Made by infusing marigold flowers, you can easily harness the amazing properties of calendula oil right on your kitchen counter.
For people in the past, calendula oil is known as a remedy for abdominal cramps and constipation. In our time, research has found this oil to be a natural go-to for making our skin feel loved.
Curious about calendula oil's properties and how you can make it for yourself? Read on!
What is Calendula Oil?
Calendula oil gets its name and existence from common marigold flowers (Calendula officinalis). This oil belongs to the infused or macerated category of carrier oils. The term macerated refers to oils produced by traditional methods. This method involves infusing the plant material in suitable vegetable oil over an extended period. For calendula, the plant material used is the flower heads of marigold, producing a sticky carrier oil.
The colors of marigold flowers range range from pastel yellow to deep orange, and these colors also reflect in the infused oils. The slightly spicy, woody, and bitter smell of marigold flowers also transfer onto the infused oil.
Don't let the beauty of this flower fool you into thinking that charm is all that it has to offer. The infused oil from this flower has the following main components: carotenoids (beta-carotene), saponins, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. These all work together to give calendula its amazing properties -- making the oil emollient, soothing, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, and astringent. So this oil is charming and potent!
History of Calendula Oil
Common marigold is a flower native to Southwestern Asia, as well as Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Because of its extensive cultivation throughout history, the exact origin of this flower is unknown. Although, warm temperate climates have often found marigolds are blooming in their gardens. This plant can quickly grow even in poor soils.
Hindus used the flowers to decorate their temples; while Egyptians considered marigold valuable for its rejuvenating properties. Many ancient civilizations also found a use for the flower as a dye for fabrics, food, and cosmetics.
The name "marigold" refers to the Virgin Mary, with whom it has been associated since the 14th century. The flower was even included as an ingredient in an English recipe for fighting the plague.
As for Calendula officinalis, calendula comes from calendae, the Latin for "little calendar." The flower received this name because it can bloom in every month of the year (only in warmer climates of course). On the other hand, according to Greek mythology, calendula was named after the four wood nymphs that fell in love with Apollo.
Meanwhile, the Latin specific epithet officinalis refers to the medicinal and herbal uses of the plant.
Today, Calendula officinalis remains the most widely cultivated genus of calendula for popular herbal and cosmetic products.
Different Uses of Calendula Oil
Since the 12th century, calendula has been used medicinally throughout central Europe and the Mediterranean. Traditionally, calendula has been widely used topically to treat:
- minor skin wounds;
- skin infections;
- bee stings;
In present times, many still observe and swear by the traditional uses of calendula oil. Though little to no scientific evidence can be found for most of the traditional applications, many testimonials have claimed calendula oil's potency for various conditions.
Apart from the traditional uses above, in modern times, calendula oil is used for:
- treating diaper rash;
- soothing cracked heels;
- calming irritated scalp;
- helping treat dandruff.
Skin Benefits of Calendula Oil
Did the different uses leave you to wonder about the oil's application for our skin? Wonder no more for we are now going to find out about calendula oil's skin benefits.
Calendula oil is emollient, soothing, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and aids tissue regeneration. With all these qualities, it's a no-brainer that this oil is a must-have for skin care enthusiasts.
Let's take a closer look at this oil's amazing properties.
Emollient and Soothing
Because of calendula oil's thick consistency and vitamin-rich components, it makes an excellent moisturizer for very dry and chapped skin. It helps keep the skin supple and soothe any itching sensations.
For those with easily chapped lips, applying this herb as a salve is an effective remedy. Calendula oil makes the lips softer and suppler instantly and stops lips from peeling after a period of use. An 2009 study found that calendula oil can stop lip skin peeling after 15 days of use.
The oil's anti-inflammatory properties point toward it working well on sprained muscles or bruises. If you are someone who gets occasional bruises, next time that happens, you know which oil to grab. Not only will it help with the bruising, but you can also use it for a moisturizing and relaxing body massage.
Tissue Regeneration or Wound Healing
Medicinal preparations make use of calendula oil to cure rashes, minor cuts, and other mild skin irritations. Due to its natural regenerative and antiseptic properties, the oil is a natural remedy to treat minor cuts and wounds. One study actually found that calendula oil can help accelerate wound healing.
Ingredients with astringent properties denote that they can shrink or constrict body tissues. Some astringents like alcohol can shrink or tighten skin (minimizing the look of big pores) but with the high risk of drying skin and causing irritation. With calendula oil, you not only have a skin shrinking astringent, but you also have a nourishing face oil.
How To Make Infused Calendula Oil
Although you can purchase infused calendula oil from offline and online markets, it's still quite satisfying and fun to make it for yourself!
You might be a little apprehensive about trying and making this infusion but don't worry. The whole process is not as complicated as you may think it is. I prepared the set of instructions below so that I can guide you in making your very first calendula oil infusion.
Not your first time making an infusion? Take a look through what I've prepared; see if there's anything new to learn for you. Or if there's anything you'd like to suggest, I'm always keen to know your thoughts!
Calendula Infused Oil
- A clean glass jar with a lid
Note: You want to use a cold-pressed carrier oil for your infusion. Cold-pressed oils retain healthy nutrients and antioxidants that are otherwise damaged by being exposed to heat.
How To Prepare And Use It?
- Add chopped and dried calendula petals into a clean glass jar.
- Pour the carrier oil over the herbs, ensuring that they are covered completely.
- Place the jars into a yogurt maker (the temperature must be between 110 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and leave them for 10 days to two weeks. You should stir the flowers every day. If you don't have a yogurt maker at home, you can try placing the oil in an area with roughly the same temperature.
- After 10 days to two weeks, strain the oil through a mesh-/ cheesecloth into a clean jar.
- You can do a double straining if you notice particles in the mixture. Allow to sit overnight and repeat the straining.
- Store your oil in a cold and dark place. Shelf life is up to one year.
How to Use Calendula Oil
Now that you have an idea of making the oil infusion let's find out how we can use it. Calendula oil can be used 100% on the skin since it is a carrier oil. You can also add drops of this to other compatible products to aid in moisturizing or in spreading the product.
Note, however, that certain calendula oils appear bright orange and can stain clothing. Keep this in mind before using the oil.
If you're looking for a DIY recipe to try, here is a DIY lip balm with calendula infused oil.
DIY Lip Balm with Calendula Infused Oil
- Lip Balm tubes/tins
- Double boiler
- Glass with a spout/pipette
- 8 tbsp Calendula infused jojoba oil
- 4 tbsp Soybean wax
- 1 tsp Vitamin E Oil
How To Prepare And Use It?
- In a double boiler, combine your jojoba oil and soybean wax.
- Turn on the heat to a medium-low, and stir occasionally until the soybean wax has melted.
- Once the wax has melted, turn off the heat and stir in your Vitamin E.
- Once everything is well mixed and at room temperature, start filling your tubes or tins. Use a glass with a spout, a pipette, or anything that allows you to pour a small amount with good precision slowly.
- Put the lid on the containers and place them in the refrigerator until they harden.
- Use the lip balm for prepping your lips for other lip products or naturally soothing chapped lips.
Is Calendula Oil Safe?
No number of research and testimonials should make you put your guard down when it comes to safety. Calendula oil is safe, as long as we understand how to utilize it properly.
This oil is basically an infused carrier oil and does not need to be diluted. However, do not use the oil at 100% right away on first use. Always perform a patch test when using a new oil by placing a drop of it on the inner area of your elbow. Leave it on for 24 hours and observe for any skin reaction.
For children and the elderly, it is highly advised to contact your physician or doctor before using oils. Self-treatment of chronic diseases by applying calendula oil may also hold serious consequences without professional advice.
I continue to be amazed by the many gifts mother nature has to offer. Calendula oil is just one of them. So many properties can benefit our skin just with this one oil.
I love the fact that we can harness this oil's power directly from the source. I find that the experience of infusing the oil right on my kitchen counter makes me respect nature even more. So many resources are made available to us. The least we can do is not be wasteful and find sustainable ways of utilizing them.
Have you tried making your own calendula infused oil? Share your verdict in the comments below.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I will talk to you in the next one.
Stay tuned and take skin care