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How to Use Calendula (Marigold) Supplements & DIY Recipes

Written by Anastasia Naoum, MS (Health Informatics) | Reviewed by Ana Aleksic, MSc (Pharmacy) | Last updated:
Puya Yazdi
Medically reviewed by
Puya Yazdi, MD | Written by Anastasia Naoum, MS (Health Informatics) | Reviewed by Ana Aleksic, MSc (Pharmacy) | Last updated:

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Marigolds are easy to grow and use to make your own calendula skincare products, which can help heal cuts, wounds, and burns. Read on to find out how.

Marigold Products and Supplements

For the improvement of skin conditions, wounds, and burns, both marigold plants (Calendula, Tagetes) come in various forms: paste, tincture, oil, ointment, ear drops, mouth rinse, herbal tea, gel, and cream [1, 2].

Some commercial ointments contain pot marigold or calendula (Calendula officinalis) extracts, such as Plenusdermax, and Pommade au Calendula par Digestion [3, 4].

However, the preparation of these products varies from brand to brand. Some products may not be standardized [2].

Dosage

There is no safe and effective dose of marigold for any health purpose because no sufficiently powered study has been conducted to find one. That said, clinical studies have observed benefits associated with certain doses. This dosage varied in studies and depended on the form of supplementation.

For wounds, burns, and cramps, either 2 – 4 ml of calendula (Calendula officinalis) tincture diluted to 250 – 500 ml water or 2 – 5 g of calendula in 100 g of ointment. Topical applications may be applied 3 – 4 times daily [5, 6, 7, 2].

For oral health, 2 ml of pot marigold tincture diluted in 6 ml of water, and this mix used as a mouth rinse twice daily for 6 months has been used [8].

For ear infections, 5 drops of the herbal ear drop solution containing calendula 3 times a day were used [9, 10, 2].

Making Your Own Calendula Skin Care Products

How to Make Calendula Oil

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) flowers*
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or avocado oil or almond oil)

Instructions:

  1. Place calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
  2. Pour enough olive oil so that the petals are covered by about one inch of oil.
  3. Seal jar with a tight-fitting lid and leave on a sunny windowsill for 4 – 6 weeks. Shake the jar once a day. The olive oil will change into a golden color.
  4. After 4 – 6 weeks, strain the herbs with a mixer (or a cheesecloth) and pour the liquid into a clean glass jar.
  5. Store the jar out of sunlight, preferably in a dark and cool cabinet.

*You can also make marigold oil for skin use from Native American and other (Tagetes species) marigolds.

Tip: There is a quicker method if you do not want to wait for 4 – 6 weeks. You can very gently heat the jar with marigold flowers and olive oil in a hot water bath (Bain Marie) for 2 – 6 hours. Then, strain the liquid and pour it into a clean glass jar and store it in a dark, cool place.

Calendula Ointment Recipe

You will need:

  • 120 ml marigold oil
  • 30 ml beeswax
  • 10 or more drops of 100% pure lavender essential oil (optional)

What you will do:

  1. Place the marigold oil in a hot water bath (Bain Marie) on low heat.
  2. Add 30ml beeswax and boil slowly until the beeswax is melted.
  3. When melted, remove mixture from heat and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix well.
  4. Pour the mix in a clean glass jar and seal it. Let it cool down.
  5. The cooler the mix gets, the thicker it will become.
  6. Your marigold ointment is ready for use.

More Calendula (Marigold) Recipes

It is easy to make marigold tea or jelly at home by following the steps below.

Note: Only the Calendula officinalis flowers are edible, not the Tagetes marigolds. Do not make marigold tea with Tagetes flowers.

Calendula Tea

You will need:

  • 200ml water
  • two teaspoons of dried pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) petals

Instructions:

  1. Cut the petals from the pot marigold flowers right where the green part begins and keep only the petals.
  2. Rinse the petals well and place them in a jar.
  3. Boil the water.
  4. Once the water boils, remove it from the heat and pour it over the marigold petals.
  5. Cover the liquid with a lid and let it cool down for 10 – 15 minutes.
  6. Strain the liquid and pour it into a glass.
  7. Enjoy your marigold tea while it is still warm.

Calendula Jelly

You will need:

  • 200ml water
  • 3 cups dried pot marigold petals
  • 1 box low-sugar pectin
  • 3 cups sugar*
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice

*Optional, add stevia instead or skip the sugar altogether if you wish.

Instructions:

  1. Cut the petals from the pot marigold flowers right where the green part begins and keep only the petals.
  2. Rinse 3 cups of marigold petals.
  3. Put the petals in a jar and pour boiling water over them until they are covered. Let them steep and cool down for 3 – 4 hours.
  4. Strain well the petals and add water enough to produce 4 cups of liquid.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup sugar with 1 box low-sugar pectin.
  6. In a large pot, place the sugar-pectin mix, the marigold liquid, 3 teaspoons lemon juice and bring to boil.
  7. Add 2 ½ cups sugar to the pot, whisk it and continue to boil for one minute.
  8. When the mix is no longer liquid, your jelly is ready.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and pour it into sterilized glass jars.
  10. Enjoy your marigold jelly.

Bonus: How to Plant and Grow Marigolds

Calendula Plants

How To Plant And Grow

  • Calendula plants prefer full sun or a little shade in the warmer areas. You should plant the seeds 6 – 8 weeks before the last frost or immediately after the last frost.
  • Moist the soil and plant the Calendula officinalis seeds 24 to 36 inches apart in garden beds or large pots with organic soil. It takes seeds 45 – 60 days to bloom.
  • Water well and apply a liquid fertilizer several times throughout the gardening season.
  • Regular pinching extends the blooming period and produces healthier flowers.
  • Add a layer of mulch between plants to prevent weeds and keep the soil moist.

Harvest And Preserve

  • Start harvesting your flowers as soon as the first flush of flowers is in full bloom. Pick the flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried. Choose the fully open or semi-open flowers.
  • The best way to preserve the flowers is to dry them. Place the flowers in an airy container and store them somewhere with strong airflow or use a dehydrator at the lowest temperature. 24 hours are enough to dry the flowers, and the petals will darken.
  • Place the dry flowers in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid or in paper bags. You can use the dried petals for herbal teas, tinctures or oil infusions.

Tagetes Plants

How To Plant And Grow

  • Marigolds thrive in full sunshine and can often endure very hot summers.
  • Prepare the soil by removing any stones, drain it well and dig down about 6 inches to loosen it. You can also add a slow-release (granular) fertilizer in the planting hole.
  • Moisten the soil and plant the seeds directly in the garden no more than 1 inch deep. Plant the French marigold (Tagetes patula) and Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) seeds 8 – 10 inches apart. Aztec marigold (Tagetes erecta) seeds should be at least 10 to 12 inches apart, It takes seeds around 8 weeks to bloom.
  • Water from the base and not from the top. Avoid using fertilizer when the plants are growing, but add a layer of mulch between plants to prevent weeds and keep the soil moist.

How To Harvest And Preserve

  • Cut perfect blossoms at their peak.
  • Remove foliage from the stems.
  • Hang upside down in a warm, dry place until dry.
  • The flowers will shrink, but their color will remain strong. Once dried, you can use them for flower arrangements or other purposes (skincare products).

Further Reading

Takeaway

Planting your own marigolds or making calendula skin care products from their flowers is easy and fun. These plants require little work, all the while livening up your home or garden and serving as potent herbal remedies.

If you are not a fan of gardening or DIY recipes, high-quality calendula oil and ointments/creams are widely available and affordable.

About the Author

Anastasia Naoum

Anastasia Naoum

MS (Health Informatics)
Anastasia holds an MSc in Health Informatics from the Sheffield University, an MSc in Health Economics from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and a BSc in Economics from the University of Macedonia.
Anastasia grew up in a medical environment, as both her parents are doctors and developed from a young age a passion for medicine and health. She has worked in several institutions and associations which promoted healthy living and sustainable healthcare systems. Currently, she is leading a green life, sailing with her boyfriend across Europe, living in their sailboat with the help of solar and wind power, minimizing CO2 production.

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