Calendula Infusions from the Garden

Continuing in our series of articles on calendula, this article looks at three popular calendula infusions: Oil, tincture, and tea. Written by professional aromatherapist, herbalist, and gardener Sharon Falsetto.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is one of the most popular garden herbs to infuse as an oil. However, did you know that calendula can also be infused as a tincture and tea? Read on to learn more about how to make these popular calendula infusions.

The method discussed in this article uses the folk method. For a more precise, measured quantity of product produced, you may want to weigh out both your calendula flowers and product base and calculate accordingly.

Calendula Infusions: Oil

Calendula infused oil is probably the most popular infused oil used in aromatherapy and herbalism. On the plus side, it is very easy to make at home! You just need calendula blossoms, a base oil – such as sunflower (Helianthus annuus) or olive (Olea europaea) – and a suitable container. And time. Here’s our guide to making a successful calendula infusion of oil:

  • Gather enough calendula blossoms from your garden to fill a glass container such as a mason jar. Make sure to include the involucre (the sticky base of the flower) as well as the petals, as this is where the most beneficial components of the plant are stored.
  • Before placing the calendula blossoms in the mason jar, lay the flowers out to dry on a garden flat with holes (for air circulation) and/or with tissue paper or something similar. You need to make sure that the calendula flowers are dry before placing them in the jar, otherwise the retained moisture may contribute to a moldy oil (ask me how I know!). Here in Arizona, the dry air helps to dry out plants quickly and easily. If you live in a damper climate, you may have more challenges.
  • Once dry, place the calendula blossoms in the jar and fill up the jar with your chosen base oil. Cap the jar.
  • Place the oil in a dark cupboard for a long, slow infusion over the next 8 weeks, gently shaking intermittently. Why do we infuse it this way? Check out our classes to learn more!
  • Strain off the spent blossoms from the oil and re-bottle. Label. Store the infused oil in a dark, cool place for use.

Calendula Infusions: Tincture

Calendula Infusions - TinctureTincture making is relatively new to me, but I am already hooked! Making a calendula tincture follows a similar process to making a calendula infused oil, switching out the oil base for an alcohol base. Here’s our guide to making a successful calendula tincture:

  • Gather enough calendula blossoms from your garden to fill a glass container such as a mason jar. Make sure to include the involucre (the sticky base of the flower) as well as the petals, as this is where the most beneficial components of the plant are stored.
  • Unlike making calendula oil, you do not need to dry out the calendula blossoms before placing them in the alcohol. This is because the water within the blossoms will readily mix with the alcohol. I could write another complete article on the type of alcohol to use for your tincture base, but I find that Everclear or a similar 190 proof alcohol (95% alcohol) works best.
  • Place the calendula blossoms in the jar and fill up the jar with alcohol to cover the calendula flowers. Cap the jar.
  • Place the alcohol with flowers in a dark cupboard for a long, slow infusion over the next 6-8 weeks, gently shaking intermittently.
  • Strain off the spent blossoms from the alcohol and re-bottle. Label. Store the finished tincture in a dark, cool place for use.

 

 

Calendula Infusions: Tea

Calendula Blossoms for Calendula InfusionsI love to make herbal tea! The process for making herbal tea depends on if you are infusing flowers and leaves, or roots and bark. This is the process to infuse calendula flowers for calendula tea. This recipe makes one cup (8-oz.) of tea. The following recipe uses fresh herbs, gathered from your garden (quantities are different for store-bought, dried herbs):

Ingredients:

  • 8-oz. water
  • 2 tablespoons calendula (Calendula officinalis)

To Make:

  • Boil one cup of water.
  • Pour over prepared herbs.
  • Cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
  • Add honey to sweeten as preferred.
  • Enjoy!

Learn More About Calendula with Sedona Aromatics

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our article on Calendula in the Garden, our Botanical Aromatherapy™ Membership School and our Language of Aromatics™ Course Programs for further information on herbs like calendula. 

About the Author:

The author of this article has been working in the health care industry since the 1990’s and in the aromatherapy industry since the 2000’s. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist®. She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and, more recently, a herbalist, gardener, and botanical perfumer. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she gardens and distills plants from her own aromatic gardens, surrounded by natural fauna and flora on an original pioneer, semi off-grid, homestead property.

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