Almost all of us have used calendula cream sometimes. It is a basic herb for skin care. It is a very common ingredient in creams and other cosmetic products. I should have actually written about calendula already. Better late than never so let’s do it now.
The time when calendula flowers are at their best is midsummer. However, now it is the right time to put the seeds of calendula in the ground. Later on, in the summer, you can then enjoy the magnificent floral blow and home-grown ingredients for your cosmetics. In this story, I will tell you the reasons why calendula is so popular as a skin care herb and what effects it has on the skin. Soon you will also find easy calendula recipes in the recipes-section.
Calendula is a common ornamental and medicinal plant
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) belongs to the aster plants. It is native to the Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. In the English-speaking world, calendula is called by its Latin name calendula or by its common name marigold. There is another group of flowers, Tagetes, that are also called Marigolds. These flowers are completely different plants with different effects. These two should never be mixed. The name Calendula comes from the Greek language and refers to the calendar. Calendula blooms around the year, at least in Greece and other countries where is always warm.
Calendula has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries.
Calendula heals minor skin damage and burns. Calendula is also suitable for internal use so it suits well for both herbal and nutritional purposes. Especially the beautiful yellow petals are tasty. They give a nice and fresh impression for salads and other dishes.
Calendula is really easy to cultivate
Calendula is very popular because it is easy to cultivate. It is one of the most easily germinating and easy to grow -flowers. That is why you should, if possible, cultivate the calendula flowers you need by yourself. Calendula may need additional watering in very warm weather, but usually it grows and blooms without any additional care. It grows in almost any soil. To bloom well, a calendula requires sun but also goes well in partial shade.
There are many different looking calendula existing. You can get gorgeously coloured varieties from the seed shop and enjoy the beautiful blooms throughout the summer.
Harvesting continues throughout the summer until frost
Calendula gives a harvest all summer. You need to pick flowers every 3rd or 5th day so that the bloom doesn’t stop. As soon as the plant begins to develop seeds, it stops blooming. A continuous harvest is a really nice thing. You can dry the calendula in small quantities at a time and at the same time enjoy the bloom.
Cut and pick up the flowers as soon as the sun has dried the morning dew away from them. Allow the flowers to dry in peace in a warm place protected from light. Arrange the flowers airily apart on a grid. You can cover the grid first with a cloth. Drying the flowers can easily take a couple of weeks.
How to make sure the quality of dried calendula is good enough
You can also buy dried calendula. You will recognize a high-quality calendula by its bright colour. Obsolete calendula fades quickly and loses some of its colour. Even faded calendula can be used. It still has medicinal effects. However, for cosmetics, you should use a bright orange dried calendula.
How calendulaaffects the skin
Calendula contains antimicrobial ingredients. It soothes irritated skin and heals minor skin damage. The oil extract made from calendula is rich in triterpenoids which are anti-inflammatory agents. In many inflammatory skin problems, calendula is an important treatment-enhancing herb.
Calendula carotenoids are powerful antioxidants. They affect the aging mechanisms of the skin as well as the skin’s response to UV rays. Carotenoids are not the actual UV protection but can enhance the effect of the actual UV protection. Carotenoids also improve skin’s colour. When using calendula products, the skin looks brighter and firmer.
Use of calendula for cosmetics
Contrary to popular belief, the green receptacles of calendula are also suitable for making herbal oils and herbal infusions. If you are preparing a caring cream, the active ingredients in the receptacles are especially important.
If you just want to add the great colours of calendula and less caring features, use only Orange Petals.
There are many different ways to use the active ingredients of calendula
- Prepare a marigold infusion by infusing the dried or fresh calendula in hot water
- Prepare calendula herbal oil. You can use dry calendula to make herbal oil quickly. See instructions for making herbal oils here.
- Prepare glycerite, a glycerol extract, from fresh calendula flowers. See instructions here.
- Use fresh or dried calendula for steam baths. The essential oils of calendula and other active ingredients go deep into the skin pores with the warm steam.
Calendula is suitable for many products
Calendula is generally a well-tolerated herb, so you can use it in all of your diy-products. Of course, someone can be allergic to it. The most important thing, however, is that calendula does not contain strong, skin-irritating acids. That is why it is a very popular herb in all cosmetics.
- Calendula is at its best in waterless creams, ointments and balms. Calendula is rich in fat-soluble ingredients. When you use an oil extract made from calendula as the basis for creams, you will get most of the calendula’s treating ingredients. Orange calendula, like a carrot, is rich in carotenoids. Carotenoids dissolve in oil when extracted.
- Calendula is also suitable for toners. Fat-soluble substances are also partly soluble in hot water. Calendula’s flavonoids, amino acids and carbohydrates are water soluble. The carbohydrates in the marigold are prebiotics, they maintain the normal bacterial population in the skin. Therefore, the toner made from calendula is very gentle and cares for the skin.
- You can try calendula also for making powder cosmetics. Dried, ground calendula petals are suitable for body powders and face mask powders.
You can find calendula recipes on this site on the Recipes tab. Take a look and try to make easy and effective calendula products yourself.
Do you grow calendula yourself ?