I planted some calendula seeds late last Fall and one of them is blooming! Calendula is not just a pretty flower, but also cold hardy.
This gorgeous little flower, gracing so many home gardens has been used for centuries topically to speed up tissue healing after injuries, bruises, sprains and strains. It is a wonderful remedy for skin issues as well as gastrointestinal inflammation.
Calendula is one of the few plants that is used both in Western herbalism and Aromatherapy.
For this post, we will focus on its skin healing aspect. Calendula is vulnerary and anti-inflammatory, therefore, wonderful in any skin care product. It relieves the dryness, reduces the itchiness and inflammation and it is excellent for eczema and psoriasis.
How do you use Calendula flowers?
- Herbal oil: fill a mason jar with recently dried Calendula flowers, pour enough olive oil to cover the plant material. Mix them well with a wooden spoon to release all the bubbles. Cover with a plastic lid and store in a warm and dark place for 14 days. Strain and store. The herbal oil can be used directly on the skin or as a base to make a wonderful skin healing salve. This is a basic cold extraction. If you prefer that it is made for you, you can purchase here.
- Herbal wash: steep 1 ounce of flowers in 4 cups of hot water for 1-3 hours. This herbal wash can be used as a compress to calm the inflamed and itchy skin.
- Hydrosol: like its herbal counterpart, Calendula hydrosol is wonderful for all skin issues, and excellent for daily skin care. It is suitable for all skin types. You can purchase here.
Hydrosol is gentle but powerful at the same time, excellent for babies, children and elderlies and someone for whom herbs, and essential oils are too strong. Hydrosols can be used undiluted on the skin.Eczema Natural Skin Care Using Herbs, Hydrosols and Essential Oils on Amazon
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- Co2: Calendula can not be steam distilled. Enter Calendula co2. Calendula co2 is standardized with 50% MCT Coconut Oil, as the pure Calendula CO2 extract is a paste form and is unusable without being diluted. The healing properties of Calendula in a highly concentrated co2 form makes it possible to easily add concentrated Calendula oil to any blend. A little goes a long way! The aroma of this oil is warm, earthy and flora.
Initially developed for the foods and flavorings industry, the CO2 extraction process is now also being applied to aromatic extracts destined for the perfumery and Aromatherapy industries. It is a form of solvent extraction that uses carbon dioxide (in a supercritical fluid state) as the solvent, coupled with low temperatures.Aromahead Institute
There can be significant chemical differences between the CO2 extract, and the essential oil from the same plant obtained by traditional distillation practices.
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