Calendula ~ When and How to Make infused oils

Jeanne Rose going to go back to herbal and gardening and perfumery basics of tincturing, infusing, weeding, blending with moon lore, and plant knowledge to make even better infused medicinal oils.



Jeanne Rose ~ circa 1972

Kingdom is Plantae
Order is Asterales
Family is Asteraceae
Tribe is Calenduleae
Genus is Calendula – referring to the first day of the month or here the long growing period.
species is C. officinalis – originally meaning used medicinally. The Pot Marigold “my thoughts are with you”


Contents: fresh Calendula flowers & Virgin Olive oil
figure 1. Calendula infused oil

           “I know that some will disagree with me on this subject but I strongly feel that distilling Calendula flowers is a waste of botanical product. Calendula Hydrosol is obtained from freshly picked Calendula flowers and distilled in a copper still. It produces a green and vegetative smelling hydrosol. It seems a waste of good Calendula flowers.” My suggestion is to not distil it but to infuse the fresh flowers in good-quality Olive Oil for an infused oil. This can be used in all skin care lotions. It works to smooth and soothe the skin, to heal small eruptions or sores. It makes a perfect infused oil. You use less resources when you infuse or macerate than when you distil.

When you distil the Calendula you will use (waste) up to 30 POUNDS of flowers (250 flowers per pound or 7500 flowers in 30 lbs.) to make ONLY 3 Gallons of hydrosol + all the water wasted going through the condenser. Though the hydrosol of Calendula is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems, The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product, it is a serious waste of plant material.  When you distil for hydrosol you have to also think of the environmental impact of your work and the value of the water used.

Yes, there are some water-soluble compounds in the flowers but we can use the flowers more efficiently as a tea or compress. With the Calendula infused oil, you use 1 lb. of resin covered flowers to 1 gallon of good Olive oil. Nothing is wasted. I make my freshly picked Calendula infused oil from fresh flowers and not dried – it is a fantastic product.”

Sometimes an herbal product is a better choice of a product to use than a distilled product.


 Parts of Calendula Used. The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.
Calendula Leaves – Gather these in dry weather, in the morning, after the sun has dried the dew — for tea. They can also be dried for tea. The leaves can be alternate, opposite, or whorled. They may be simple, but are often deeply lobed or otherwise incised, often conduplicate or revolute. The margins can be entire or lobed or toothed.

Calendula Flowers – The flowers are picked when they are covered with the resin and then used and if they will be dried, it needs to be done quickly in the shade, in a good current of warm air. They can be hung in mesh bags from tree limbs or spread out on sheets of paper, without touching each other. If they are dried and the flowers have been touching they will become discolored. Another method of drying is to spread them on screens in a warm dry attic or over a stairway. This has been described extensively in The Herbal Studies Course, chapters 31 and 33.   
          The flowers and leaves are used for distillation and only the flowers for infused oil.

Calendula resin: When you pick Calendula, your fingers will be sticky from the resinous bracts which form the green base of the flower head. This resin is an important part of Calendula’s healing and is a good indicator of strength. If you are buying Calendula, make sure you purchase the bright yellow or orange flowers which is a good barometer of its freshness and medicinal quality. If picking fresh flowers, the stickier (with resin) the better. The leaves and the stems very often contain secretory canals with resin or latex. This is particularly common among the Cichorioideae).


Calendula Chemistry. The German herbal medicine manufacturer, Dr. Theiss, registered ‘Rinathei’ in 1998 for its own exclusive production use. This variety is claimed to be rich in faradiol triterpenoids believed to be most responsible for calendula’s anti-inflammatory activity. Intriguingly, a readily available dwarf ornamental variety, ‘Calypso Orange,’ is also rich in faradiols, having the highest content of 10 cultivars tested, as much as a third more than ‘Erfurter Orangefarbi.
The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to the presence of compounds such as saponins, resins, and essential oils.

figure 2. fresh Calendula flower

 Calendula infused oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book and refer to pages 249-250.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available Jeanne Rose teaches both courses and classes making this wonderful infused oil for massage, blending or perfumery.
I do not recommend sun infusion ~ I AM NOT a proponent of letting something sit in oil for 4-6 weeks, hot during the day and cooler at night, as this is a perfect way to create spoilage. I use the hot maceration method and get my perfect Calendula oil or St. Johnswort Oil in about 2-3 days.


TO MAKE INFUSED OIL: To make this product use The Aromatherapy Book or the Aromatherapy Studies Course and read up on it. Use 1 lb. of fresh flowers to 1 gallon of organically grown Olive oil. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers when they are ready and covered in resin; pick them in the morning when the dew is dry but the sun not yet high and infuse and macerate them slowly over a series of days in organically-grown Olive oil, heating gently but not boiling, cooling, heating and cooling until the flowers have exuded (sweated) their liquid moisture. Keep heating and cooling until the pot lid no longer collects the condensation, pouring off the condensate and drying the inside of the lid. During hot weather, this might be done in a day but here in San Francisco it takes about 3 days. Cool, and allow the oil to drain into a clean container.

         When pouring off the condensate, remember to not pour it back into the oil, but into a separate container. This liquid can be considered a perfect hydrosol of Calendula as it is the natural exudate from the flowers. Collect it and then use it as a facial tonic within the next three days.

After the oil has taken on the deep orange color of the flowers, (2-4 days of warm maceration), let it cool enough to pour into a glass jar. Use a funnel lined with a mesh bag and pour the oil through the bag into the jar. The mesh bag collects any stray bits of plant material. It is not necessary to use a filter or filter paper as that just adds another dimension to the product and does not remove any bacteria or yeast. If you have made the oil correctly it will be yeast and mold-free for up to a year and the filter paper doesn’t filter only makes a mess.

Now you will have to be patient and let the finished Calendula Infused Oil sit for a day or two and settle. Any liquid that may be left will drop to the bottom of the jar and the oil decanted into a clean container. If the oil is cloudy, however, you will have to heat it gently one more time to remove the fluid. My Calendula Infused oil is golden yellow-orange and clear and will stay pure for up to a year or more.

At this point, pour your oil into sterile quart or 8-oz. bottles. Label your product with its name, contents, the size of the container, and your name or phone number or website. Store them in a basement or wine cellar at about 45-55°. They will keep until you use or sell them.


      MEDICINAL ACTION AND USES. Used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. A lotion made from the infused oil, flower wax and an essential oil is most useful for sprains and wounds, and if you have a hydrosol water distilled from these flowers that is good for inflamed and sore eyes (but only used if kept sterile).


INGREDIENTS: Calendula infused (Olive) oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. Olive oil by itself contains the phytonutrient, oleocanthal, which mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation in the body. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.

Calendula officinalis (is used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.


USE. Used for dry or sensitive skin, baby care, and also good carrier oil used in aromatherapy massage. Essentially, you have to get freshly picked flowers, infuse and macerate in olive oil, heat gently and cool several times removing all condensate that collects on the lid. Then allow the oil to drain into a clean, sterile container. Only the common variety with deep orange color and sticky resin is of medicinal value. The yellow flower can also be used but it does not make as deeply colored infused oil and it seems of ‘lesser’ strength.  Calendula Infused Oil is a wonderful product to have on hand. During the summer when the flowers are available there are classes to teach the making of this wonderful infused oil.

figure 3. Bottles of Jeanne Rose Calendula Infused Oil


Medicinal Action and Uses. Calendula infused oil made from fresh flowers and organic olive oil is a wonderful product to nourish dry skin. It also makes good carrier oil used in blends, lotions, and massage.

The flowers also called Marigold are chiefly used as a local remedy. They have a stimulating action and are diaphoretic (makes you sweat) when taken as a warm tea. Given internally, it encourages a natural internal action and prevents suppuration (pus formation as in an abscess or a vesicle and the discharge of pus). The usual recipe for herbal infusion is of 1-ounce dried herb to a pint of boiling water, steep for 10-20 minutes and take internally, in doses of one tablespoonful, every hour; and used externally as a local application for sores, pus’y wounds, pimples or irritation. It is useful as an internal tea in chronic ulcer, varicose veins, etc. This infusion was formerly considered to have much value as an aperient (mild laxative) and intestinal cleanser in obstructions in the digestive system and for jaundice.

Fresh Marigold flower is a useful remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee when rubbed on the affected area. The hydrosol is made from fresh flowers and is being used in new ways to combat old problems. The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet details these uses and gives sources where you can purchase this new product.


An infusion of the freshly gathered flowers, drunk hot is useful in summer fevers and cold, as it gently promotes perspiration – a decoction of the flowers has been used to treat smallpox and measles. Marigold flowers are very useful for children’s ailments.

The expressed juice of the flower or the dried powdered flowers, snuffed up the nose triggers sneezing and a discharge of mucous from the head. Years ago when I tried to express the juice of fresh flowers, I used a Champion juicer, got only a few drops of juice but used this, diluted by half with water, as nose drops for a client who had a hole in the septum.

The leaves when chewed at first taste gummy and sweet followed by a strong penetrating salty taste. The expressed juice of flowers and leaves, which contains the most of this pungent matter, especially with Rose petals has been given in cases of costiveness (retained feces), where it acts as an aperient and proved very useful for this problem. Since it is gentle, it can be used with children and in small doses for your pets.

The leaves and flowers can be eaten as a salad and also been considered a medicinal culinary herb, useful in skin diseases and swollen lymph nodes of children. Some of the stronger scented Calendula with lots of resin is recommended to remove warts.


Using the Moon to Make the Infusion:
Phases of moon

For instance, it is good to start a tincture on a New Moon in a Water sign (Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces).

If you want to weed a garden, or filter/strain your infused oil or Bruise Juice ~ do it in the last quarter leading to the full moon in an Earth sign (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn).

If you want your blend/infusion to have a strong good scent or to boost the olfactory powers of a scent, make sure you pick the plants when they are ready. When they are ready means at the time when their scent is the best. For instance, Jasmine at night, Tuberose early in the morning or at dark, Chamomile types in the early morning, Roses when the dew is dried but before the sun is high.

Start blends in the New Moon/First Quarter in a Fire sign (Aries/Leo/Sagittarius).

The Llewellyn book on moon signs can be used for off-line reference, and there are online websites that have the phases and astrological signs.

 I am keeping my book, Herbs & Things open in my reading room because I want to be able to reference the formula and what I had to say then.  I already visit various moon lore and weather sites on the Internet for basic charts. When I make Bruise Juice, I pick and start work on a waxing to full moon when the herbs are at their fullest. Let it drain and bottle on a waning moon. For great moon information see — any weather or navy site or go to MoonMenu for a quick moon update.

 Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy • 415-564-6785 or

The Aromatherapy Book.
The Hydrosol and Aromatic Waters Booklet by Jeanne Rose. $24.50 from
 In-person Seminars, courses, and classes by home-study or Distance Learning
Calendula Infused Oil
1 quart = $150 + S&H
8 oz. = $45 + S&H 

Pictures During the Process of Making Infused Calendula Oil


~ JR ~

10 thoughts on “Calendula ~ When and How to Make infused oils

  1. Love caledula infused oils. It is one of my most valuable staple ingredients for my most sensitive clients, as well as one of my favorite daily bedtime teas which I blend with chamomile. I always travel with this tea, for it soothes my stomach and helps me calm down after a long journey. Thank you again Jeanne for the profile.

  2. Pingback: Cypress and Blue Cypress EO | Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Blog

  3. I am going to grow some calendula so I can infuse some oil with the flowers. Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  4. This is the best and most thorough information I have encountered about Calendula, and it reminds me why I am glad to have learned from Jeanne Rose. Excellent!

  5. I loved reading this! I had been trying to find info regarding the issue with using sunlight for weeks, as I just felt like the sunlight method would not be good for it. I read fhe entire thing and wish I could own a bottle of your oil !!!! When I get the money I may be able to order some bc I really REALLY want real deal calendula oil!! Thanks so much !

    • Glad you enjoyed the Calendula and “how to make the infused oil” from the freshly picked flowers. Most people used old dried up flowers – they have color but little therapeutic value. Fresh is best and always use organically grown, locally sourced ingredients.

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