Calendula Herb Profile

Herb Profile- Calendula an herb for beautiful skin

Calendula flowers are one of my favorite to grow as well as one of my favorite herbs to use in natural skin care recipes. They are delicate, yet very effective and they are a beautiful addition to a garden.

What is Calendula?

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or with every new moon. The term “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, and the flowers are used to honor her during Catholic events. The Egyptians considered them to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as a colorant in food, fabrics, and cosmetics, and of particular interest, in the 18th and 19th century calendula was used to color cheese. Calendula has historically been used as a food, adding flavor to cereals, rice, and soups. The petals can be added to salads for their brilliant color. As recently as 70 years ago, American physicians used calendula to treat amenorrhea, conjunctivitis, fevers, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns, as well as minor infections of the skin.

However, this herbal flower is not just known for its beauty:

Calendula creams and washes are still used to disinfect minor wounds and to treat infections of the skin. The antibacterial and immunostimulant properties of the plant make it extremely useful in treating slow-healing cuts and cuts in people who have compromised immune systems. The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. Gargling calendula water may ease sore throat. Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought to possess powers for the protection and benefit of humans… An often overlooked application of this herb is the treatment of post-mastectomy lymphedema. The herb will not reduce swelling, but it will reduce pain.

These properties make calendula is also known for its ability to brighten skin and protect from blemishes.

How to Use Calendula

I always keep Calendula around the house for its many uses! I infuse it into most of the oils I use to make:

It is generally considered safe and can be used in teas, tinctures, creams, salves and poultices/compresses.

Where to Get Calendula

The best and least expensive option is to grow it yourself during the summer, but if that isn’t an option, it can be ordered online here.

Have you ever used Calendula? How did you use it? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Thanks Welness Mama, we use the homeopathic cream Calendula at home for minor cuts and I applied it on a scar following surgery… now the scar is almost gone!!

  2. Homeopathic Calendula cream and coconut oil are the only things that ever grace my baby’s delicate bottom! I also used it for c-section incision healing and my doctor couldn’t believe how fast and well it healed. It’s a wonderful herb.

  3. Great information! One question: How do I use it? Boil it? Grind it, toss it in whole? It’s all new to me, so I feel like I am asking a ton of questions….
    ….my husband says I’m turning into a witch doctor– the oils and powders and herbs now gracing my shelves… but I don’t hear any complaints, lol! =)

    • You can drink it, infuse it in oil, or really do whatever you like with it. Consult some herbals and see how they’re using calendula! Nothing except trial and error (which can be costly) takes the place of consulting books written by our elders or seeking them out personally <3

  4. I’ve been eatin’ up all this great info you have here…just saying THANK YOU and I’m excited to get going on the recipes:)

  5. If I want to grow my own calendula; does it matter which variety? I have found 3 or more varieties and assume one is no different than the other?

  6. I always wondered if you use the leaves or the flowers, since we have a bunch of these in our yard. Looks like you use the flowers. Should I pick them at their peak to dry?

  7. I grow these every spring-summer in my garden! I grow it for my dear bunny! Its great for him, full of antioxidants and other great stuff :)) I harvest them when they are fully grown and I air dry most of them for the autumn-winter so my bunny can enjoy them then too! I havent done any tincture yet but I use calendula extract in my hemp and tamanu face oil!

    I actually have newly taken shots with my bunny eating calendula (yeah I’m such a proud bunnymama!) you can check him out on my instagram! Aleron_Q

  8. Question-is it good for eczema? My teething 9 month old son has eczema bad on his cheeks, chin & upper lip from the constant drool. Doctor prescribed a steroid that doesn’t seem to help. I’ll take any advice. Thanks!

    • Blair, see my comment below, but it does help my eczema on my hands. I think it just helps heal it, not necessarily make it go away, but healing the open areas is great too. I doubt highly that it could hurt. I have put the mixture on my lips and although it doesn’t stick on as much because I made it with much less beeswax than I normally would for lip balm, it still feels nice and feels good. I also wonder if this isn’t more just irritation vs eczema or possibly both, but I’m sure it would help it some! BTW, you don’t need 3 months to infuse your oil like I did it. You can follow Wellness Mama’s directions for infusing herbs under the Healing Salve link. And mine infused for 3 months just because I didn’t get around to taking care of it any sooner, too! Good luck to you and your son!

    • Propolus is good for eczema.

    • I would say Yes. I have used the prescribed creams that actually made my babies (twins) worse. An herbalist saw us in the store and gave me an oil blend of calendula and lavender. The eczema was completely gone in 3 day (no lie).
      That was 5 years ago…I have never used anything else and there hasn’t been a breakout since.

  9. Hi- I make lip balms and lotion bar sticks and have also know about the benefits of calendula for a long time so I infused dried calendula petals in grapeseed oil this winter. I took a half gallon jar and packed it full with dried petals that I had bought- Frontier brand, I believe. Using a wooden spoon I pressed the petals into the jar until we couldn’t get any more in. Not sure if that was necessary, but I didn’t really want to go through the process very often, so that’s what I did. Then I poured grapeseed oil in on top. It surprised me how much I needed because I thought we had packed so many petals in there there wouldn’t be room for all that oil! I think it took 1.75 quarts. Then I let it sit in a warm but dark spot for three months. After that I tipped it onto a colander over a bowl and it all came out. The petals have just a slight greasiness to them! Was way easier than I expected. So, I made some lotion sticks using that oil, shea oil, coconut oil, and a small amount of beeswax and it really seems to help ease my eczema when it’s open and scabbed. I’ve used it on other sores, but am not sure if the calendula really is increasing the speed of healing or just the fact that I’m putting oil on it. Either way I’m using it often and like it! The oil, which is naturally light green to begin with, became quite yellow and smells somewhat of dry hay with a hint of floral in it. Not too strong! I added a touch of lavender to some of the sticks, but the natural scent mixed with the beeswax is quite pleasant and mild.

    • To Cheryl. Can we be friends on facebook my name is tara taura maluleke. I’m teaching myself to make lipbalms and just experienced an error, it does not stay solid it melts and I’m trying to figure out where I went wrong. I used coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil beeswax, honey. I was wondering if U can tell Me how to solidify it, what do I need. I’m busy researching more and I think I might need shea butter. If My interest does interest U, please respond via my email and befriend My on facebook. To Cheryl.

  10. Hi Wellness Mama 😉

    I was going to make a salve for my daughters eczema and purchased some calendula essential oil (it says it has olive oil as well) … Anyway it’s a smaller bottle, maybe 2oz… Wondering how I might add this to the salve with the proper ratios since I’m not making the calendula infused oil on my own…. Any suggestions?


  11. Yes! I make both calendula salve & soap.
    Both are made from organic, homegrown calendula flowers.
    20 yrs. ago my daughter used calendula salve on my granddaughter & she never had one episode of diaper rash while she was in diapers. Today the family uses C. salve for almost everything from
    teenage acne to a hair conditioner for dry, brittle hair. They apply a small amt. to damp hair and let hair dry naturally. Love this stuff and I’ve been making the above for 20+ years. 🙂

    • Have you ever tried using the leaves as we’ll or only the flower petals? I’ve dried both from my garden.

  12. I make a Calendula salve that we use on everything, scraps, cuts, bites, butts. It has cured rashes that prescription creams didn’t touch.

  13. So is the standard flower “Marigold” and Calendula the same thing? Just wondering what to look for to grow my own?


    • Hi Gwenn,

      You want Calendula officinalis, or Pot Marigold, the typical Marigolds are Tagetes. Tagetes incidently have a high lutein content, not sure how to make use of that form though….

      Hope this helps and happy growing!

      • Lutein is significant for eye maintenance and health ( of the macula). Lutein supplements ( like Lutein Vison ( Blackmores)) are indicated for reducing the chances of macular degeneration. Ther’s lots of research paperws available and your opthalmologist will attest to the significance of Lutein in macula health. Check it out !….. And eat the calendula petals… they’re good for you.


      • Can you buy this from a seed company magazine?

  14. I need the K.I.S.S. version to growing my own Calendula. Plant…grow (can I do in doors?)…pick (this whole flower?)…lay somewhere to dry (for about how long)…store in brown bag (how long good for storage?) Any advice on this would be great! I want to grow my own to infuse in oils for lotions and etc. THANK YOU SO MUCH

  15. Hello, I just learned and this yesterday and it definitely seems like something I want to try, I just wanted to make sure that is gentle enough to use on my 2 month old if need be?

    • See comment from Patti Mc. I’ve been making calendula salve for 20+ years. One of my granddaughters is now 19 yrs old. My daughter has used calendula salve on her since birth. She NEVER had diaper rash. You can use it on diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, bug bites & cat scratches; you can use it under your arms & on your legs to prevent razor burn after shaving.
      It’s easy to make & easy to grow. Just pick the mature flowers, dry in a well ventilated shady area or in a dehydrator. Infuse your oil & flowers. Take a quart jar, fill with dried flowers (or petals) & cover with olive oil,
      Make sure to cover completely. Shake jar daily & keep in a cool shaded cabinet. Drain through a strainer or colander. Filter through a coffee filter to get out any dried particles.
      Using a crock pot, place a pan into the crock pot, add filtered calendula oil & turn on low.
      Once oil is heated, add about 1 oz ( more or less) & melt completely. Stir well. Add about 1/2 tsp of vitamin E. Pour into clean, sterilized jars
      & let cool. That’s all there is to it!
      So, to answer your question about your 2 month old…yes, it’s safe.

  16. are calendula and marigolds the same item?

  17. My daughter has an infused labia can this be used? I’m looking for any help I can get at this time. Really interested in something natural.

  18. hi ,
    i have bags & bruise under my eyes..does calendula help???
    also how long does it take for the effect of calendula oil or cream when applied under the eye

  19. Does it matter what color the bloom is? I’ve found Calendula seeds ranging from a a pale lemon yellow to a deep orange and wasn’t sure if there was a difference or not.

  20. I’ve been making Calendula Cream for about 8 months. The cream has helped at least three people to be healed or mostly healed of their eczema or psoriasis. The dermatitis, cracks, open sores, rough and dry areas of my customer’s skin has been healed (in my estimation, 90-100%). The itching diminishes, the skin heals and they can have relief. One of my friends is a nurse, like me, and from washing her hands constantly, her hands always had open sores, were painful when she washed her hands and often times would bleed. She retired at the end of September, and even though she doesn’t wash her hands nearly as much, she still requests more lotion and still has relief. I have another customer that had an tennis ball size sore that would not heal and he had tried multiple prescriptions, and the sore remained for years. He used my cream and that sore healed to quarter-size in three days. Calendula is amazing. As are many other herbs, and nature in general.

    • Hi Amy, do you sell your cream? I don’t know how to make it and can’t find any on line.

      • I do. You can find me on Facebook. Amy Trout Jones, thank you. I’d be happy to send a sample.

  21. Hello. I’m a newbie at all this and I’m buying my supplies to start making lotions and such for the first time. One thing I’m wondering is, in recipes that say use a flower like Calendula or Yarrow (or any other leaf or flower), is it okay to use an essential oil version instead? Does using an essential oil instead of the herb have an impact on the effectiveness? Thank you for your wonderful blog and guidance to non-toxic living!

    • You can use essential oils, but you may want to find recipes that specifically use the oils rather than plant parts. Since essential oils are very concentrated, the amounts to use will vary significantly from how much dried herbs you would use instead…

  22. I have scar tissue from surgery can I use calendula oil
    Do help for it
    And for skin rejuvenate?

  23. I am suffering from chicken pox scar.
    Will calendula cream cure the scar of chicken pox if i use it consistently???

  24. I just started my infused oil yesterday, I used 1.5 cups coconut oil and half a cup of olive oil. Today it has solidified. Do I need to make sure it stays melted or mix it up or something or will it still infuse in its solidified state? I’m so excited to start making my own calendula cream. I saw some at the market and it was like $30 for a small tin. No thank you. Much more cost effective to make it yourself not to mention fun! Thanks so much. Love love your website. Any time I wanna make something I type it in google and am always brought back here.

  25. Just read on the web not recommended to be used when pregnant.

  26. Hi Katie, I had some spare calendula flowers and some very stong (forgotten about!) kombucha vinegar so I steeped the flowers in the vinegar for several months. I now have a large jar of calendula kombucha vinegar in my fridge but have no idea what I could use it for. Do you have any suggestions please? Thanks, Anna 🙂

  27. I am using calendula on my lips an old skin cancer always makes my lip better. Where can i purchase Calendula tea is there such a product. Hoping someone may be able to help. Thanks

  28. I was told to put calendula oil – which I bought from a health supplement store- on a small dry / red/ itchy spot under my eyes; possibly eczema. How long should I leave it on my skin & how often should it be reapplied?

    Thank you!!