ALL NATURAL DIY SKINCARE
"Good for you and good for the environment"
Calendula officinalis - Marigolds
for the Treatment of Skin Complaints
Calendula officinalis is the traditional English marigold flower that is beneficial in treating a wide range of bacterial and fungal infections of the skin.
It is also known as the Pot Marigold so as not to be confused with other varieties.
Used externally, it is effective against cuts, grazes, minor burns and eczema, and much more. It is also used to treat fungal infections such as athlete's foot and vaginal thrush.
It was also historically used as a treatment for small pox and measles.
You can also use this plant internally to treat many other issues such as digestion, pain and menstruation
- make sure you seek further information and advice before trying this.
GROW YOUR OWN
The flowers can be dried for future use.
Simply pick them and dry on paper, face up and not touching each other. They do need to be dried quickly.
Once dry you can pick off the petals and store them in an airtight jar.
Calendula cream made from the marigold flower has been known for its skin healing properties for centuries.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto
There are many varied benefits of using Calendula both internally and externally - the uses are extensive!
It is known to draw the heat out of sprains and pulled muscles, aiding in their healing. You can use any of the recipes below for this, which should be reapplied when they become hot.
You will find a number of the natural skincare remedies and benefits noted on this page, including in the Recipes section below.
FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICE OF THE FLOWER
If you grow marigolds then you can squeeze the juice out of a freshly picked flower to relieve wasp and bee stings
It is also considered beneficial in the treatment of warts
DOUBLE STRENGTH INFUSION (WATER) (For External Use Only)
This infusion can be applied by soaking cloth strips in it, and then using it to treat skin problems such as cuts or varicose veins
WHAT YOU NEED:
50 g of dried OR 150g fresh Calendula leaves and flowers
1 pint / 500ml of just boiled water
WHAT TO DO:
Pour the hot water over the flowers and leaves.
Allow to steep for about ten minutes.
Strain the liquid.
This oil infusion is useful for cracked and rough skin, nappy rash, cradle cap, grazes, cracked nipples and varicose veins!
It is also a good lip balm.
You can also add 2 - 4 teaspoons of the oil to your bath to help with dry skin.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Calendula flowers and leaves - either fresh or dried
Cold pressed olive oil. (You could also use walnut, safflower or pumpkin oil - I prefer the smell of olive oil).
Wide mouthed jar with a well fitting, air tight lid.
WHAT TO DO:
Pack the flowers and leaves into the jar quite tightly. Leave at least 2 cm from the top so that the oil can completely cover them.
Add enough Olive Oil to cover them and keep out the air.
Store in the sunlight for warmth for 4-5 weeks with an airtight lid on.
Strain before use.
This cream is different to an ointment as it is a mixture of natural oils that can be absorbed into the skin.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 oz of Calendula Infused Oil (see above recipe) - you can add a little more if you feel the mixture is too thick.
1 oz of avocado oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba
1 oz of shea butter
1 oz of cocoa butter or mango butter
1/4 oz of beeswax
Glass jars with airtight lids
WHAT TO DO:
Put all the ingredients into a pot.
Completely melt all ingredients over low heat. The best way to do this gently is to put the pot of ingredients inside another pot that has about an inch of boiling water in the bottom. A bit like melting chocolate - avoid direct heat on the pot of ingredients.
Stir until all ingredients are melted (especially the beeswax as this can take longer) and evenly combined.
Simmer for 20 minutes while stirring regularly.
Pour into glass jars and allow to solidify.
Store in a cool dark place.
You can whip the mixture to make it lighter if you wish to. However this will incorporate air into the mixture which can also speed up the oxidation and spoiling process.
You can add a few drops of Essential Oil, such as Lavender, to give the cream a fragrance and help it to keep longer - this is optional.
If the oil and water separate, you can simply stir again just before using.
EFFECTIVE IN THE TREATMENT OF:
This natural cream can be effective in the treatment of:
Cuts and scrapes
Insect bites and stings
Fungal infections in nails - rub in twice a day for several months. This may seem a long time but should ultimately save and restore nails.
Sunburn - speeds the healing process.
Vaginal yeast infections (thrush) - used as a suppository.
What Should I Buy
If you do not grow your own Marigolds then you can buy good quality dried calendula that will do the job just as well. It is not as cheap as doing it yourself but it is very convenient.
The initial cost of your ingredients for the cream may seem a lot but remember this is a versatile healer and a little goes a long way. It also makes a thoughtful gift.
Always buy the best quality you can afford, and store it well for future use.
Go from Calendula to Elder Flowers for more traditional healing remedies