At The Joy of Soap one of our most popular handmade soaps is Feeling Frisky, and many people ask about the petals and their purpose in the soap. These are calendula flower petals. In addition to providing a nice looking element to the soap, and a mild exfoliant property, the flower petals also provide anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties as well. What a powerful herb! It is the essential oils and salicylic acid naturally found in calendula that make this a wonderful skin-healthy source for people to treat external infections and skin problems.
With all of these powerful properties you will find skin soothing calendula not only in soaps, but also in creams, tinctures and salves used to treat burns, infections, rashes, and eczema. Calendula contains an important phytochemical, carotenoids, which are known to accelerate healthy skin cell repair.
Calendula-infused tea (made from the flowers) is used internally to help the immune and lymphatic system fight bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections. Please consult a medical professional for more information and appropriate dosages before attempting to treat yourself.
Calendulas, also called pot marigolds, are an aromatic herb that are easily grown from seeds. They grow quickly and if left alone and are treated with some love they should continue to grow year after year.
Some people also recommend rinsing your hair with calendula tea to help bring out highlights in blond and brunette hair. For bath fans, you can easily put some dried flowers and/or petals in a muslin bag, soak the bag in the warm water and then squeeze the bag to bring out more skin-soothing benefits. Personally, I have soaked calendula flower petals in grapeseed oil for a few weeks, and then used the strained oil for making a homemade skin soothing cream.
NOTE: Do not use if pregnant or nursing. People with allergies to plants in the Aster/Compositae family, such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies, may have an allergic reaction to calendula.
Please feel free to share your homemade calendula inspired recipes.