Calendula is a hardy plant, with daisy-like flowers ranging in colour from vibrant orange and yellow through to pale apricot. Calendula will grow in most conditions, but prefers a sunny spot. It is most often used in traditional medicine for it's skin-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
1. Calendula Infused Oil
Many of the ways to use calendula in this round-up are based on either a calendula tea/infusion or calendula infused oil. Both are simple to make although the oil does need to steep for a few weeks. Always make sure that the calendula petals used to make teas and infusions are spray and insect free. Learn how to make an infused oil here or it can be purchased here.
2. DIY Paw Balm
Once you have your calendula infused oil there are many ways to use it. If you have a dog you may like to try making DIY Paw Balm. Paw balm helps to create a barrier between the sand, snow, ice and grit that can be be hard on the pads and get between the toes of your dog's paws.
3. Oatmeal Bath Bags
These combine calendula oil and oats to make a soothing bath for sensitive or irritated skin. Learn how to make Oatmeal Bath Bags here.
4. In the bath
If you don't have time to make bath bags add a handful of petals to warm bath water
5. Calendula Tea - for sore throats
Calendula is most widely used for it's anti-infammatory and skin-healing properties, but here is the base of a throat soothing tea. Recipe here
6. For you scalp
Steep a handful of dried calendula petals in boiling water. Allow to cool, then strain out the petals. The cooled "tea" can be used after shampooing to help relieve an itchy scalp.
7. Calendula Cleanser
This simple two ingredient cleanser can be used with any skin type, but is best suited to dry skin. Learn how to make it here.
8. Hot Spots in dogs
Make an infusion using the same method described for the scalp rinse. This can be gently dabbed or sprayed onto the area.
The same cold "tea" infusion described above for scalp care and hot spots can also be used as healing mouthwash.
10. Edible Flowers
Calendula has quite a mild flavour. Fresh calendula petals (spray-free) can be added to salads for a bit of colour. The petals keep their colour when cooked and can be added to rice as an inexpensive alternative to saffron.
11. Chamomile & Calendula Bath Salts
In a non-metallic bowl or large jug combine the following ingredients:
- 1 cup medium/coarse sea salt or Dead Sea salt
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt
- 1 tablespoon dried calendula petals
- 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
- 15-20 drops essential oil - lavender and/or chamomile works well
Mix will to disperse the oils through the salt mixture. Store in an airtight container. Leave a few days before using so the oils can infuse the salts.