Calendula officinalis is an annual, edible herb bearing bright orange or yellow daisy-like flowers. It's a beautiful plant adored by many herbalists worldwide for its beneficial medicinal and culinary properties. Calendula flowers can be infused into oils and incorporated into creams, lotions, and balms. They may also be used in herbal tea blends to make infusions or as a coloring for foods.
Benefits of Calendula
When consumed internally, Calendula can assist with digestion, reduce internal inflammation, and even combat certain cancer cells. Most of these wonderful effects are due to its powerful antioxidant properties.
Equally as impressive is Calendula's effect on the skin. Historically, it has been used to treat ailments such as rashes, acne, eczema, scarring, stretch marks, and dullness.
Topical benefits of Calendula
Calendula oil is made by infusing the flowers into a carrier oil such as avocado, olive, jojoba, or coconut oil. Although it’s a gentle herb, these flowers are a potent ingredient known for their wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Calendula oil can be used as an alternative remedy to treat several skin conditions and improve the skin's appearance. Here are a handful of reasons you should incorporate Calendula into your daily skincare routine.
It can heal wounds
Whether it's an insect bite, cut, cold sore, or stubborn acne flare-up - topical application of Calendula can help disinfect wounds and promote new cell growth to expedite healing. In fact, it's one of our secret ingredients in our beloved Keepers Secret Salve! Our natural salve is perfect for those looking for glowing, healthy skin and hair - it can be used as an effective facial moisturizer, lip balm, eye cream, acne treatment, rash ointment, and so much more.
It hydrates and nourishes skin
Studies have shown that by promoting collagen production, Calendula can enhance skin hydration and reduce skin damage caused by oxidative stress. It has been used to relieve many skin conditions symptoms, including dermatitis, eczema, and dandruff. It may also be used as a natural alternative to diaper rash and cradle cap.
It can reduce scarring
By increasing blood flow to the injury, Calendula promotes a healthy healing process of the skin. Thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, Calendula can ensure speedy healing by keeping the area free of infection and encouraging healthy tissue growth. It also soothes the skin and can reduce inflammation.
Are you looking for a sure way to kick scars to the curb? Include a gentle exfoliator (like this one!) that incorporates Calendula oil into your skincare routine. Regular exfoliation will not only help fade scars and marks but will also brighten the skin and reveal a softer, smoother-looking complexion.
How to grow, harvest, and use Calendula
At Keepers Collective Apiary, we grow, harvest, dry, and infuse our own Calendulas into a natural, potent oil to be used in our products. While we do consider ourselves to have a bit of a green thumb (shout out to our buzzing friends), Calendula's are a great addition to any garden - novice gardeners welcome!
- Calendulas are low maintenance: no particular soil required
- Calendulas require little watering: drought and frost resistant
- Calendulas don't need special care: inside, outside, sun, or shade - these flowers will bloom!
Once your Calendulas begin to bloom, you may harvest the flowers every 2 - 5 days to keep them full and abundant. From there, you can dry the flowers or infuse them into oil and use them in various ways.
This requires steeping powdered or dried Calendula in boiling water for 10 - 20 minutes. This tea can be used as a mouth rinse for oral wounds, a tea for a sore throat, or a healthy immune-boosting tea. If concentrated, it can also be used as a healing compress for eye infections.
2. Calendula oil
Probably the most common method of topical use, Calendula oil can be made by infusing the flowers in warmed oil for several weeks, stirring it daily. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory compounds are perfect for wound healing and skin problems. This oil can be used in products such as sunscreens, creams, ointments, deodorants, and lotions.
Interested in learning more about what honeybees have to do with healthy skin? Take a look here!