Calendula is one of my very favorite herbs. It is absolutely impossible to look at her bright, cheery blooms and refrain from smiling. Before she is even given a chance to work any of her healing miracles on the human body, she lifts it’s spirits 😉
I like to have this helpful herbal ally on hand at all times. And, apart from brewing her into a tea, one of the simplest ways to bring her medicinal properties into my life is to infuse her into an oil.
This process is incredibly easy. Anyone can do it, for sure. There are a few variations to the process if one chooses to explore them. I, however, have a complete bias for making infusions by steeping herbs in oil over time.
Slow steeping is best done with dried herbs. Using fresh herbs creates the opportunity for water to seep from the plant material into the oil, resulting in contamination of the final product. And water, in case you didn’t know, is quite opportunistic!
It is possible, and even preferred by some, to make an herbal infusion using low level heat to extract the medicinal properties of the herb into the oil. I am not really a fan of this technique. I prefer to partner with Father Time when making herbal remedies. I believe he has a lot to offer the process.
This is not to say that I don’t recognize the benefits of having this option available in a pinch. It is definitely a useful tool to bridge the gap if you find yourself in need of an infusion for a health concern and don’t have any on hand.
Perhaps, at some point, I will cover that process in another post. But, for now, I’m going to work on the premise that the best plans for creating a home apothecary include a little premeditation.
The experience is much like planting a garden, in my opinion. I dream it. I gather the tools I need to birth it. And then I start working on ushering into reality.
WHAT SUPPLIES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A CALENDULA INFUSED OIL?
Calendula oil is a great addition to the home apothecary. It serves many purposes. And even if a health issue never arises that begs for its use, its ability to nourish the skin is unrivaled. You can use it treat yourself well. And that’s a pretty big deal!
It’s pretty likely that you already have just about everything you need to make this oil, assuming you’ve already gotten your hands on some dried calendula buds. The only other things you will need are; oil, two canning jars, a label, a stainless steel spoon, a fine mesh, stainless steel strainer and Father Time 😉
Be sure that the calendula blooms you use are whole, as the medicinal oils that give calendula such profound healing properties are concentrated in the resinous, green base of the flower heads.
You can choose just about any oil you would like to make your infusion. I prefer grapeseed oil. It is remarkably similar to the oils found in human skin. Therefore, the skin recognizes it and absorbs it more readily. This, of course, increases the efficacy of the oil.
It goes without saying that you should sterilize the jars you will be using for this process. This is as simple as submersing them in boiling water for 10 minutes. One will be sterilized to be used for the steeping process. And the other will be sterilized later, after the oil has steeped, to store the final product in.
You’re also going to want to label your jar for future reference. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you will remember the details of the brew later on. This line of thinking has failed many an herbalist. If you have some sort of label around the house you’re all set. But if you do not have a label, you can simply make one from a plain old piece of paper.
PRO TIP: No matter what type of label you use, cover it with a piece of packing tape to keep it from becoming adulterated by any oil that may get on it as you begin using your product. Oil, as you know, is slippery stuff and tends to get everywhere. You will be unable to read your label in no time without the tape to protect it.
And finally, use a stainless steel spoon and a fine mesh, stainless steel strainer to prevent your ‘medicine’ from becoming contaminated by a tool made of porous material, such as wood, which may hold bacteria. And also from chemicals which may leach into your brew from a plastic spoon.
WHAT CAN A CALENDULA INFUSED OIL BE USED FOR?
Calendula infused oil, like many herbal remedies, carries a plethora of healing properties. Here is a short list of some of those benefits. I have included those that I feel are most common. And therefore, carry the seal of approval which comes via the test of time.
- healing of wounds, burns, and rashes
- use as an anti-inflammatory agent
- use as an anti-bacterial agent
- use as an anti-fungal agent
- relieve and reduce eczema, insect bites, and cold sores
- nourish the skin
- reduce swelling and bruising
- heal diaper rash, cracked nipples resulting from breastfeeding, and postpartum perineal tears
- lift the spirits
- alleviate grief and sadness
I most often use this oil to nourish my skin. It is one of my favorite ways to pamper myself a bit in the evening before I lay down to sleep. I take a warm shower, lay a towel out on my bed to prevent oil from staining my blankets, and treat my skin to a bit of calendula infused oil.
It absorbs very quickly. So I read, meditate, or surf the web for about 20 minutes and then wipe myself down with a dry towel to remove any excess oil before climbing into bed.
It is also important to note that this oil is FABULOUS for small children. It is a very powerful remedy, for sure. But it works in a remarkably gentle way. Making it perfect for littles. Unfortunately, I did not utilize herbal cures when my child was small. I was in a different place then and didn’t have all of the insight and knowledge that I now carry in that realm.
But, I assure you, if I am blessed with grands they will know calendula oil 😉
HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA INFUSED OIL
- Bring a large pot of water to a full boil and immerse your canning jar into it. Reduce the heat to medium high. Be sure your jar is completely covered. And allow it to gently boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jar from the pot and allow it to sit upside down on a cooling rack (or anything that allows full air circulation around the jar) for at least an hour. The jar must be COMPLETELY dry, as water can cause the final product to mold.
- Fill the jar 1/3 of the way with dried, whole calendula blooms.
- Pour oil into the jar. Filling it to the top.
- Use a stainless steel spoon to immerse the blooms fully into the oil. Take your time as you do this. You want them to begin to absorb as much oil as possible increasing the likelihood that they remain immersed.
- Screw the lid onto the jar. Label it, including; the name of the herb (calendula/botanical name), the type of oil used, and either the date is was prepared or the date it will be ready for use. Cover the label with packing tape to preserve it.
- Set aside for at least 12 hours. I prefer to make my oils in the morning and then simply leave them sit until the following morning. But it can be done easily enough in a 12 hour time span.
- Open the jar and top it off with oil. Make sure the oil comes pretty close to the top of the jar. But be sure to leave a bit of room to allow the mixture to be shaken well when the lid is in place.
- Replace the lid. And shake the jar well.
- Place the jar in a dry, dark place. It does not have to be a cool place. But it should not be hot either. If you are able, choose somewhere that stays between 60 and 75 degrees.
- Shake the jar twice a day. Once in the morning and again at night. This will help to keep the herb saturated with oil. Eliminating the possibility of mold developing.
- After 6 weeks have passed strain the herb from the oil into another sterilized jar using a fine mesh, stainless steel strainer. I recommend using a stainless steel spoon to compress the herb into the strainer, thereby removing the oil from the heart of the blooms. This just may be the most potent part of the brew!
- Label the jar with the same info as above, using the current date.
- Store in a cool, dry, dark place.
As you can see, making this oil is pretty easy. Anyone can do it. And, as far as this herbalist is concerned, everyone should have this ahhhhhhhhmazing herbal brew on hand. I know I never want to be without it 😉
Do you make infused herbal oils? Have you made an infused calendula oil?
Please take a minute and share your thoughts and ideas about calendula, infused herbal oils, and calendula made into an infused oil with me in the comments. I’d love to gather even more information about this delightfully cheery and highly medicinal herb to add to my materia medica! So, let’s meet in the comments and chat all about it 😉
As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤
DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed health professional. You are solely responsible for researching herbs to determine how you choose to use them. If you decide to make them a part of your health care plan, I take no responsibility for the results of that decision.