Calendula is loaded with powerful skin-healing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, yet is gentle enough for most people and animals to use safely.
This week, on the blog, I’ll be sharing recipes and projects that you can make with calendula flowers and then we’ll wrap it up around Thursday with a free little eBook that you can download to your computer for easy reference.
I have a tentative schedule that I’d like to follow that looks something like this:
- Monday: Calendula Tea & Uses
- Tuesday: Calendula Oil, Salve & Uses
- Wednesday: Calendula Soap Recipe
- Thursday: FREE eBook on “Things To Do With Calendula” (which will have several more recipes & projects for you to play with!)
The majority of the projects can be made with either fresh or dried flowers. I grow most of my own calendula (Baker Creek Heirloom is an excellent place to buy seeds), but occasionally supplement my supply with high quality flowers purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store. (affiliate links)
Okay, now that you know what’s coming up this week, let’s dive right into our first project, starting with a quick overview of how to make calendula tea:
- Boiling water method with dried flowers: Place around a tablespoon of dried calendula flowers in a heat proof mug and pour boiling water over them. Cover with a saucer and let steep for around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Boiling water method with fresh flowers: Fill a heat-proof jar with fresh flowers and pour boiling water over them. Cap and let infuse until the tea is cool enough to drink.
- Sun tea method: Fill a jar with fresh flowers (or 1/4 full with dried flowers) and cover with water. Cap and place out in the sun for at least 5 or 6 hours.
Once your tea has finished infusing, you’ll want to 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. Water infusions have a fairly short shelf life, so discard the remainder after a day or two.
Important note: Calendula can stimulate menstruation, so pregnant women (or animals) should not use it internally. Also, if you’re on medications, have chronic health issues, or just questions in general, check with a qualified professional before self-treating with home remedies.
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. See other contraindications HERE.)
- 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 little old albino dog, who frequently gets a chapped and sunburnt nose just from being outside a short while.
So, there’s our fourteen ways! I hope you found some possible ideas for you to try out on this list.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about making a calendula oil and salve recipe, plus practical uses for them. Be sure to check back soon or subscribe in some way, so that you don’t miss out on the free eBook at the end of the series!
Remember, I’m just a hobby herbalist; be sure to check with a medical professional if you are pregnant, on medication or have any questions or concerns. Also, there are a few links in this post that are affiliate links. That means if you click on them and purchase something, I earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you, but does allow me to pay for web hosting and keep doing what I’m doing! (Thank you!) :)