How to Make Calendula Oil + 11 Ways to Use it

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Calendula oil is a beautiful addition to any home remedy cabinet and an easy and rewarding oil to make yourself at home. I’ve made calendula oil on several occasions through the years, and it could not be any easier!

What is Calendula

Calendula is a hearty flower with some wonderfully beneficial uses. It is easy to grow in various climates, is edible, and great for skin conditions as well.

Although the two flowers are often confused, Calendula is NOT the same as marigold. That’s because calendula is often called ‘pot marigold,’ and the flowers are in the same family (the Asteraceae, or sunflower, family) but are not in the same genus.

So the flowers do share some similarities but are not the same. Consider them cousins.

Homemade oil

Marigold is not an adequate replacement for calendula when using it as a home remedy. Make sure you’re getting calendula plants or flowers, particularly if purchasing fresh flowers or seeds to grow in your garden!

Calendula Benefits

Calendula flowers offer many benefits when eaten internally or used topically on the skin. They are a bright and healthy addition to any salad, make a lovely, healing tea, and are a star ingredient in many healing salves and lotions.

Here are some of the reasons you may wish to add calendula flowers to your life:*

Promotes cell repair and growth – calendula is commonly used to treat burns, cuts, rashes, and other skin conditions because it helps to repair skin cells quickly.

Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic – calendula is so great for skin conditions because of its natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula flowers can help to prevent infection.

Calendula flower

Gentle enough for babies – calendula is a mild and gentle herb with no known irritations or side effects, making it an excellent choice for the sensitive skin of babies and kids. It is commonly used in baby lotions and diaper creams and is frequently used for treating diaper rash and cradle cap.

Helps with digestive upset – calendula makes an excellent tea for calming various digestive issues, including cramps, indigestion, and ulcers.

Stimulates the lymphatic system – calendula is a powerful detoxing agent for the lymphatic system, helping to move congestion and drainage from the body.

*all of this information about calendula is from one of my favorite books about herbs: Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs.

Homemade Calendula Oil

The method I’m sharing with you today is intended for topical use, but as long as you use a food-grade carrier oil, you can also consume it. Try it in a homemade salad dressing!

Calendula oil can be used directly on skin without diluting or mixing with anything else with excellent results.

Homemade Calendula Oil

This method is very versatile and can be made with various carrier oils. My favorite oil for infusing with calendula is almond oil because I like to use it in many DIY recipes. It’s straightforward to substitute calendula oil in any recipe if you’ve used the same carrier oil for your infusion.

Olive oil is also a popular choice for making calendula oil. I recommend using your favorite carrier oil for the infusion!

How to Make Calendula Oil

To make homemade calendula oil, you’ll need:

  • Calendula flower petals, dried or freshly picked and then dried for two days
  • Almond oil (or other carrier oil of choice, such as olive, avocado, or coconut oil)
  • Mason jar for infusing
  • Fine mesh strainer or tea strainer
  • Glass jar for storage


  1. Pick your calendula flowers and dry them on a towel for about two days before infusing them. This prevents any water from the flowers from contaminating your oil. If using already dried petals, skip this step.
  2. Once flowers are dried, gently remove the petals from the centers and stems of the flowers. You’ll only need the petals.
  3. Add flower petals to a jar of choice. Fill your jar about ¾ full of flowers.
  4. Pour your oil of choice over the petals, making sure to cover all of the flowers completely.
  5. Place a lid on the jar and give the jar a gentle swirl to make sure all petals are incorporated into the oil.
  6. Put the jar in a warm spot to infuse for 4-6 weeks.
  7. Check on your oil weekly by giving it a gentle swirl.
  8. After 4-6 weeks, strain the flowers out of the oil and store them in an airtight container until ready to use.
DIY Calendula Oil

11 Ways to Use Calendula Oil on Skin

While your calendula oil is infusing, check out some of the things you can do with it once it’s ready!

  1. Use it straight as a massage oil.
  2. Add a tablespoon to an Epsom salt bath for an extra nourishing, relaxing bath experience.
  3. Apply directly to minor cuts, burns, or rashes to speed healing.
  4. Use your oil of choice in a homemade baby wipe recipe, like this one.
  5. Create a calendula-infused spring salve with lavender, rose, and calendula
  6. Make calendula lip balm by substituting your homemade calendula oil for one of the carrier oils in this homemade lip balm recipe.
  7. Make a Calendula-infused lotion bar to treat dry, irritated, or cracked skin.
  8. Try shelf-stable calendula and chamomile body cream
  9. Make a calendula fizzing bath powder to give as gifts!
  10. Try it on cuticles and nails in this homemade cuticle oil recipe. Substitute one of the carrier oils for your homemade calendula oil.
  11. Use your homemade calendula oil in a cold process soap recipe, like this one.

Troubleshooting DIY Calendula Oil

How long does homemade calendula oil last?

Your homemade calendula oil will keep for up to a year if stored in a cool, dark place. Store it in an airtight container or in the fridge to extend the shelf-life further.

As with any homemade remedy, your final product is as good as the ingredients you put into it. So make sure to use high-quality oil and organic calendula petals.

Infuse for 4-6 weeks?? Isn’t there a faster way?

I get it – you decide to make calendula oil, gather the ingredients, and then find out you have to wait a month or more to use it—kind of a let-down.

There is an alternate way to make much faster calendula oil – use heat!

I will preface this by saying I prefer the slow method because it is fool-proof. When using the heat method of infusing, it’s essential to watch it carefully and not overheat it.

To make calendula oil using the heat method:

Place your calendula petals and oil in a small saucepan over LOW heat. Very gently warm the mixture – do NOT let it boil or simmer! You are looking for very gentle warming here – not to fry your calendula flowers. Make sure to watch the mixture closely, as it can go from ‘just right’ to ‘too hot very quickly.

Once you establish that just-right temperature for your oil, cover and keep on low for about 30 minutes. Check it often to make sure it’s not simmering!

After 30 minutes, remove from heat and cool before straining and storing your calendula infusion.

Are there worms in my calendula oil?!

You may have gone to check on your calendula-infused oil and see something that looks like tiny worms floating around with the petals.  Don’t fret – your oil is A-OK. It’s NOT worms!

Those are just the calendula seeds. They look strangely like tiny worms when they infuse and are plump with oil.

The first time I made calendula oil more than ten years ago, and I had this experience and was so grossed out I threw out the entire batch! Had I known then what I know now, I would have strained my oil and gone about my day.

So I’m sharing this information with you to don’t make the same mistake I did. J

Want to learn more about herbs?

I have several excellent herbal resources for you to check out.

My favorite beginner herbalist books are Alchemy of Herbs and Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs. I reference these books all the time. They both give lots of info about how to use a variety of herbs in easy, approachable ways in your home.

Herbal Academy has a beginner’s herbal course I’ve taken and LOVE. It’s extensive, you get a year to complete it, and it comes with an online community of fellow herbalists. I’m in there –join me!

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