Calendula is one of my favourite herbs to work with. The beautiful, bright, sunny yellow flowers have long, elegant petals that curl and wisp in all sorts of pretty ways. If you’ve spent much time on my blog, you’ve definitely seen them sprinkled around wee jars and bottles of assorted concoctions as part of my attempts at photo styling. Calendula is one of the first herbs I worked with; I bought some at the bulk section of my local health food store after trying a salve infused with it and thinking it would be a fun new toy. It’s been a consistent part of my DIY cupboard ever since, and here’s ten awesome things I love to make with it.
So, why do we put calendula in our concoctions? It’s anti-inflammatory and helps speed healing. It’s rich in antioxidants and can help reduce swelling. It has a lovely, subtle grassy/floral scent, and it’s inexpensive. You can even grow it yourself! It’s easy to use by infusing the dried petals in oil (click here to learn how) or water, blitzing them into powders in your coffee grinder, or mixing into soap. Calendula is special in that it stays pretty and yellow throughout saponification (unlike lavender buds, which sort of transform into little brown lumps that look like mouse poop), so you’ll often see it decorating all kinds of different soaps, both sprinkled on top and mixed into the batter.
If you don’t have any calendula, unlike many DIY ingredients you can typically pick some up at your local health food shop in the bulk bins for a reasonable price. I recommend getting a jar of infused oil steeping straight away so you have it on hand whenever you need it, and keeping the rest of your blossoms for decorating soap, infusing into water and specialty oil blends, or just using to pretty up your pictures. Ok, let’s dive into our DIYs!
This balm is designed to be an eye balm—super lightweight and soothing—but it is fundamentally a salve/body butter sort of thing, and you can use it anywhere you please. I used a lightweight blend of mango butter and macadamia nut oils to create a oil-based balm that won’t leave you feeling heavy and oily.
This was one of my first DIYs, and I still love it. It’s simple, but wonderfully effective; if you’ve been blowing your nose a lot, this stuff will make your face stop feeling like you’ve been exfoliating with sandpaper.
Calendula is special in that it does not turn brown, black, or some other unappealing colour when it goes through saponification. It stays its pretty, cheery yellow colour, which is why it’s a pretty popular soap additive. In these pretty bars it plays with pink and white swirls and looks rather fetching, if I do say so myself.
I love blitzing dried herbs into powdery face mask bases; it helps dilute the clay, making the mask less drying, which is great if you have dry or sensitive skin. The fact that calendula is one of those herbs means this face mask is extra awesome for battling inflammation and boosting healing. Score.
This lovely facial serum was inspired by a very expensive shop-bought one. A blend of skin-loving oils are infused with calendula to boost healing and reduce inflammation, making for a pretty darn great facial serum.
If you know somebody who’s expecting, this simple body butter bar would make a lovely gift. Even if you don’t know somebody is such a state, this is a pretty great body bar. Since it doesn’t have any essential oils in it as it all kinds of soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, it would be great for babies, too. Or just, you know… skin 😉
I whipped this up when a close friend had an impending surgery, and I’ve gifted tubes of it to quite a few people since for everything from surgical scars to accidental car-trunk-nose encounters. My friend Robb wrote a great testimonial for it, and it’s definitely worth a read 😊
If you suffer from dry, irritated skin, this stuff is great. Rich, creamy, it’s crammed with all kinds of skin-soothing, healing goodies like allantoin and honey. Unrefined hemp seed oil gives it a slight green tint, and an herb infusion that includes calendula helps battle inflammation.
I assembled the ingredient list for from all my best healing ingredients, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to smell amazing, too. It’s a bit grassy and herbal, and downright addictive. It’s great for all kinds of scrapes and boo-boos, so definitely don’t feel like you need to like rock climbing to make a batch!
I love this stuff, and a couple weeks ago I introduced my friend Kate to it. She tried a bit of mine, and then the next time I saw her she asked for a jar of her own. She said the zit she’d put it on seemed to have decided not to bother, and that’s pretty awesome. The calendula helps with inflammation and healing—two great things in the battle against zits.
Ok, those are my favourite things to make with calendula! What are yours?