HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA INFUSED OIL – Using FRESH FLOWERS

Posted by on December 30, 2013

HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA INFUSED OIL – Using FRESH FLOWERS

You might ask yourself, “Why Calendula?” Here are a few reasons why I grow and use Calendula Officinalis .

Calendula officinalis, also known as pot marigold or garden marigold, has been used for centuries to heal wounds and skin irritations. Calendula has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfecting and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes, and other minor irritations and infections of the skin. Plus, it stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites to help minimize scarring and assist with stretch marks. This versatile botanical can be incorporated into baths, creams, compresses, washes, salves, ointments, massage oils, baths, facial steams, tinctures, and teas. It is also gentle enough to use for babies, children, or animals. Internally, gargling with Calendula infused water may ease a sore throat, sores in the mouth, and inflammations in the mouth and throat.
Not only is Calendula a wonderful healing and medicinal herb, but it is also a lovely and useful plant in the garden! Calendula repels many common garden pests including aphids, eelworms, asparagus beetles, and tomato hornworms, and is a companion plant for potatoes, beans, and lettuce. Plus, it grows quickly and is easy to cultivate from seed. The fresh vibrant petals can be used to color butter, cheese, custards, sauces, or sprinkled atop salads, cakes, and sandwiches.
This herb is so easy to grow from seed. The first time I grew Calendula from seed was the Spring of 2013. I direct seeded it in several areas of my yard to ensure that I had a lot of flowers to use fresh and for drying. I was so happy to see that almost every seed came up and bloomed. Around mid June I started harvesting (cutting) my Calendula flowers. The more you cut, the more flowers the plant will produce. I was picking flowers about every 2 days somewhere in my gardens. When harvesting flowers to use in my oil infusions I make sure that the dew is entirely gone from the flowers and before it gets too hot outside. Here in Wisconsin that is around 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This time span will ensure me that the flowers are dry, yet full of all the essential oils that are needed to make a GREAT oil infusion. If it rains I make sure I don’t harvest the flowers for 1-2 days after a rain. I am using FRESH CALENDULA FLOWERS for my oil infusion. I DO NOT WANT ANY MOISTURE IN THE FLOWERS.

Here is how I make my CALENDULA INFUSED OIL

1. Clean sterilized GLASS jar of your choice.

2. Fill jar (loosely, do not pack it down tightly) with freshly picked Calendula flowers about an inch from the top of the jar. I use the whole flower, center & petals, NO STEMS. Do not wash the flowers. Just brush off any dirt or bugs.

3. Pour organic extra virgin olive oil over flowers in the jar. Make sure all flowers are covered with the oil. Use a wooden chop stick or the handle of a wooden spoon to poke down the flowers so they are completely submerged in the oil. Keep poking them down to help get all the air bubbles out.

4. Cut a piece of paper towel to fit over the top of the jar. Secure the paper towel with a rubber band. Using paper towel instead of a lid allows the little moisture that is in the FRESH flowers a chance to evaporate. If you put a lid on at this time, it is likely that moisture would be trapped and mold could grow. That would be a disaster.

5. Put the jar in a dark cabinet. Check every day to see if all the flowers are under the oil. If they float to the top and are poking out of the oil, push them down with the wooden chopstick or wooden spoon handle. It might take a week or so to keep them down under the oil. They will settle and there will be about an inch of oil over the flowers.

6. After you see that the flowers have settled and the oil is covering them you can remove the paper towel and screw on the jar lid. You will now let the jar set in the dark cabinet for 6 weeks. Check it weekly to see if there is any mold or if it smells bad. It should just smell like olive oil.

7. After 6 weeks your oil is ready to strain. I first use a sieve and strain it into a glass bowl. Then I strain it a second time through a Krups Gold coffee filter, which is a very fine sieve. You could use cheese cloth. I just like being able to wash the filter & reuse. The cheese cloth you probably would throw out. You know me…I am very thrifty.

8. Pour your wonderful INFUSED CALENDULA OIL into a clean GLASS jar. I use the jar that the extra virgin olive oil was in. I like it because of its dark green color doesn’t allow light in. Plus I am recycling. Store your INFUSED CALENDULA OIL in a cool dark area. Mine is in my basement.

9. Now you are ready to use your INFUSED CALENDULA OIL to make a ointment, balm, cream, body butter or just use it for a massage oil.

10. Remember to label you jar with the date infusion was started and ended. Of course, label what infusion…CALENDULA.

I know that this might sound complicated and drawn out BUT once you do it you will be so happy you took the time. You can also understand why it is so expensive to buy. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Using FRESH herbs for most oil infusions is much more beneficial medicinally. The medicine is in the plants oils and there is not much oil in dried herbs. I hope this helps you and inspires you to make infused oils.

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8 Responses to HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA INFUSED OIL – Using FRESH FLOWERS

  1. davsher

    needing some advise . talked to a beekeeper friend of mine about some wax. when you make your salve for the winter how much bee’s wax will you need? and if I make lotion do I use wax? thanks Dave.

  2. Lark

    Dave, there is no set amount of bee’s wax. I make sure I get organic bee’s wax. If you want a ‘harder’ lotion bar, you add more beeswax. If you want a ‘softer’ lotion bar, add less bee’s wax. Make sure when you are melting you bee’s wax and oils, DO NOT HEAT TOO HOT. You will ruin all the healing properties in the oils and wax. I add my essential oils at the VERY END OF THE PROCESS. I haven’t made LOTIONS. Most lotions take water and I didn’t want any water in my products. Using water makes the product expire sooner or go bad faster. I like body butters, salves and balms. I started with following the ‘herb mentor’ (YouTube) from Mountain Rose Herbs when making my skin products. From there I came up with my own recipe. Just give it a try. Then the second time you make a skin product you can add more or less. Making a GREAT infused oil is the tricky part. Using bee’s wax is the simple part…it is what ever you like. Smiles, Lark

  3. davsher

    bought my 1st batch of bee’s wax from a local bee keeper. I can get as much as I need. looking for containers to put it in. Sherry is already looking to use some as Christmas gifts along with other things we are growing.

  4. Lark

    That is so nice that you can get bees wax locally. Great idea for Christmas gifts. What are you making?

  5. Gaardenista

    Thank you ALWAYS for your tips, Lark – I had tons of Calendula (by seed too) last year, and I see seedlings are returning – I’m eager to try some of your ideas!

  6. Lark

    You are welcome. Let us know how things turn out.

  7. Nush

    Hi I don’t have access to fresh Calendula but I dried petals. Can I use those instead? Also, what is the shelf life of this oil (average). Lastly, if I use it for making a body butter will go rancid? Do I need a preservative?

    thanks Nush

  8. Lark

    Yes, you can used dried. Less likely to go rancid. I have read that the shelf life is around a year, stored in a COOL & DARK space. No, my body butter has never gone rancid. I do put in a little vitamin E. I use all my body butters within six months. Thank you for visiting my website. Do let me know how you are doing with this wonderful herb. Smiles, Lark

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