Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
Country of Origin: Egypt
Plant Part: Flowers
Distillation Method: CO2
About the Oil
Calendula (also known as Marigold) is an aromatic member of the daisy family with bright yellow or orange flowers. Originally from the Northern Mediterranean region, it is now found worldwide and is an important medicinal plant in both Western and Eastern traditional medicine practices. Calendula has long been available in an 'infused oil', where the flowers are soaked for some time in a carrier such as Olive oil to properly extract their properties. Now, through the process of 'supercritcal carbon dioxide distillation', it is possible to retain all the healing properties of Calendula in a highly concentrated and pure essential oil. Ours is a super rich, deeply colored rusty orange. Just a little goes a very long way!
This Calendula oil has a sweetly floral, orange oil top note followed by a lightly toasted middle note and a slightly spiced herbaceous undertone. It will blend well with either lighter floral or deeper more earthy oils.
The Calendula plant has a long history of use in healing wounds and thus has been blended into in an array of skin care recipes. The flowers were collected and used for centuries by indigenous peoples of North America to cure nausea, ulcers, menstrual period problems, eye infections such as conjunctivitis.
Therapeutic Properties Described In The Aromatherapy Literature
Antibacterial, Anticancer, Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, Detoxifier, Emmenagogue, Stimulant (digestive and immune system)
A study in the 2009 issue of the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology found that Calendula works by inhibiting the signaling molecules and enzymes that trigger the body's inflammatory response.
In the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, (Volume 20 2009), researchers at Amala Cancer Research Centre Amala Nagar, India, published a study examining the wound-healing effects of the extract of Calendula officinalis. Researchers saw a dramatic increase in the healing speed of skin wounds, with the conclusion being summed up by: "The data indicate potent wound healing activity of Calendula officinalis extract."
Calendula oil also shows very potent anti-oxidant effects along with protective effects to organ systems. Another study examining these actions concluded "Calendula Extract has been found to contain several carotenoids of which lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene predominates. Possible mechanism of action of the flower extract may be due to its antioxidant activity and reduction of oxygen radicals." With this activity, the essential oil is not only an excellent choice for wound healing (and dermatitis of all types) but in daily-care recipes as well. One of the 'foundations' of skin aging is that free-radicals speed visible aging of our skin and these highly-regarded antioxidants may have a significant effect at slowing this process.
Also of interest is the support offered by Calendula oil for those undergoing cancer treatment for radiation-induced epithelitis, one expression of which is commonly called 'radiation burns'. A paper published in the July 2009 French journal of Cancer Radiotherapy, researchers noted that while aloe vera proved beneficial, "Calendula officinalis was shown to be superior".
Application and UseIngestion
Ingesting Calendula essential oil is completely safe in a balanced dose; Tinctures made using the oil are common. Teas made from Calendula are widely recognized as effective in cleansing the liver, and gallbladder.
TopicalCalendula can also be used topically in creams, poultices, compresses and lotions. It is suggested to add to skin care formulas at a 1 to 3% concentration, which equates to 9 to 27 drops of Calendula essential oil per ounce of your total recipe.
To treat varicose veins, try blending Calendula with Cypress and Lemon essential oils and massaging into the affected areas.
Calendula is non-toxic, non-irritating and an excellent choice for sensitive skin.