I simply adore calendula!! It’s name, it’s color, it’s healing effects, it’s got soothingness written all over it!!
Known as well as pot marigold, (Inci: Calendula Officinalis ) is part of the daisy family. There are several other species of marigolds, so don’t confuse this one with others like corn, desert or marsh marigold.
The Germans cooked it in their soups and stews, used as a saffron substitute, in hearty pot dishes, thus the nickname “pot marigold.” Historically speaking, everyone from the Greeks, Romans, Indians and Arabs used this plant as a medicinal herb, dye and cooking ingredient.
Following the sun, opening in the early morning and closing as the sun goes down, it tends to bloom once a month, usually at the new moon, following the calendar, (calends) hence the name Calendula. Weren’t those ancient latin speakers clever??
Growing in northern Mediterranean, western Europe, and southeastern Asia, this flower has been used since the 12th century and is assumed safe, non irritating and non toxic .
I love it for its’ gorgeous color, infused in oils it leaves its golden hue in them, while it turns yellow if infused in water. It has been used as a colorant in food, (cheese) clothes and cosmetics. The fresh petals can be used to spice up salad with it’s stunning orange or yellow petals!!! This won’t turn your homemade skincare creams pure orange that easily though !! I use buriti oil to get a really orange cream, just a tip!
This lovely, delicate yet effective flower will give some serious healing power and benefits to your cosmetics.
As an herb
Some characteristic properties are that it is protective, moisturizing and anti-aging. Its natural anti oxidants protect, and it is rich in carotenoids as well, which give the flower color. These are a key ingredient to helping skin look youthful and healthy. It is gentle, soothing and hydrating, and is used safely for babies and for dry, chapped, irritated and sensitive skin.. Plus, it also possesses strong vulnerary properties (inhibiting tissue degeneration and stopping the bleeding in wounds), making it an excellent treatment for bruises, burns, cuts, sores, ulcers, wounds, rashes, eczema, etc…
So, it is the one medical herb to definitely have at home, for so many minor skin irritations, and taken internally, it is also super beneficial, just have it as a cup of tea!!
The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. The flavonoids and saponins contained in extracts of the plant have been shown to not only promote skin healing and repair, but also significantly reduce inflammations, speed up the healing time and strengthen the healed areas of skin. It’s also been shown to cure fungal disorders such as Athlete’s foot. The antibacterial and immunostimulant properties make it extremely useful in treating slow-healing cuts (and for people who have compromised immune systems) .
Calendula in your cosmetics
In cosmetics, it’s mainly used in the form of an oil extract, or a more potent CO2 extract. In a cream ,it is used as a skin conditioning agent, along with all its other previously mentioned healing properties.
Many view this flower as a powerful skin regenerater and anti-aging ingredient, ( that’s what we like!) because it’s been proven to stimulate the metabolism of glycoproteins, nucleoproteins and collagen during the skin’s healing process. Secondary to its medicinal uses, oil extracts of this flower are often used to add a floral scent to products. Due to its multi-faceted role in cosmetics, you can find it in a variety of products such as facial moisturizer/lotion, anti-aging treatment, body wash, sunscreen, cleanser, bath oil, eye cream, lip balm and conditioner. So it can be used in almost any skincare product , even for little ones, and for the most sensitive skin types.
So how to use it in our skincare products??
The best way is to use this herb is in its’ extracted form at 1-2.5% max. The whole plant is used. Very little is needed in a formula to be effective, and it is much more powerful then when used as a macerated oil , tincture, or herbal infusion alone. They can be used together in combination to optimize the effects of the plant. Extract CO2 contains faradiol monoesters, the actual anti inflammatory component, and phytosterols, which have photo-protecting, anti-ageing and wound healing properties.
Used in combination with saint john’s worts oil , chickweed or marshmallow oils , you have a very effective anti itching cream. For wound healing and inflammatory conditions use in synergie with comfry oil , for sprains and bruises you can add arnica to your formula.
Macerated in coconut oil, with its’ caprylic capric triglycerides, a specific type of esterification of coconut oil fatty acids, will results in a more stable and skin loving formula, and your oil will have a very long shelf life as well.
Let me share my healing balm recipe to have around for the days when your skin is irritated with something or anything, hope you like it!!! It smells spicy and divine, but feel free to use other Essential oils if you prefer another scent. Lavender is good for just about everything.
My Calendula Healing Balm Recipe
|Shea Butter||20 gm|
|Calendula in Apricot oil||10 gm|
|Comfrey in Sunflower oil||10 gm|
|Avocado oil||5 gm|
|Vitamin E||.5 gm|
|Calendula CO2 extract||.5 gm|
|Chamomile CO2 extract||.4 gm|
|Essential oils cinnamon, ginger||.3 gm each|