England. I never have to re-seed, unless I find a variety that I presently don’t have growing, as it self-seeds like a weed!
I have to thin my plants every spring as they are so prolific. If you don’t want the plant to go to seed, you will need to remove the seed heads before they die back.
HOW TO HARVEST CALENDULA FOR MAKING OIL
To harvest for the oil, I wait until the flower is half to fully open and dry from any moisture/dew. Simply pluck the full head of the flower from the stem. I always dry my harvest and store for my favorite uses.
To dry, simply place flower heads on any surface that will get proper air circulation, warm/dry area out of the sun. I have an antique garden sifter that I use for just this purpose.
You could use an old window screen or even a dehydrator if your area is excessively humid.
Seen above is my second crop of Calendula, flowering in October, for the season. My partner in crime, Yogi, assisting me as usual in hopes that something yummy would magically fall into his mouth 🙂 .
I let the flowers dry in my garage for about a week. The dried flowers can then be stored in a glass container or even a paper bag and will remain viable until used.
HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA OIL
To make the oil, simply fill a sealable glass jar about 3/4 way full of your dried calendula flower petals (I use the whole flower). If aren’t able to dry them yourself, you can go here to find them.
Cover with your carrier oil of choice, making sure all the petals are covered by about an inch. I always use Braggs Extra Virgin Olive Oil as I love the added bennies of what true extra virgin olive oil does for my skin.
Seal the jar, give it a good shake and place in a sunny window for 4-6 weeks. Some believe that the oil should be placed in a paper bag to prevent a breakdown of the viable properties due to UVA. I, however, believe the opposite. I believe the energy from the sun empowers the oil even further. This is by far my preferred method.
HEATING METHOD FOR MAKING CALENDULA OIL
Should you need oil quickly, there is a quick method for infusing the oil. Simply follow the directions listed above and instead of placing in a sunny window, place a kitchen towel in the bottom of your crockpot and place the jar inside. Add water to cover half the jar. Set to lowest setting and let run for 2-6 hours.
Once the infusion is complete, strain the oil into another glass container. Let this set for a bit to allow as much of the golden oil to be released from the flowers as possible.
I like to give the petals a good “squeeze” to get all the oil released when using the solar method of infusing. My hands are never softer and well hydrated as after this process!
NOTE: When making herbal oils or other herbal concoctions, squeezing should only be done when using dried herb material. When using fresh, moisture remaining in the herbs will be released and can lead to the product becoming rancid.
STORING CALENDULA OIL
Pour the Calendula Oil into your container of choice for storage. When not storing in a dark cabinet, I would highly recommend using dark amber glass jars as it may help with keeping that oil fresh longer.
I love to store mine in my Ball Canning Jars as I have a lot of them available and love these covers for convenience. The oil should be kept in a cool, dark place for storage until needed.
Aren’t able to grow your own calendula? A great source of dried calendula flowers and petals can be found HERE.
Voila! Calendula Oil ready for use!
Follow me for more natural recipes to make for yourself! Love to hear if you made it yourself and what uses you have found!
Love, Light, & Laughter ~
Wow, this was all so interesting! I didn’t know much about calendula before, but I definitely want to try to make my own oil now! Great post, I look forward to seeing more of them!
Infusing oil has always been something I’ve been nervous to try, yet it is so simple and beneficial.
After reading your post, I am inspired to try this. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and how-to guide on making Calandula oil.
Being a prepper and getting ready to start a homestead, this was an amazing read! I am adding Calendula to the list I’ve started of all the fruits, vegetables, and plants that I want to grow. This will be a big asset to my homestead, and I’ll be back to read more on sustainable living, as that is a big goal of mine!
Thank you, Erica!
That is very interesting. I just received a jar of peony jam. Its amazing flowers aren’t just for looking at!
This looks so easy. I am definitely going to try it for my aging skin.
I love making infused oils like this, and calendula is such an amazingly medicinal herb. I really need to get around to growing my own to use instead of buying dry calendula. I didn’t know the fresh petals give a flavor similar to saffron, that’s pretty awesome. I’ll have to try cooking with them sometime. Thanks for the great information!
I love Calendula oil and had no idea it was something I could DIY. Thank you!
This is the first year I planted Calendulas in our vegetable garden and they are really prolific. I think I may try and make some of your oil! Thanks so much for the idea, and who doesn’t want soft skin!
Wonderful! Hope you enjoy it & feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
This was so helpful! I planted a small herb garden this year and am learning about processing herbs into oil. I will be trying my hand at Calendula next year.
Thanks so much for sharing with us I’ll be featuring you when the next To grandma’s house we go party starts! Merry Xmas!
Thank you, Tara! I’m honored to be featured!
I grew calendula one year. Very pretty. But I didn’t realize then that you could use the petals medicinally.
I’ve since learned how great calendula is for eye problems.
Glad to have your post featured this week on the Homestead Blog Hop!
Suzan this is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing. I am excited to learn more about your blog! Because this flower is in the marigold family, does it have the strong scent of a marigold flower that you would use to keep the rabbits away from your garden?
So happy you are enjoying the blog! I don’t find calendula to have quite as strong a scent as your traditional marigold. However, they do make wonderful companion plants (chard, radish, carrots, tomatoes, thyme, parsley) as well as attract pollinators!
Thrilled to have found your blog through the 10K Challenge and looking forward to more of your DIY and homesteading tips. We enjoy simple living and adding tidbits of information to our collection is always grand! I think it’s time I start writing stuff down instead of just keeping it stored in my head 🙂 Blessed be!
So glad you found us as well! We appreciate your thoughts and look forward to interacting!