14 Uses For Calendula Tea

From sore throat gargle to wound spray, here are 14 useful things to make with calendula tea!

calendula flowers and jar of calendula tea

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.)

pottery cup filled with calendula tea beside a black pottery bowl filled with dried calendula flowers

How to Make Calendula Tea

There are a few different methods you can follow to make calendula tea.

First, make sure that you’re using the herb, Calendula officinalis, and not Marigold, Tagetes spp. (It gets confusing because sometimes calendula is called pot marigold.)

Here’s an article my daughter wrote to help you tell the difference:

Calendula vs. Marigolds – The Differences

Method 1: Simmering water + dried flowers

Place about 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers in a heat proof mug and pour 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.

Method 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.

Method 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 about 5 or 6 hours.

Straining Calendula Tea into a pottery cup

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.

Frozen Calendula Tea Cubes in a glass with a fresh calendula flower

14 Uses for Calendula Tea

Now that it’s been made, cooled and strained, here are 14 uses for calendula tea:

  1. Use as a gargle for sore throat.
  2. Use as a mouth rinse to help relieve blisters, inflamed gums, or thrush.
  3. Dip small cloths or clean rags into the tea and apply as a compress to scraped, itchy, scratched, or otherwise inflamed skin conditions.
  4. Use with homemade baby wipes to help alleviate diaper rash.
  5. Strain through a coffee filter and use as an eye rinse for itchy eyes due to allergies, dryness and viral pink-eye.
  6. Wash your face with calendula tea nightly, if prone to acne and breakouts.
  7. Pour some in a foot bath, for fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
  8. Add some to your regular bath to help soothe and heal inflamed skin or rashes.
  9. Use as a hair rinse, after shampooing, to alleviate itchy scalp conditions.
  10. Pour into a small spray bottle to make a disinfecting wound spray.
  11. 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.)
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!

For more calendula ideas, be sure to check out my article:

10+ Things to Make with Calendula Flowers

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64 Comments

  1. Thank you! Now I have lots of things to do with the pound of calendula I bought from Mountain Rose. :-)

  2. Woohoo! I’m still working my way through your rose ebook and what with all the great ideas you had in THAT book I’m totally excited about the calendulas ideas/recipes too. Like Annie I have a pound of calendula flowers from MRH that I need to use. :-)

  3. Great article! I have a lot of dried calendula and some more of fresh to come, so I am looking forward for the e-book :)

    1. Thanks Carmen! I’m putting the final touches on the calendula book and can’t wait to share it with everyone! :)

  4. Hi Jan, what an awesome website you have!
    I’m due to get all 4 of my wisdom teeth out tomorrow & have a few of these flowers in my garden. Do you think it would be useful to help with the swelling & help aid the healing of the wounds? And how much do you think I should have per/day? I’m not sure if drinking warm tea on-top of stitches, especially so soon after surgery, is a good idea?

    1. I think it would be helpful, but I’d double check with your oral surgeon and see what they say as far as drinking liquids. I know I swished some salt water around my mouth too soon after I got mine out and ended up with dry socket, which wasn’t very fun. So definitely follow their instructions over mine. :) I hope you recuperate and heal up quickly!

  5. Calendula definitely may induce your cycle!!! I added it to my tea(Teavana blueberry bliss) for its skin benefits & the very next day my cycle began! I was a bit upset because I had just had one 18 days ago :( , BUT i do have IRREGULAR cycles. Instead of a normal 28 days, I’d go 32,38, or 44 days off. It really just does what it wants so maybe drinking it was a good thing as far as regulation. We’ll see!

    1. Wow! Sounds like calendula has a strong effect on you! Thanks for sharing your experience with us and I hope things even out for you! :)

  6. I have been prescribed to do a sitz bath in calendula for my chronic inflammation for pelvic floor. my Chinese herbalist practioner suggested this once a week.

    1. Hi Tori! If you keep calendula tea refrigerated, it should stay good around 24 to 48 hours. You can freeze it in ice cube trays too and store the cubes in a freezer bag for months, so it’s always handy when you need it!

      1. Jan,
        i think Tori means in the dried form. to which i would say, months or years in a sealed container, with a little air as possible.

        1. Hi Lisette, That’s a great point! Yes, the dried tea will have a much longer shelf life than the fresh. :) I always go by color rather than a set date. As the yellow/orange color fades, so does the potency. Herbs that lose their color and look faded/washed out, should be composted & replaced with a fresh batch.

  7. Hi we have a beutiful and pleasant tom cat he suffers from itchey skin around his eyes lids, this so far is the only thing that works. We use it like a tea over the eye lids this works and also use it as a face wash for him. Great stuff but l did not know about calidula flowers other uses thanks l will try a tea thanks again georg and angie

  8. Love the ice cube idea!! I’m going to have to try. I’m interested in regulating my periods cause I’m not very sure where mine have gone… I’m 25!, I’m pretty sure stess to blame. Anyways a friend sent me a recipe to try for PCOS it includes calendula, honey , raspberries and vodka …should be interesting. Problem is this mixture has to sit in a dark area for 2 months before I can start my daily tbls intake …so in the meantime I’ve decided to try calendulas teas!!

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  10. I read somewhere that calendula tea is healing for the liver. I was just told my cholesterol is high and that the liver is responsible for our cholesterol levels. If I drink calendula tea, would this help lower my cholesterol?

  11. My mother has very dry eyes and developed double vision. The dr. is not sure what the cause is of this. Would you recommend calendula tea for this and how would you use it?

    1. Hi Janet, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s eyes! I’m afraid I really don’t know if this would help or not. There could be many causes of her symptoms and I just don’t have medical training to know. Has she sought a second opinion – particularly from a holistic doctor or naturopath? I found the physician my kids see by asking around at the local health store, to see who they used and recommended.

  12. Hi, I’m loving all your recipes for calendula and all the comments that are followed. Just wondering what size jar you used when you say to ,”fill a jar with calendula flowers and cover with oil” or water in the case of the tea. Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi Kathy! For this post on tea, I used a half-pint (8 oz) canning jar, but if you want to make a larger amount, you can use a pint (16 oz) jar. For infused oils, I usually go with a pint jar, since I use the finished oil in a lot of different projects throughout the year.

  13. Hello, thank you for all the great info. I have always loved calendula. I have used it many times in salves and oils for scraps,burns and other abrasions but i have never used it internally. I have reciently had a rather bad cold and now have several swollen lymph nodes, do you think if i apply the tea externally to the swollen areas that it would be assimilated into the lymph node?

    1. Hi there, I’m sorry that you’ve been sick! I’m not sure how the tea will work externally, though that’s definitely worth a shot! I do know that violet leaf preparations applied externally can also help swollen lymph nodes.
      A few years back, my daughter had a similar problem after a bad cold left her run down with persistent swollen lymph nodes. We tried a few home remedies that didn’t do much, so I took her to a naturopath who put her on this:
      http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/lymphomax-100-caps/4077/
      along with this
      http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/vs-c-100-caps/937/
      It was amazing how quickly the lymph nodes cleared up and how much better she felt.
      I hope that you’re able to find a treatment that helps you just as well and that you’re feeling 100% better soon!

  14. I was just given a pound of dried calendula from a friend and am figuring out what to do with it. How long would they last in Hawaii where it is hot and humid?

    1. Hi Ellen, What a wonderful gift and nice friend! We have hot, humid summers here, but I haven’t been to Hawaii to compare firsthand. (Maybe someday!) I imagine if they’re kept tightly sealed in the coolest, shadiest spot you can find for them, they should be okay for many months. If you spot mold then you know moisture got in somehow and you’ll not want to use them. Once the colors fade too, then their potency is usually faded as well. I’ve received vacuum sealed herbs before, with a little desiccant bag in each, and the color and freshness of those lasted wonderfully! So, perhaps something like that could help?

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  17. Good morning, Jan. This isn’t a comment, rather a question. I have Pink Surprise calendula seeds. From what I read on the internet, this IS Calendula officinalis. Are the pink(ish) flowers interchangeable with the yellow/orange flowers for the above uses? Thanks! Have a lovely day.

  18. Thanks, Jan. I appreciate your answer. I’ll let you know how mine grow. We are having a wet, chilly Spring, so I’m not sure what will come up when. Sigh. Have a lovely evening.

  19. WOW. I’m impressed just happen to stumble across this site. Suffering from a really bad case of sinusitis and about to brew a cup of Natural “Sinus tea” and didn’t want to just drink without knowing the properties in the tea because of elevated blood pressure and thyroid disorder .I knew all the ingredients except that word “CALENDULA” and thought I’d see what it was…..what a “Blessing ” I’m so happy I looked up the word. I now have so much helpful information.The flower happen to be one that I used to grow as marigold years ago loved them so much I painted my house white and trimmed with the beautiful yellow.I even used the color for my wedding party.Thank you for all the information I’ve gathered today.Even information to help my 15 year old with terrible menustral cramps. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.

  20. Hi. Thank you for being here and helpful. I am Wondering if the leaves of the calendular can be used particularly in an oil infusion? No one seems to make use of them in recipes. Would appreciate any helpful advise.

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  22. i am getting ready to start radiation for throat cancer. calendula is one of the basic ingredients for the radiation burn cream i bought. so i looked to see what might have it in it that i could use for the inside of my throat.and here i am. thanx. bookmarking the page.

  23. I have acne scars from teen years and have tried everything (really, thousands of dollars worth of drugstore and mall skincare) and never achived much in the way of results.

    After a week of putting Calandula oil on my scars, they were visibly softer. I started boiling tea and just pressing the wet flowers onto my scars as a mask/poultice for 30 min and got EVEN BETTER results.

    Calendula flowers in bulk cost less than 6 bucks and have made my skin sooo much better. I highly recomend it for even old scars. Very soothing and powerful!

  24. Hi, I have a question relating to regulating menstruation.I took it two days after my period stopped.then next day I started cramping and spotting. My question is how long should I drink the tea? And I’m actively trying.

  25. I’m so glad to know that there are many good uses for the calendula tea. Do you think the calendula tea would be good to add in my dog soap? Can I use it as a substitute for the liquid?

  26. Hi Jan,
    Have you ever had a problem with wormies in your calendula? When I bring mine in, there appear to be no worms (probably more like caterpillars) but it seems they must be hatching during the drying process… is this familiar to you, and if so do you have any tips? This is the first year I’ve grown this, and I’m so discouraged! Finding caterpillars and all their poop all over my herb drying table 😟!

    1. Hi Kristen, I’m so sorry to hear that’s happening! It helps to visually inspect each flower as you pick it. If you spot one with black specks or eggs, just bypass that one and move to the next flower. Also, as you pick each flower, turn it upside down and lightly tap it a few times, either against the side of your hand or your knee (if you’re crouching down while picking). That dislodges many hidden things, but you can also do a really hard puff of air (or two, or three, as needed) across or into the flower (depending on flower type) and that dislodges teeny ants and such, so may help with eggs too. One more thing that might help is to spread the flowers out on a paper towel or screen outside for a few hours after picking – this gives time for any little critters to move on to someplace else. Hopefully those tips will help! You shouldn’t normally run into caterpillars in your drying flowers – it’s likely you just picked them at a peak hatching time. :)

      1. Thanks so much for responding. I’ve dried lots of things and never really run into this. I thought maybe it was a known issue with calendula…like, maybe they have a special hiding spot for eggs I’m not aware of or something! But maybe it’s just this area or a great year for the egg-layers!
        In any case I’ll be much more careful when I pick them!

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