Calendula Oil Infusion

I recently started a formal Certified Herbalist Education program.  After I saw the huge increase in understanding that completing a formal Permaculture Design Course gave me, I decided that my dabbling in herbal medicine would probably also benefit from a more directed approach to study.  This project is part of my latest homework assignment.

Calendula has been used historically to soothe and heal wounds and skin irritations.  It’s often incorporated into salves and lotions.  It’s also very useful in the garden, repelling pests and as a companion plant for potatoes, beans and lettuce.  I enjoy using the petals as a salad garnish.

I started by harvesting Calendula flowers for my yard.  When using fresh flowers, they need to dry for about 12 hours to remove moisture.  This helps prevent the oil from getting moldy later.

DSCN5850After the flowers have dried, place them in a clean jar (I used a one pint canning jar).

DSCN5852Fill the jar with oil until the flowers are covered and have about an inch of oil above them.  Use a high quality organic olive oil or sunflower oil.  I used sunflower oil this time.

DSCN5853At this point there are two different options for how to proceed with infusing the oil.  The jar can be capped and placed in a sunny window.  It should be shaken every day for 4-6 weeks, then strained and stored.  The second method is the one I opted to use.  The oil can be infused by placing the jar in an uncovered container filled with gently simmering water (about 100 F) for 3-5 hours.  I used my crock pot to do this.

DSCN5855After the infusion is completed, strain the oil through cheesecloth and a strainer to remove the flowers.  Squeeze the cheesecloth to get all the oil out.  Cap the jar and store in a dark, cool place.

DSCN5858DSCN5859DSCN5860I’ll utilize this oil at some point to make a salve.  Stay tuned!

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4 Responses to Calendula Oil Infusion

  1. Nikee says:

    Considering how frequently I burn myself on the oven – I would keep a small portion of the salve in my cupboard as a quick go to for first aide 🙂
    I was unaware of the crock pot method for processing. I will definitely do this with mine when we have our garden. Thanks!

  2. paleopassage says:

    I’ll give you a little container after I process it into salve. I want to make some comfrey oil to go with it.

  3. Mary Kate says:

    I have dried calendula to do this, and I was wondering if it might be good for itchy skin. All I remember from whatever I wanted to do when I bought the stuff (to do what, I don’t recall) is that it was supposed to be “soothing.” If you know of anything specific to infuse for an itchy skin lotion, let me know?

  4. paleopassage says:

    Comfrey and St. John’s Wort are also supposed to be good for itchy skin. I missed the flowering of the SJW and my comfrey is pathetic, so I may end up just doing the salve with the Calendula Oil this time.

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