When I was studying Herbal Botany and Manufacturing, one of the first projects I made on my own was a Calendula infused oil. I picked Calendula as my project because of the extensive use of this herb in lotions and balms. I used the infused oil to make a lovely Calendula and Lavender Balm.
Here is a snippet of the report I submitted for my manufacturing project:
Rationale & Evidence
I chose Calendula officinalis and
Lavandula angustifolia as the base for this cream due to the large amount of
evidence showing benefit in topical use for a very wide variety of skin
conditions, making it a well-rounded first aid cream that could be applied in
almost any skin issue that may arise.
Having one cream in the medicine chest that could be used for almost any
skin condition seems to be the most cost effective, space and time efficient
Calendula officinalis has numerous active constituents including Triterpenes, Carotenoids, Essential oil, Flavonoids, Sterols, Mucilage, Resin, Chlorogenic acid and polysaccharides. It also has the vitamins A, C, E and Coenzyme Q10, and minerals Phosphorus and Calcium (Fisher 2009, pp.33-4). I used an infused oil and an infusion of Calendula to extract as many of the active constituents as possible. This gives Calendula a wide range of actions that can be used topically, including Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Vulnerary, Antihaemorrhagic, Antioxidant, Styptic, Antiseptic, mild Diaphoretic, Circulatory Stimulant, and Immunostimulant (Fisher 2009, pp. 33-4; Braun & Cohen 2015, pp. 136-40).
When used externally, Calendula is indicated for use in many skin problems including minor wounds, inflamed skin conditions, bruises, boils, broken capillaries, chilblains, fungal infections, acne, eczema, sebaceous cysts, sore nipples, sunburn, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, nappy rash, herpes simplex, enlarged or inflamed lymph nodes, and can be used for improving varicose veins as well as in periodontal disease as a mouthwash (Fisher 2009, p. 34). However, because Calendula is part of the Asteraceae family there is also the potential for allergic reactions in about 2% of sensitive people, though it is considered safe by the cosmetic industry (Fisher 2009, p. 34; Boon & Smith 2004, pp. 47-50).
In a randomized comparative trial by Panahi et al. (2011) it was found that an ointment of calendula significantly improved the signs of diaper dermatitis in children without adverse side effects, compared to an Aloe vera cream or chemical based alternatives. Another trial on the prevention of mild to severe radiation-induced dermatitis, showed that calendula ointment is a safe and cost-effective treatment that worked better than the conventional treatment (Pommier et al. 2004). It also has proven wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties as shown in an animal model study by Parente et al. (2011). Fonseca et al. (2010) found that topical application of Calendula had the ability to protect the skin against UV induced damage.
So here is the easy way to make your own herbal infused oil!
Calendula Infused Oil
20g dried organic Calendula flowers
200mL organic Coconut Oil (or carrier oil of choice)
Method using heat
Infused Oil Step 1: Grind the Calendula flowers roughly but not too fine.
Step 2: Add the flowers and coconut oil to a glass jug or jar with lid off and heat in a 40°C water bath for 4 hours.