Flowers have long been used as herbal remedies for various diseases, and calendula oil is extracted from the marigold flower for such a purpose. The components of the plant are also used as a coloring dye and cooking additive for flavor.
We will concentrate on the possible health benefits for ailments, from acne to infections and even muscle spasms. We also have the step-by-step instructions for how to make calendula oil at home, so you can start treating your health issues.
The marigold plant we are discussing is not the same flower blooming in most flower gardens, which comes from the genus Tagetes. The calendula oil we are referring to derives from the marigold of the genus Calendula, or pot marigold. It is native to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, and Southwestern Asia. “Calendula” is from the Latin word calendae, or little calendar, as it blossoms on the first of the month. The sticky calendula oil is extracted from the tops and has what some describe as an odd woodsy, unappealing aroma.
Calendula Oil Uses
The uses of the calendula genus plant can be divided into three classes.
1. Health and Well-Being: Traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic remedy, the calendula oil also has emmenagogic (menstruation-stimulating), tonic, and sudorific (sweat-inducing) components for the whole body. The oil may be especially effective for maintaining and treating the skin. This addresses acne, diaper rashes, wounds such as leg ulcers, eczema, radiation therapy-related dermatitis, and varicose veins.
2. Culinary: The oil of the marigold petals is commonly used as both spice and natural coloring agent for butter, cheese, and dishes such as salads and soups.
3. Practical Uses: Its bold yellow color is also used as a dye for fabrics, while its strong aroma adds to a dish of potpourri.
Best Calendula Oil Health Benefits
We will now explore the possible calendula oil benefits.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Activity
With its flavonoid and triterpenoid components, calendula oil may help treat the inflamed tissue of skin conditions such as eczema, diaper rash, and hemorrhoids. It is also used to treat ulcers, ear infections, and sore throats. Calendula oil reduces cytokine and C-reactive protein, as it protects the cells from free radicals. By targeting the inflammation, you also alleviate the accompanying pain.
2. Muscle Relaxant
The antispasmodic properties of the oil could target tense muscles and stop spasms and cramping by stimulating blood circulation to the affected area. This works with the anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate swelling. Use the calendula oil directly on the affected muscle or prepare in a tea for drinking. The blooming flowers of the marigold can be made into a tea to combat stomach cramps with gastric ulcer and inflammatory bowel diseases.
3. Wound Healer
Calendula oil has antiseptic properties that may quickly heal open wounds and sores by promoting blood flow, collagen production, and new tissue cells. At the same time, it could address wound symptoms of swelling, skin redness, itchiness, dry skin, and irritation. This is why it is often used after surgery.
It is also used to fight the bacterial infections that can occur in such wounds. Any issues with insect bites, sunburns, and warts might also benefit from the powerful components. It should be noted that the oil is not to be used on deep cuts.
4. Supports Menstruation
With its reported ability to relax muscles and treat inflamed tissue, calendula oil may help the symptoms of menstruation. As it could reduce painful premenstrual cramps by easing the contracting muscles, it might also address any heavy blood flows. With cases of irregular menstrual cycles drinking a calendula tea can help stimulate the bleeding. Menopausal women may also find that drinking the tea alleviates hot flashes
5. Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties
The calendula oil contains antimicrobial and antiviral ingredients that may target candida-produced fungal gut disorders and antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains and other pathogens. These results are best when combined with sunflower oil.
6. Oral Health Booster
One of the reasons petals of the marigold flower are used orally is to fight oral and dental issues such as cavities, plague, and gingivitis. Used as an astringent in mouthwashes and toothpaste, the oil of the petals may promote good oral heath while targeting harmful bacteria.
7. Cancer Fighter
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause irritation that may be alleviated with the use of calendula oil. In a case study of breast cancer female patients, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, it was found the application of the oil helped to prevent acute dermatitis caused by radiation treatments.
8. Bug Repellent
Remember how we mentioned calendula oil has an unpleasant woodsy aroma? This, along with the antioxidant component, works wonders to get rid of pests such as mosquitoes and other insects. Any of the marigold species can be planted in a flower or vegetable garden to ward off any insects, including crop-ruining nematodes.
Calendula Oil for Acne
The anti-inflammatory properties of calendula oil may work to combat acne stimulation. A clinical study by the Universidade de Sao Paulo found the plant’s components of narcissin and rutin could restore glutathione, an antioxidant that hinders the body’s inflammatory reaction to skin damage by ultraviolet rays. The plant also contains cell regeneration stimulants of manganese, carotene, and high iodine.
To treat unsightly skin blemishes, it is recommended to apply calendula oil to the acne to destroy Propionibacterium bacteria and on impetigo outbreaks to target the staph and strep bacteria. The oil will first soothe the affected skin by calming the irritation before targeting the invading infection. Calendula oil seizes the bacteria in place by impairing its use of iron until your immune system works to eliminate it.
Calendula Oil Recipe
We can make our own calendula oil to avoid using market products that may have chemical additives. While we cannot create pure calendula oil, we can use the flower to make a powerful calendula essential oil. The following recipe will create enough oil for several months of use.
- 8 ounces of dried calendula flowers
- 16 ounces of organic extra virgin olive oil
- 1 glass pint jar
Put the flowers in the glass jar and add just enough olive oil to cover the flowers. Shake the jar to mix flowers and olive oil. Leave for one hour. Add more oil at this time if there is not a half inch of oil at the top or on the bottom of the jar. Stir, cover tight with cap, and store on a windowsill in the direct sunlight.
Each day, for the next three to six weeks, shake the jar well. Once the oil is yellow colored and has a nutty aroma, strain the flowers and pour the oil into smaller containers, if you wish. Store the calendula oil in a cool and dark place.
Despite the historical use of calendula oil for skin conditions and ailments, experts suggest there is insufficient research data to support several uses. These include wounds, diaper rash, anal fissures, ear infections, leg ulcers, muscle spasms, vaginal atrophy, fever, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, menstruation, varicose veins, and inflammation of the skin from radiation therapy.
Calendula oil has been used for traditional medicine as well as an additive to cooking. The beneficial oil is from the calendula genus marigold species although the marigold plant is a popular choice of gardeners to ward off nasty insects. You can make your own calendula oil to help with skin conditions of eczema and rashes or to fight infections. The same form of calendula oil used to treat muscle spasms can be used to prevent acute dermatitis caused by cancer radiation therapy.
“Here’s Why You Can Count on Calendula Oil,” Mercola, January 19, 2017; http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/calendula-oil.aspx, last accessed July 20, 2017.
“Calendula,” Web MD; http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-235-calendula.aspx?activeingredientid=235&activeingredientname=calendula, last accessed July 20, 2017.
“Calendula: The Anti-Inflammatory, Antiviral Herb That Heals,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/calendula/, last accessed July 20, 2017.
Sierralupe, S., “What are the Benefits of Calendula Oil?” Live Strong, July 2, 2015; http://www.livestrong.com/article/100674-benefits-calendula-oil/, last accessed July 20, 2017.
“Top 11 Uses & Benefits of Marigold, Including for the Skin, Eyes & More,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/marigolds/, last accessed July 20, 2017.
Pommier, P., et al., “Phase III Randomized Trial of Calendula Officinalis Compared With Trolamine for the Prevention of Acute Dermatitis During Irradiation for Breast Cancer,” Journal of Clinical Oncology; http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/jco.2004.07.063, last accessed July 20, 2017.
“Calming Skin with Calendula,” Facing Acne; http://www.facingacne.com/calming-skin-calendula/, last accessed July 20, 2017.
Mackenize-Carey, H., “Calendula & Acne,” Live Strong, August 16, 2013; http://www.livestrong.com/article/151033-calendula-acne/, last accessed July 20, 2017.