My current series of aromatherapy posts is focused on how to make your own aromatherapy products. This week’s post continues with that theme but is written by guest blogger and writer Karen Stephenson. Enjoy!
Calendula – Calendula officinalis
Brightly colored calendula flowers possess a wealth of wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties as well as nutrition. Native to the Mediterranean area, calendula forms a dense clump of simple lance-shaped leaves and the flowers resemble daisies.
Calendula has a multitude of uses that can help your skin feel amazing, heal wounds, and it adds nutrition to your diet. Ancient Romans used to make a broth and the leaves and flowers can be added to salads, scrambled eggs, rice or soups. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals and the colorful petals look great on a salad. Making a tea using the petals has been known to tone up circulation and when ingested regularly, some say it eases the pain of varicose veins.
What is Calendula Oil Used For?
Calendula oil is often used as a base in aromatherapy but it’s also beneficial for soothing the skin and healing. A traditional remedy for burns, wounds, inflammation and rashes, calendula has proven to be a skin healer in a range of circumstances.
Soothing and mild, calendula oil is preferred by many people who have dry skin and especially chapped lips.
This healing oil contains anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties making this a fabulous option to treat skin infections.
Used in a variety of products, calendula oil makes a healthy base for creams, lotions, salves and lip balms.
Calendula Oil Benefits
• skin moisturizer (especially good for cracked skin on hands and feet);
• eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis;
• sprained muscles or bruises;
• heals wounds and minor cuts;
• fungal issues including athlete’s foot and jock itch;
• spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers;
• possible prevention of scarring as it increases collagen levels and;
• eliminates diaper rash (safe to use on a baby).
How to Make Calendula-Infused Oil
• mason jar (whatever size you like)
• almond or olive oil (almond oil is less greasy)
• dried calendula flower petals
Put the calendula flower petals in the mason jar until about 2/3 full. Pour in the oil until it reaches to just below the rim. Poke the mixture with a knife in order to release all the trapped air. If need be, top up the oil to just below the rim. Put lid on and label your jar with the name and date.
Place it in a spot where you see it every day so you can easily remember to lightly shake it daily. Always make sure the petals are under the oil. Open the jar once a week for a few seconds, and then replace the lid. Let sit 6 weeks.
Using cheesecloth as a strainer, pour the contents of the jar into a bowl. Squeeze excess oil out. Somehow secure the cheesecloth so it hangs above the oil in the bowl therefore allowing more oil to drip out. As you see more oil dripping out, squeeze. Do this for about 30 minutes.
Pour your oil into jars and store!
How to Make Calendula Lip Balm
• 1 cup calendula-infused almond oil
• 2 oz. beeswax
• 1 tsp. essential oil of your choice
• containers (tins or lip balm tubes)
Place wax into a double boiler on the stove; or into a recycled (sterilized) tin can placed in boiling water (be sure it cannot tip over). (If you use a tin can create a lip for easy pouring.)
Once melted, add oil and mix well while still on the heat. (The wax will harden a little.) Once melted again, remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon of essential oil to the mixture OR after you pour the mixture into lip balm containers and/or small tins, add 2 or 3 drops of essential oil to each container (this way you can have a variety of scents!
Makes about 60 tubes of lip balm.
- The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs: Reader’s Digest 2009
- Natural Medicinal Herbs.net
- Author’s own experiences
About the Author:
Karen Stephenson has Herbal Pharmacy Level 1. She enjoys making personal care products and promotes foraging because of the nutritional value of wild edibles. When not writing content for her website, EdiblewildFood.com, she works as a freelance ghostwriter and editor.
Aromatherapy Notes: Karen’s RSS Feed for her blog can be found in the left hand side bar of the Aromatherapy Notes blog.