e3’s Fav DIY Carrier Oil: How to Make Calendula Oil
By Caryn Gehlmann
Calendula oil is one of our favorite carrier oils that we use to dilute essential oils. Calendula, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, is part of the daisy family, Asteraceae, and is widely cultivated. If you have them in your own backyard, you’re well on your way to making Calendula oil!
Calendula has a long history of being used to speed recovery from skin irritation and easing abdominal cramps due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, wound healing and anti-spasmodic properties. It’s a gentle and soothing option for dry, inflamed or irritated skin; use for small wounds, acne, bed sores, varicose veins, rashes, diaper rash, eczema, psoriasis or for all over skin care.*
Here at e3, we carry Calendula oil throughout the year. However, for those of you who have garden marigolds we thought it would be fun to show you how to make Calendula oil in your own kitchen!
Here’s how to make Calendula oil, using my 5 easy step process:
Pinch off the Calendula flower heads at the peak of blooming. I try to avoid using scissors or clippers so as to prevent any possible contamination that may be on the blades.
Dry the flowers. You can either retain just the petals or the entire flower head. I’ve had great results from using the entire flower head and it’s much easier that way!
Air flow for the flowers is important so that mold doesn’t occur, especially if you pick the flowers in the early morning, with dew. I like to spread the heads face up on a cookie cooling rack supported by pint mason jars. Turn the flowers over every few days. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Or you can use a dehydrator to speed up the process.
Make sure the flowers are completely dry, with no residual moisture, before moving on to the next step.
Steep the calendula. Use a mason jar and fill full with the dried calendula, pack firmly and then pour to cover with a carrier oil of your choice; my favorite is, organic olive oil. Place the tightly capped jars in a sunny window for two weeks, shake often and turn upside down to infuse the oil with calendula.
Filter with cheesecloth. Pour mixture through a cheesecloth to strain out the flower heads. Now you know how to make Calendula oil! It’s ready to use!
Store in a cool, dry location. Calendula has a shelf life of about 6 months. I keep mine in the refrigerator, it extends the shelf life of carrier oils. Keep this in mind when blending, to ensure your mixture doesn’t go rancid before you get a chance to use it all.
If you’ve enjoyed learning how to make Calendula oil, don’t be afraid to try it yourself. Then we’d love to hear about it! Join our e3 community on Facebook for more aromatherapy tips and to share what’s working for you. Would you like some more DIY recipes? Be sure to download a free copy of Listen to Your Nose: An Introduction to Aromatherapy.
*Note: May cause allergic reaction in those sensitive to Ragweed and related plants. Avoid during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.