Substitute for calendula oil


Herbal infused oils are simple to make at home. Make your own healing calendula oil to keep in your first aid kit for use on scrapes, burns, and other skin ailments.

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Whenever I look out at the beautiful calendula flowers popping up around the yard I think, “Off with their heads!” Though I feel a little like The Grinch Who Stole Summer, what I’m really after is some of that healing golden liquid I had only read about over at Root Simple.

Many years ago I had a burgeoning homemade soap business in which my ‘Gentle Skin’ soap bar was made with calendula oil because of its skin-healing properties and its ability to reduce inflammation. But that calendula oil was store-bought.

According to Root Simple, I can make my own oil from my very own calendula flowers! I just had to give it a try. Here’s how I did it and how it turned out.

Hint: If you aren’t growing calendula flowers, don’t worry. As long as you source quality dried calendula, you can make calendula oil that retains its healing properties, and no one will be the wiser!

Step 1: Cut fresh flower heads at the peak of bloom

I’m not gonna lie, it feels a little sad to cut all those gorgeous flower heads off that are cheerfully gracing my gardens with their presence and attracting all of those pollinators. That’s why I only harvest about half of the possible blossoms.

flower heads going in the dehydrator

Step 2: Dry the flower heads and pluck the petals

Some people pluck the fresh petals right away, discard the heads, and then dry the petals. Other people dry the whole head and then use the whole head in the oil infusion.

I take a middle-of-the-road approach: I dry the flower heads in the dehydrator (here’s mine) whole and then pluck the dried petals. It really doesn’t take too much time.

Bonus: The denuded flower heads are still beautiful post-pluck! I use them in my dining table centerpiece!

dried calendula petals

denuded flower heads

Step 3: Acquire your infusing oil

I like to use olive oil, but you can use any cold-pressed oil that you’d typically use in a salad dressing. Grapeseed oil or avocado oil would work well. Since infused oils are meant to be medicinal, you will want a high quality oil.

Step 4: Fill Mason Jar with Petals and Oil

Next, fill a sanitized 8-ounce mason jar about halfway with flower petals, then fill the rest of the jar with oil.

dried calendula petals in olive oil

Step 5: Cap and Soak

Cap the infusion tightly and sit the jar in a sunny window to soak for a month. I put mine in my kitchen window above the sink and give it a little shake each morning. I write it on my calendar, so I don’t forget when it will be done. Over the course of the month, the oil should get progressively more golden as the petals infuse.

Step 6: Strain

After about a month, it’s time to strain off the flower petals. I set a canning funnel on top of a mason jar, and set a piece of cheesecloth on top of the funnel. Now, dump!

I dump the whole infusion into the cheesecloth, which catches the flower petals, filtering out the liquid gold.

strain the infusion through cheesecloth

squeeze the last bit of oil from the calendula petals

Step 7: Storage

In the end, you’ll get about 8 ounces of healing calendula oil. I’ll use it directly on dry skin, scrapes, and sunburns, etc. I also use it to make a healing salve.

the final product – don’t forget to label the jar!

If you like this recipe, then you’ll like these five infusions that make great gifts!

Need more ideas for growing and using herbs?


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Are you looking for strategies for your permaculture garden? You’ll find loads of information in my book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.

Have you ever made an oil infusion? What herb and oil did you use? Did you turn it into another product like salve?

Ready to learn how to make calendula oil at home? This recipe is so easy, you just can’t get it wrong — but don’t let that fool you! Pure calendula oil may be simple to make, but it’s also a powerful herbal remedy you should have on hand at all times.

Calendula oil has been used as an herbal remedy since at least the 12th century, so calendula oil uses span many centuries and a variety of health concerns.

Here’s why:

What’s so special about calendula oil?

So why is calendula so awesome?

First of all, let’s be clear about what calendula is. It’s actually a pot marigold (which is a different variety than the marigold that you might grow in your garden).

I personally think it looks more like a daisy. What do you think?

Here’s what the University of Maryland’s Medical Center has to say about calendula:

“Calendula has high amounts of flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that protect cells from being damaged by unstable molecules called free radicals.

Calendula appears to fight inflammation, viruses, and bacteria.

Traditionally, calendula has been used to treat stomach upset and ulcers, as well as relieve menstrual cramps, but there is no scientific evidence that calendula works for these problems.

Today, calendula is often used topically, meaning it is applied to the skin.

Calendula has been shown to help wounds heal faster, possibly by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, which helps the body grow new tissue. It is also used to improve skin hydration and firmness.

The dried petals of the calendula plant are used in tinctures, ointments, and washes to treat burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as the minor infections they cause. Calendula also has been shown to help prevent dermatitis or skin inflammation in people with breast cancer during radiation therapy.” (source)

I’m officially impressed.

Skincare is probably the most popular category for calendula oil uses, but this infusion has a few more tricks up its sleeve beyond just skincare.

My Favorite Calendula Oil Uses

  1. Moisturize dry skin. Calendula is an emollient that helps nourish and moisturize your skin.
  2. Apply to dry, cracked hands and feet — this is especially therapeutic in wintertime!
  3. Apply to scars and stretch marks to aid your skin’s natural healing processes.
  4. Massage into tired legs — this is especially helpful if you have varicose veins (ahem, like me).
  5. Use as a healing balm for minor cuts, scrapes and wounds.
  6. Apply to soothe sunburned skin.
  7. Calm itchy skin and inflammatory skin irritations (like eczema).
  8. Use as a diaper balm for babies.
  9. Apply to insect bites to calm itching and speed recovery.
  10. Use it for oil pulling to cleanse the gums and mouth tissue (learn more about oil pulling in my post HERE).
  11. Apple to acne-prone skin as a moisturizer (or for oil cleansing — see below) to calm the skin and prevent breakouts.
  12. Massage into the abdomen and apply a heat pack to soothe away menstrual pain.

Where to Get Your Calendula Flowers

I personally love and use these dried organic calendula flowers. The quality is simply top-notch. You can also grow your own calendula if you have room for an herbal garden.

Why not salve?

I have nothing against a good salve, but I make calendula oil instead of salve because:

  1. It’s just so easy. Two ingredients, no melting, no beeswax… did I mention it was easy?
  2. It’s not messy. I like keeping my calendula infusion in a dropper bottle. It makes it so convenient to use without digging out salve with my fingers. You can also use a roll-on bottle (like this one), which makes it even more convenient to bring on-the-go and apply whenever you need it.

Calendula Infusion for the Oil Cleansing Method

Have you heard of the oil cleansing method? I love using my calendula oil for cleansing my face!

Since calendula helps support skin repair and it’s especially good for acne-prone skin, it makes the perfect herb to use for oil cleansing my skin.

Here’s what I do:

  1. First, I wet a wash cloth with very warm water and use it to gently wipe any excess makeup or oil off my face. I don’t worry about getting everything (the oil will do that). This is just a pre-cleansing step I like to use if I’m wearing heavy makeup or if my skin is especially icky.
  2. Next, I massage about a teaspoon of my calendula oil into my face with my fingers. I try to do this for at least 30-60 seconds to get a nice, deep clean. This will loosen all the makeup, dirt, and oil from my skin and pores, making it easy to wipe away.
  3. Last, I use very warm water to cleanse all the oil away with my wash cloth. Then I pat my skin dry with a clean towel.
  4. If I need a little extra moisture, I apply one more drop of my calendula infusion to my fingers and massage it into my face as a moisturizer. Voila! All done.

In case you’re wondering: yes, the oil does remove all my makeup and I don’t have to use soap afterward. Promise. 😉

You can read a more in-depth post about the oil cleansing method from my friend Robin here.

How to Make Calendula Infused Oil (Cold Diffusion)


  • 1 1/2 cups of dried organic calendula flowers (I use THESE)
  • 1 3/4 cups organic jojoba oil (I use THIS)


  1. Fill a 16-ounce mason jar (I like these pretty ones) with your calendula flowers.
  2. Pour your jojoba oil over the flowers until they’re covered in oil.
  3. Cover tightly and store in a cool place (out of direct sunlight).
  4. Shake your jar gently once per day.
  5. In 6 weeks, your oil is ready!
  6. Strain the oil from the calendula flowers using a cheesecloth or a fine stainless steel mesh strainer.
  7. You can then transfer it to an amber dropper bottle or roll-on bottle as needed.


Since this oil takes a few weeks to infuse, it helps to make it ahead of time before you run out. A batch of this oil lasts me a few months, but when my jar is about 3/4 empty, I start a new one so I don’t run out unexpectedly!

When I do run out accidentally (after all, I’m very much human!), I use the hot infusion method below, or make calendula tea for quick applications. (Learn how to make calendula tea from from The Nerdy Farm Wife here.)

How to Make Calendula Oil (Hot Diffusion Version)

Hot diffusion requires an extra step, but the bonus is that your calendula will be ready in a flash! However, I’ve read that the hot infusion doesn’t have the same strength as the cold infusion. So if you have the time, stick to the cold calendula infusion.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s how to do a hot infusion:

  • Use the same ingredients from the cold infusion list above.
  • Add your calendula flowers and your jojoba oil to a small sauce pan.
  • Heat on low for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Cool and store in a glass jar with a tight lid.

Calendula Oil FAQs

How long does this infusion stay fresh?

Calendula oil will stay fresh for a long time — at least one year.

Do I have to use jojoba oil?

No, this recipe will work with whatever your favorite oil is — avocado, sweet almond, rose hip, etc.

Is calendula safe to eat?

Yes! But it is a powerful medicinal herb, so treat it with care. (I’ll post more later on drinking calendula tea.)

Is calendula oil safe for pregnant and nursing women?

No, herbalists generally recommend avoiding calendula during pregnancy and nursing.

I’m taking medication. Can I use calendula?

Please be careful and refer to your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to use calendula with your medication. Just to be safe, if you have any medical condition, it’s best to consult your care provider before using herbs.

More of our best posts:

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  • DIY Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter
  • How to Use Coconut Oil for Acne
  • Homemade Mouthwash for Remineralizing/Whitening Teeth
  • DIY Hand Scrub Recipe
  • Homemade Mouthwash
  • DIY 1-Ingredient Cough “Syrup”

What is your favorite way to use Calendula? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.

Calendula Oil Uses: Learn How To Make Calendula Oil

Also known as pot marigolds, the cheery yellow blooms of calendula are not just aesthetically pleasing, they are also a potent, medicinal herb. With their anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties, calendula is certainly an important herb to have on hand. One of the simplest ways to take advantage of calendula’s healing properties is by making calendula oil. Read on to learn how to make calendula oil for health and beauty.

About Homemade Calendula Oil Uses

Calendula is listed by the FDA as one of the safest herbs, safe enough to treat children. Its herbal uses include:

  • first aid for wounds, bug bites and minor burns
  • skin care treatment (rosacea, eczema, dry skin, acne, etc.)
  • helps alleviate muscle aches, hemorrhoids, ulcers, and menstrual cramps
  • oral care
  • soothes sore throats
  • treats mites in pets

Calendula flowers can be used to make a natural make remover, hot oil hair treatments and insect repellents. It is also being tested for use in cancer treatments. Its flowers are edible and can be added to salads, soups and other dishes as a garnish, or can be made into a salad oil.

How to Make Calendula Oil

Making your own homemade calendula oil is a very simple process. When making calendula oil all you need is:

  • a pint size jar
  • dried calendula flower petals
  • carrier oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil)

If you are making the oil for topical use only, you can also use jojoba oil, which is not edible. I, personally, have used sweet almond oil and was very happy with its effects on my skin and hair.

There are two different ways you can make homemade calendula infused oils. The slower method is cold infusion, while the quicker method is heat infusion. For both methods, start by filling the jar half full of dried calendula petals. It is important to use the dried herb, as fresh petals will cause your infused oil to turn rancid.

Next, pour the carrier oil into the jar and fill it just about a half inch or inch above the dried petals. Dried herbs have a tendency to float at the top of the oil at first, so you may have to measure this from the bottom of the jar up.

Now for the cold infusion method, you simply put the lid on the jar and let the calendula petals infuse in the oil for about four weeks, shaking the mixture at least once a day. For heat infusion, put the lid on the jar, then place the jar in a saucepan or crockpot with water. Heat this on low for 1-5 hours, until you see the herb infused oil take on a rich yellow color.

When your calendula has infused the oil, strain out the dried herbs. You can save these herb remnants for homemade soaps, if you would like. When stored in the refrigerator, herbal infused oils have a shelf life of about one year.

Growing Calendula for Oil

Calendula is a very easy plant to grow. It can be grown in flowerbeds, where it will readily reseed itself, or in pots (hence its common name pot marigold).

Calendula grows in average soil with good drainage and needs very little care or maintenance. Petals can be harvested throughout the growing season and dried for use in homemade calendula oil.

Because calendula is an annual, when growing calendula for oil, you should leave some flower heads on the plant to allow it to reseed itself.

7 Ways to Use Calendula Oil for Your Skin

Calendula oil may be an alternative remedy to treat various skin conditions as well as improve the quality and appearance of the skin. Here are seven ways calendula oil may be used for the skin.

Calendula cream as sunscreen

Calendula oil might be an option for sun protection. A 2012 laboratory study found that calendula oil had SPF properties as a cream mixture. However, more evidence is needed to support calendula cream as a possible sunscreen.

In the meantime, stick to a sunscreen proven to work to reduce the chances of skin cancer for you and your family.

Find sunscreens infused with calendula extract online.

Calendula oil for wounds

Calendula oil might accelerate wound healing. Research from 2013 suggests that using aloe vera or calendula ointment along with standard care sped up episiotomy recovery time.

In the study, women who used either aloe vera or calendula ointment every eight hours for five days showed improvement in symptoms such as redness, swelling, and bruising. Adding aloe or calendula ointment to standard care was found to be more effective than using standard care alone.

Find aloe or calendula cream online.

Learn more about home remedies for burns.

Calendula oil for acne

Some people use calendula oil to treat acne. One laboratory study found that calendula extract may be useful in treating and preventing acne vulgaris, but more research, especially studies on humans, is needed to support these findings.

You can try washing your face using a calendula cleanser. You can apply calendula cream, oil, or spot treatment to your whole face or use it to target acne-prone areas. You may even wish to try a face mask treatment once per week.

Calendula oil for eczema

Although there’s no research to support it, some people use calendula oil to treat eczema. However, one study found it can help relieve pain from dermatitis in people receiving radiation for breast cancer.

Here are eight natural remedies to reduce eczema symptoms.

Calendula oil for diaper rash

Calendula oil might help soothe diaper rash. A small study in 2012 found that while an aloe vera cream was effective in treating diaper rash, a calendula ointment was significantly more beneficial. However, this research is preliminary.

To relieve diaper rash, you can try applying a small amount of calendula oil on its own or mixed with aloe vera on the affected area a few times per day.

For more options, read our roundup of the 11 best diaper rash creams.

Calendula oil for psoriasis

Calendula oil’s wound-healing properties might make it a good choice in treating psoriasis, but there isn’t any research on this yet. You can try applying calendula oil or balm on the affected area a few times each day.

Calendula oil for better skin

Calendula oil might improve the overall appearance of your skin. One study found that a cream containing calendula extract may promote skin hydration and firmness, but more research is needed.

It’s also speculated that calendula might help treat contact dermatitis, which includes reactions to poison ivy.

You can try applying a calendula oil or cream on your skin twice per day.

Skin patch test Do a skin patch test to ensure you’re not allergic to a new skin care product like this one. Apply a small amount of the product to a small patch of skin, like your inner wrist. Wait for 24 to 48 hours. If you see or feel irritation in that area after that time frame, discontinue use.

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Calendula is one of my very favorite flowers. Not only is it a beautiful addition to the garden, but it has many amazing health benefits. I feel lucky that it grows readily and wild in our backyard without me having to do much, as it reseeds itself every year. You can read more about how to grow it and its uses in my post here: How to Grow and Use Calendula. One of the most popular and effective ways to enjoy the benefits of calendula is to make an infused oil. There are many ways to use calendula infused oil once you have it on hand!

Calendula Benefits

Before we get to its uses, let’s talk about about why calendula is so awesome in the first place. First and foremost, let’s set aside that you can make shortbread cookies with calendula and focus on how great calendula is great for the skin. It may be beneficial for dry skin, cracks, eczema, scrapes, minor burns and sunburns, rashes, chapped lips, and pesky bug bites. It helps to reduce inflammation and promotes wound healing.

This is what makes calendula infused oil such a beneficial application, as it can be used topically for many different ailments. Plus it’s gorgeous!

How to Make Calendula Infused Oil

Basically, you infuse dried calendula flowers into the carrier oil of your choice. The amount of dried herb isn’t really important, just stuff whatever jar that you want to use with dried calendula flowers and cover them with oil. The kind of oil that you use will depend on the final application and your own personal preference. For most skin applications I like to use a blend of coconut, sweet almond, and olive oils.

Let the infusion sit for several weeks before using. I usually like to add a bit of heat to my infused oils several times using my Excalibur dehydrator, as it is excellent for heating at lower temperatures. To see all of the different methods that can be used for infusing oils, see my post on How to Make Infused Herbal Oils.

Once it’s infused to your liking, strain out the calendula flowers and use it however you please!

10 Ways to Use Calendula Infused Oil

Now that we got why you would want to use calendula infused oil and how to make it out of the way, here are some of my most favorite ways to use it.

Use The Oil As Is

After you have that wonderful golden oil, you can use it just as is if you wish. Rub it on dry hands and feet, on cuts and bruises, or even rub a little into your hair. It is extremely nourishing on its own! That said, it may be a little cumbersome to carry a jar of oil around, so I generally prefer these other applications.

Healing Salve

Making a homemade healing salve is probably my favorite way to use calendula oil. Calendula salve is one of the easiest to make and most versatile ways to utilize the benefits of this amazing flower!

Cream and Lotion

My homemade calendula cream is a rich and creamy delight for the skin. It is perfect and soothing for really dry and itchy skin. I use it almost daily as a moisturizer! This recipe for calendula lotion from Frugally Sustainable is similar and also sounds very nice.

Body Butter

Calendula body butter is similar to a cream or lotion, but thicker and even more rich! Try this calendula whipped body butter from the Nerdy Farm Wife, with a bonus recipe for calendula bath melts. This after sun butter made with calendula from Livin Lovin Farmin is perfect for sunburns.

Lotion Bars

I’ve become really fond of homemade hard lotion bars lately. They are perfect for keeping on hand when you’re out and about and need some skin nourishment. My calendula lotion bars are easy to make and great to have around!

Homemade Soap

I’ve been really getting in to making my own homemade soap these days, thanks to Jan Berry’s Natural Soap Making eBook. The first batch of soap I ever made was a wonderful calendula soap recipe from that eBook, and it’s still one of my favorites!

Lip Balm

Homemade lip balms are fun to make and great to have around for chapped and dry lips. The method is similar to to making a salve, often with a bit more beeswax so that it stays solid in the tube. Try one of the summer lip balm recipes from Joybilee Farm, or check out this extensive post from the Nerdy Farm Wife on how to make your own lip balms.

Diaper Rash Salve

Calendula is one of the safest herbal ingredients to use on a baby’s sensitive skin. This herbal diaper rash salve uses calendula infused oil as its base, and it works wonders! It’s a much better alternative than the store bought stuff with weird ingredients. It’s perfect for your little one!

Bug Bite Balm

Calendula is great for relieving the pain and itchiness of pesky bug bites. Make these bug bite relief sticks from The Prairie Homstead using calendula, comfrey, and chamomile oils to take with you when you go hiking and camping this summer. You will be glad to have them around!

Salad Dressing

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that calendula infused oil is edible! Use it in place of regular oil when making a vinaigrette style salad dressing. I would use whatever oil you normally use in your dressings as the carrier oil for your infusion, probably extra virgin olive oil. You could even throw a few fresh calendula petals on the salad if you have some handy. This will make a wonderful and bright addition to your every day salads!

I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration on ways to use calendula infused oil! Did I forget anything? What is your favorite way to use this healing oil?

Benefits of Calendula

Calendula helps promote cell repair, acts as an antiseptic, helps keep infection from
occuring in skin injuries, used to treat diaper rash, eczema, psoriasis, acne, varicose
veins and capillary engorgement. Longest history of use of any herb in skin care.
Scientific studies find that extracts of calendula can speed the healing of skin wounds
and burns. The petals are antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulating. These
properties are useful for treating various types of dermatitis such as psoriasis, eczema,
high levels of carotenoids (vitamin A like compounds). The high content of antioxidants
found in Calendula contributes to the cell regeneration. Some of these antioxidants are
mucilage, carotenoids, saponin, and quercetin. Calendula is now known among
homeopathic herbalists as “The Mother of the skin.”

One of the complex characteristics of calendula oil responsible for these actions is a
compound called triterpenoid. Whether your issues are dermatitis, psoriasis eczema,
diaper rash, irritated dry skin, or hemorrhoids, calendula will bring relief and health back to
your world. Especially great for healing burns, and minor cuts and scrapes, the magic in
the marigold has been used as far back as ancient times. Relief from inflammation has a
​positive effect on hundreds of skin ailments even allowing the slower spread of some skin diseases.
Calendula is often used for dry or damaged skin. It has natural restorative properties that infuse the skin with a youthful glow. Earth Tone uses Calendula and a mixture of other herbs to do this. Calendula oil is also used to protect the skin from premature aging and thinning of the skin. Calendula is safe enough to be used on the delicate skin under the eyes to prevent crow’s feet. Creams containing Calendula are also used for baby’s diaper rash. Calendula is a natural herb which is transformed into oils, gel and ointment to cure gastritis, eczema, wounds, sunburn and stings. Research shows that the use of calendula can help improve blood flow in the body, especially in affected skin areas. This helps renew and rebuild the skin.
People with dry broken skin are more likely to reap the benefits from calendula since it is a great skin healer. It can very well cure skin irritations because of its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
People who are faced with acne problems can also benefit from calendula since it serves as a great way to cure acne.
You can use calendula products, like our herbal Earth Tone to moisturize your skin after a cool shower. Calendula is used to soften post-surgical scars. Another amazing thing about calendula is that it leaves no scar on the irritated area unlike other skin repair lotions and creams. Calendula can also be used in place of traditional skin cleansers which usually have side effects like burning sensation or irritation.

Calendula Infused Oil 12mL

This potent calendula infused oil offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities beneficial for soothing and healing sensitive, cracked, chapped or irritated skin. Produced through the maceration of calendula officinalis in a blend of nourishing base oils, every drop is pure and 100% natural. Used for centuries as a healing herb, calendula oil is known to minimise ageing by improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin imperfections.

Soothe and heal with Oil Garden Calendula oil, Australia’s best

Oil Garden provide calendula oil for Australian’s that are looking for alternative ways to soothe the mind and body. Sourced straight from the farm and bottled right here in Australia, simply massage one single droplet directly onto the skin, or create your very own unique blend of oils by mixing it with a pure essential oil of your choice. Boasting a light texture, calendula oil glides softly onto the skin, providing deep hydration and skin renewal. Add the Oil garden calendula oil to your essential oil collection today for a wealth of benefits.

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