Summer is the best time for making your own calendula oil.
Calendula is known for its anti-inflammatory, a cure for eczema, and can be used internally or topically, therefore is the first choice of many beauty goods producers. The main components of calendula include terpenoids, flavaboids, coumarines, carotenoids, and the alkaloid quinines. These phytochemical are the reasons for calendula's benefit, and quinines is often used to treat fever, pain relief and malaria. However, different solvent is necessary for extracting these phytochemical.
Solubility of phytochemical
When you are extracting phytochemical at home, water, oil and alchohol are the three main solvents come at hand. Using calendula as an example,
- Soluble in warm water: flavonoids, coumarines, amino acid
- Soluble in oil: terpenoids, flavonoids, carotenoids
- Soluble in alcohol (Tintures): alkaloids
Therefore, a simple delicious cup of calendula tea already provides you with certain amount of flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals. When you dissolve calendula in olive oil, you are not only getting vibrant orange oil dressing for salad or risotto, but also enhancing your intake of carotenoids. While using this oil topically, you will also get the anti-inflammatory benefit from terpenoids!
Usage and Benefits of Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is sometimes used as a substitute of saffron for its colour and flavour. Apart from salad dressing, it is also good for making dessert such as custard.
You are not restricted to using olive oil as the solvent. For example, almond oil or the non-edible jojoba oil are very nice solvent if skincare is your goal. We choose olive oil becuse of its shelf life, and its suitability for both internal and topical use.
Here is the shelf life of some commonly used oil
- Grapeseed oil：12 months
- Rice bran oil：12 months
- Olive oil：24 months
- Jojoba oil (non-edible)：24 months
The anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits of calendula oil is not only useful for eczema, but also first aid for finger cut, sunburn, burn or insect bites. It is also useful for daily skincare, or as a carrier oil for massage, as well as baby's diaper rash! *
*Caution: although calendula oil is good for topical use during pregnancy, avoid internal use
Calendula Oil Recipe
- Calendula flowers (both whole flowers or petals work)
1 portion (e.g. 250ml)
- Extra virgin olive oil
1-1.5 portion (e.g. 375ml)
- Place dried calendula into a hot-water-sterilized and blown-dried glass jar
- Pour olive oil into jar. As calendula will float, make sure at least 1 inch of olive oil is reserved for calendula to expand after absorbing the oil
- Ensure lid is securely sealed, give the jar a little shake if possible
- To avoid direct sunlight, wrap the jar with paper or paper bag. Place the jar near a warm window
- After 4 to 6 weeks, strain out the flowers, and keep the finished oil in a cool dry place. Shelf life is around 2 years.
Other usage of calendula oil
Calendula oil itself is beneficial for the body, but it can be used to make other beauty goods, such as body balm，which are easy to make too. The above recipe makes calendula oil enough for more than thirty 5-gram-containers of calendula body balm.