Calendula is loaded with powerful skin-healing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, yet is gentle enough for most people and animals to use safely.
You can make all sorts of things with calendula, including soap, salve, lotion bars and lip balm, but for today, I want to focus on calendula tea and 14 ways in which you can use it.
(Don’t have any calendula? You can find organic dried calendula from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
How to Make Calendula Tea
There are a few different methods you can follow to make calendula tea.
1. Simmering water + dried flowers
Place around 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers in a heat proof mug and pour around 1 cup (8 oz/240 ml) simmering hot water over them.
Cover with a saucer and let steep for around 15 to 20 minutes.
For a stronger external first-aid tea, use 1/4 to 1/3 cup dried calendula flowers to 1 cup simmering hot water, steep for several hours or overnight before straining.
2. Simmering water + fresh flowers
Fill a heat-proof jar with fresh flowers and pour simmering hot water over them.
Cover and let infuse until the tea is cool enough to drink.
3. Sun tea method
Fill a jar with fresh flowers (or 1/4 full with dried flowers) and cover with cold water.
Cap and place in a bright sunny spot (like a windowsill or outside porch rail) for at least 5 or 6 hours.
Once your tea has finished infusing, strain it before proceeding to the next steps. (The remaining petals can be composted.)
Make small batches at a time and store any leftover tea in your refrigerator. Herbal water infusions have a fairly short shelf life, so discard the remainder after a day or two.
Note: Calendula can stimulate menstruation, so pregnant women (or animals) should not use it internally without consulting with their health care provider first.
14 Uses for Calendula Tea
Now that it’s been made, cooled and strained, here are 14 uses for calendula tea:
- Use as a gargle for sore throat.
- Use as a mouth rinse to help relieve blisters, inflamed gums, or thrush.
- Dip small cloths or clean rags into the tea and apply as a compress to scraped, itchy, scratched, or otherwise inflamed skin conditions.
- Use with homemade baby wipes to help alleviate diaper rash.
- Strain through a coffee filter and use as an eye rinse for itchy eyes due to allergies, dryness and viral pink-eye.
- Wash your face with calendula tea nightly, if prone to acne and breakouts.
- Pour some in a foot bath, for fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
- Add some to your regular bath to help soothe and heal inflamed skin or rashes.
- Use as a hair rinse, after shampooing, to alleviate itchy scalp conditions.
- Pour into a small spray bottle to make a disinfecting wound spray.
- Drinking calendula tea is reported to help heal gastric ulcers, congested lymph nodes and sore throat. It can potentially help break a fever by causing a sweat. Dosage is no more than 2 to 3 cups per day. (Not for pregnant women since it can stimulate menstruation. Please consult your health care provider with questions or concerns.)
- Make Calendula Ice. (Freeze tea in ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove from tray and store in single layers in labeled freezer bags. Rub a cube over rashes, scrapes, or other general boo-boos as needed.)
- Calendula tea can safely be used on most non-pregnant animals including: dogs, cats, horses, cows, rabbits, goats, chickens and ducks. It can be used as a soothing rinse for flea bites, eczema, scratches, scrapes, itchy coats, or to help cleanse and heal minor wounds.
- For dogs prone to hot spots or other raw areas, calendula tea can be gently dabbed or spritzed on the area. This works fantastically on my senior albino dog, who frequently gets a chapped and sunburnt nose just from being outside a short while.
So, there are our fourteen useful things to do with calendula tea!