|What is it?||Calendula is a cheery yellow flower; the petals are often made into infusions and extracts for use in skin care products.|
|INCI||Calendula Officinalis (format is also noted if it is an extract, distillate, etc.)|
|Appearance||The flower petals are long and narrow with a lovely soft yellow colour.|
|Usage rate||This varies with the format (liquid extract, powdered extract, hydrosol, etc.). Check with your supplier.|
|Solubility||This depends on the format. The petals themselves are insoluble, but you can also purchase calendula hydrosol (water soluble) and calendula extracts (oil or water soluble).|
|Why do we use it in recipes?||Calendula has a long history of use in treating skin conditions like eczema, burns, and rashes. It has anti-inflammatory, soothing properties, and it helps speed healing. It is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce swelling and moisturize the skin.|
|Do you need it?||I highly recommend it; I have found a water soluble extract to be the easiest way to work with it, while the dried petals are inexpensive and often available in the bulk section at your local health food store.|
|Refined or unrefined?||Either—both the petals and more refined extracts have their uses. I have both the dried petals and a water soluble extract and both are useful in different projects.|
|Strengths||Calendula is a well-studied and safe skin care herb with a long history of use. It’s fairly inexpensive, widely available, and has great label appeal.|
|Weaknesses||As with all botanicals, allergic reactions are a possibility.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||A different herb (or blend of herbs) with soothing/healing properties (chamomile, comfrey) would be a good place to start.|
|How to Work with It||This varies with the format; check with your supplier.
Generally speaking, extracts go in the cool down phase of recipes. Check the solubility of whatever you have to ensure it is miscible with the formula.
|Storage & Shelf Life||Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, the dried petals will last approximately two years. Check with your supplier for specific extracts and infusions as there is quite a lot of variety.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||Calendula petals are one of very few botanicals that maintain their colour through saponification, making the m a popular ingredient in soap making.|
|Where to Buy it||Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.|