Infusing calendula into oil is a great way to transfer some of the healing properties of calendula into oils that can then be uses to make salves, balms, or soaps. Learn how to make calendula oil and harness the benefits of this amazing herb!
Calendula is one of my favorite plants to grow.
Not only is it a great all purpose companion plant for your vegetables, it’s also edible and has medicinal uses.
In fact, it has dozens of benefits for your body and skin (read about all the benefits of calendula!)
One of the best ways to harness all that calendula has to offer is to make calendula infused oil!
It’s an easy process and all you need is your calendula, a jar, and some oil!
Benefits of Homemade Calendula Oil
Calendula officinalis has been used for centuries by herbalist, homesteaders, and natural heath enthusiasts. It is very gentle- even babies can use it! Calendula can be used both internally or externally and is used to heal infections, treat tons of skin ailments, and support the immune system.
Calendula has natural anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties making it perfect for just about anything. Remember the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? That’s me- just put some calendula on it!
Calendula oil is typically used topically. Calendula oil- or products made with calendula oil- can help many different conditions and skin irritations such as:
- Eczema and dry skin
- AcneInsect stings and insect bites
- Diaper rash
- Razor burn
- Rashes or itchy, irritated skin
- Minor burns
- Small wounds
- Reduce the appearance of scars
- Varicose veins
It’s great for all skin types- even those with oily or sensitive skin!
What is Calendula Oil?
Simply put, calendula oil is just oil that has been steeped and infused with dry calendula flowers. While steeping, the herbal properties within the calendula flowers are extracted and pulled into the oil. This means that your oil now has the same medicinal properties of the flower itself.
Calendula oil can be used on it’s own (I’ve used it as an easy face serum before bed or as a massage oil) or it can be used in other preparations such as salves, lip balms, or body butter.
Making your own calendula oil is super easy- and much more cost effective than buying expensive products at the store.
How to Make Calendula Oil
First, you need to gather your flowers. To do this you can either purchase dried calendula or grow your own.
Calendula is also known as the pot marigold. This is not to be confused with the French Marigold- which doesn’t have the same medicinal properties.
If you’ve never grown your own, I highly recommend it. Calendula is easy to grow and is pretty self sufficient. Check out How to Grow Calendula for more information on growing your own.
If you have fresh calendula flowers, you’ll need to dry them first before using them to make infused oil. Fresh herbs have too much water in them. Learn how to dry calendula here.
Fresh calendula petals can cause spoilage and will produce a product with a much shorter shelf life- so don’t skip the drying part!
Here are the supplies you need for making calendula oil:
- Dried calendula flowers (use whole flowers)
- A mason jar and lid- size will depend on how much oil you want to make
- A carrier oil. I like to use olive oil, coconut oil, or sweet almond oil. Jojoba oil is also a great choice for making calendula oil- just use your favorite carrier oil! Be sure that you choose a high quality oil- your infused oil is only as good as the quality of your ingredients.
You can check out my article on carrier oils for more information on choosing your oil.
Now let’s get started.
Start by filling your jar about half way to 3/4 way full with dried calendula flowers.
Then take your chosen carrier oil and fill up the jar the rest of the way. Leave about an inch head space at the top of the jar.
Tighten the lid on to your jar and gently shake to mix up the oil and flowers. If there were a lot of air bubbles you might need to top off the jar once it settles.
Now at this point, there are 2 options for infusing your calendula oil.
- Solar infusion
- Quick/heat infusion
I prefer to do the solar infusion since it really gives the oil a chance to soak up all of the essence of the herbs. But the quick infusion is quicker- so if you are short on time, that one will work just fine.
How to Make Calendula Oil Using the Solar Infusion Method:
The infusion process is about is incredibly easy! Here’s what you need to do:
Take your jar and set it in a warm, sunny-ish spot. The kitchen is a great spot.
Then everyday, give it a shake.
That’s it. Keep doing that for about 4-6 weeks.
Then strain out the flowers using close knit cheese cloth or muslin. Make sure you don’t get any plant material into the oil or your oil can spoil or go rancid more quickly.
Now your calendula infused oil is ready to use!
How to Make Calendula Oil the Quick Way!
If you are short of time, you can make calendula infused oil in a few hours instead of 4-6 weeks.
The key here is to gently heat the oil in your jar to help extract calendula’s properties.
Here are a few ways you can make a quick calendula oil infusion:
- Place your jar of calendula oil in your electric dehydrator and set it at 100-115F for 5-6 hours. Then allow the jar to cool, strain out your calendula flower petals and your oil is ready to use.
- Set the jar in a pan of water or double boiler and heat over very low heat for 2-5 hours. Keep the water in the pan in the 100-140F range the whole time. Allow the jar to cool, and strain out the flowers.
- Use your slow cooker. Fill your slow cooker with a couple of inches of water and place your jar of calendula oil inside. Set the heat to warm and cook, with the lid off, for 4-5 hours (or overnight). Strain the flower heads and you’re ready to go!
How to Store Calendula Oil
Once your infused oil is done, and the flowers are strained out, be sure to label the jar with both the name, oil type, and date made.
Store your oil in a dark, cool spot for up to a year.
Storing in the sun or in a warm location can reduce the shelf life of you oil.
How to Use Calendula Oil
You can use your oil as is, just rubbing it on the skin. Or you can use it to make other products, such as:
I do share recipes for lip balm, calendula cream. lotion bar, and sugar scrub in my guide: Calendula:A Guide on Growing, Using, and Preparing Calendula