Calendula is an incredible herb with hundreds of medicinal benefits. Since early times, it has been cultivated by Egyptians, Indians, and Arabs and was taken internally to treat fever, menstrual issues, and even cancer. Today, calendula flowers are used for making salves, balms, oils, extracts and tinctures which can be applied to the skin for treating wounds, burns and other inflammatory conditions. In today’s ‘how to’ guide, we will study ways to dry calendula flowers and also some recipes to make calendula salve, oil and cream recipes.
Before we move on to the recipes, let us study the medicinal benefits of Calendula.
Table of Contents
Medicinal properties and benefits of Calendula
- The herb has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve spasms, aches and hemorrhages.
- Its antiseptic and astringent properties heal wounds and regulate menstruation. It is mildly estrogenic.
- Calendula is useful in treating gastric disturbances, colitis, fever and infections.
- Tea made from the herb is useful as an eye wash, gargle or compress to treat conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, diaper rashes and other infections of the skin and mucus membranes.
- Calendula oil or cream can be applied topically to hemorrhoids.
- It is a favorite homeopathic remedy to treat burns and abrasions.
- Calendula tea is mildly sedative.
How to dry calendula flowers
Dried calendula flowers are very useful for making tea, tincture and even the calendula cream recipe we have given below. To dry the flowers, pluck or cut them at their peak. Spread them on baskets or trays to dry. You can pull out their petals along with central disks for faster drying. A great way to dry calendula flowers is to place them in the oven with just the pilot light on. Ideally, you should dry the flowers quickly so that they retain their color and flavor. Store the dried flowers in glass jars and place them in a cool dry place. Use the flowers for recipes given below.
How to make Calendula oil
An easy calendula oil recipe with fresh flowers is as follows:
Take equal quantities of almond oil and fresh calendula petals. In a double broiler, warm the mixture for 15 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Strain the oil and bottle it.
Calendula infused coconut oil recipe
- ½ cup dried calendula flowers
- 100 grams or ½ cup of coconut oil
In a heat proof canning jar, place the flowers. Add the coconut oil and gently set the jar in a saucepan with water. Place the saucepan on a low burner for 1-2 hours or until the oil takes on a yellowish hue. Remove from heat and strain. Cool the oil in refrigerator until it solidifies. Using a handheld mixer beat the infused oil until creamy. Beat for at least 5-7 minutes so it gets light and frothy. Store in a cool area. Use this calendula salve recipe with coconut oil on cuts, wounds, piles, insect bites, diaper rash or heat rash.
How to make Calendula tincture
You can make calendula tincture from its flowers. Fill up a jar 3/4th with flowers. Cover with proof alcohol (vodka) until the flowers are submerged. Keep in a warm place for 6 weeks. Shake the jar daily.
Calendula face cream recipe
This cream has anti fungal, anti bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also astringent.
- In a double broiler, melt aqueous cream or lanolin.
- Stir in one cup of calendula petals.
- Continue heating for 20 minutes. Cool and strain the mixture. Discard the petals.
- Stir in some vitamin E and pour into sterilized jars.
These recipes for calendula cream, oil and tinctures are must have in every medicine-cabinet. Use them as needed to soothe, heal and protect.