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Calendula, "Mother of the Skin"

Updated on December 29, 2015


Calendula officinalis, also known among herbalist as “Mother of the Skin”, offers amazing skin therapy as well as many other medicinal and culinary values.

Calendula is from the daisy family Asteraceae, and is known as Pot Marigold. Calendula (officinalis) should not be mistake for the garden plant marigold (Tagetes species) The name Calendula comes from the Latin word Calendae, which means first day of the month, as in its native climate the plant is said to bloom every month of the year.

Calendula has also been nicknamed “Reflections of the Sun”, in which Calendula displays bright deep orange and yellow colored flowers, which close up at night, and open during the day.

Growing Calendula

Calendula is very easy to grow and is not too picky on soil conditions. Just about any sunny location will due. Though Calendula is considered to be an annual, it does re-seed very easily. Once this flowering herb begins to bloom, you will find yourself constantly cutting flowering heads all season long.

Calendula will flower all summer making it a great plant for adding color to the garden. Constant “dead heading”, which is cutting of the flower blooms will encourage and stimulate new growth and constant flowering. When you harvest Calendula simply spread the cut flowers out to dry. This works best in dark dry areas. Once the flowers have dried you can store them in jars and use as needed.

Calendula most recognized for its amazing skin benefits

Calendula has many health benefits but is most recognized for its effectiveness for treating skin problems such as wounds, burns, and insect bites as well as eczema, shingles, and skin ulcers. This herb is found in many natural skin care products such as handmade soaps, creams, lotions, salves, and oils, and is known to promote cell repair, and offers antiseptic, anti inflammatory, and anti fungal properties making it suitable for just about all skin conditions.

Calendula in handmade soaps


Calendula Infused Oil

Here is just one simple way you can use the Calendula harvested from your garden for natural skin care, and that is to make an infused oil. An infused oil is not an essential oil, but is a carrier oil that is infused to one or more herbs with a vegetable oil such as olive oil. Once this infusion is complete the oil will now carry the therapeutic properties of the plant.

How to make Calendula infused oil

To make a Calendula infused oil you will need a glass jar with a lid, some dried calendula flowers, and olive oil. Place the Calendula flowers in the jar to about halfway, and then pour olive oil in until the oil is just above the flowers. Tightly close the lid on jar and then place in a sunny warm spot for about 2-4 weeks. A windowsill that receives a good portion of sun is recommended. You will know when your oil is completely infused as it begins to turn a dark orange or yellowish color. Once your oil is ready you then need to strain the flowers out.

Use and storage of Calendula infused oil

This Calendula infused oil can be used for soothing chapped skin, and relieve swelling and inflammation caused by bruise or muscle sprain, diaper rash, acne, bug bites, and preventing or reducing the formation of scar tissue to name a few. Infused oils such as this can have up to a year or better shelf life when stored from heat and light and are tightly capped.

Calendula is a must have herb for the garden. Not only will you enjoy it’s beautiful flowers all season long but can enjoy and benefit from the many medicinal and culinary properties it offers as well.


© 2011 rpalulis


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    • profile image

      Gwendolyn 3 years ago

      Can you tell me whether or not it will cure sunken eyes?

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

      Thanks techygran

      So glad you enjoyed this hub on Calendula. Best of luck to you in all your gardening adventures.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      What a lovely hub and the video just capped it! I am just getting into the gardening spirit and have my little pouch of "Calypso Calendula" ready to plant but after reading your hub I googled dandelion oil infusion (since they are cousin plants and grow so abundantly into my backyard)and picked a jarful of their sunny little heads to infuse. Thank you for all the information and inspiration! Voting you up, useful, awesome!

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      oceansnsunsets, calendula infused oil is such a great oil to have on hand, if you grow calendula in your gardens you should definitly give this a go.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I love calendula as an herb and a flower in the garden. Thank you for sharing this great information so that more can enjoy it as well. The idea of making calendula infused oil sounds interesting, I will have to try that sometime.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      A.B. Thanks, experimenting with herbs and oils from home such as infused Calendula oil is a lot of fun, simple and so healthy. So glad that you have experienced this as well. Thanks for stopping buy, and commenting.

    • amybradley77 profile image

      amybradley77 7 years ago

      Great work here, I have actually experimented with making my own at home oils with herbs. This explains very well most of what I did. Nice to know others are looking into more natural ways of living too. Thanks for sharing. A.B.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Katie you know me I like to keep my skin care pure and simple, and yes Calendula does make a wonderful year round soap for healthy feel good skin. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      WOW this is good to know It sounds like Calendula Reflections of the Sun is the perfect year round soap for healthy feel good skin.

      Thanks for the continued flow of helpful knowledge on natural skin care. :) Katie

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Pamela thanks, so glad you enjoyed this hub, and yes Calendula will grow in northern Fl. and would be a wonderful addition to your gardens.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      I enjoyed your hub and learned something new. I have not grown Calendula and wonder if they grow in northern FL. I would love to try it. Good hub, rated up.

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      Darlene so glad you enjoyed this hub on Calendula, drying the Calendula flowers could take anywhere from a week - 2-3 weeks depending on temperature and drying location. You will know when flower is dry as it will shrink considerably and be light and dry. Have fun growing this beauty this year, and hope that you do take advantage of its medicinal properties calendula has for the skin.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Exellent hub, I will plant this this spring from all ready small plants. How long, after the flower is cut then dryed, do you put in the oil. Does it need to stew for a period of time to make it work? I have such try skin that it hurts sometimes. I surely could use this. I really enjoyed reading this hub. Rate up, and I am twitting it, as well as sending this to my daughter. I most bookmark this so I will remember to reread this spring. Love & piece, darski