Properties of Calendula Oil

Calendula oil often confused with carrier oils such as olive, jojoba or sunflower oil when discussing massage therapy and skin treatment. Unlike those oils, however, calendula oil is not made exclusively from the botanical for which it is named. Instead, makers of calendula oil crush the Calendula officinalis flowers to release their volatile oils, then heat them gently in olive or sunflower oil for a period of time. Use oil infused with calendula--also known as pot marigold--internally, as a salad or sauté oil, or externally, as a topical application.

Carrier Oil Emolliency

No list of calendula oil's benefits can be compiled without taking the carrier oil itself into consideration. Both olive and sunflower oils are packed with beneficial fatty acids that help moisturize and nourish the skin. But herbalist Jeanne Rose notes that normal to dry skin responds best to sunflower oil, while heavier olive oil moisturizes dry and damaged skin.

Soothes Dermatitis and Eczema

Perhaps above any other of its qualities, calendula's ability to ease serious skin conditions has brought it fame. According to Georgetown University Medical Center, "In one randomized controlled trial, 254 postoperative breast cancer patients applied either trolamine (a standard treatment) or calendula topically after receiving radiation therapy. Those who used calendula had significantly reduced incidence of acute dermatitis above grade 2."

Eases Insect Bites and Allergy Hives

The Mayo Clinic advises using a calendula-based paste to sooth bee stings and other bug-bite irritations, as well as to ease allergy hives resembling bug bites in nature. Calendula oil can be applied by itself, or mixed with melted beeswax for a thicker ointment.

Helps "Women's Symptoms"

HerbNet recommends ingesting calendula oil to ease the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome, which includes sore nipples. Calendula oil can be used in an oil-and-vinegar salad dressing, or added while sautéing food or making just about any dish in which you might use olive oil. "The Good Witch Herbal" also recommends eating fresh calendula petals, calendula tea or calendula oil for symptoms of menopause.

Aids Varicose Veins

According to the "Plants For A Future" online database, the old-time remedy of using calendula oil to ease the symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins has merit. The flowers contain significant amounts of cartenoids and flavonoids, which help build up the walls of capillaries and veins. Regular application is necessary.

Bruises and Wounds

The "Plants For A Future" database notes that calendula's abilities to help fade bruises and heal wounds works both topically and internally. Rub calendula oil or an ointment made from calendula oil onto the affected areas regularly, and also eat foods which have been prepared with calendula oil.

Keywords: calendula oil, Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, calendula varicose veins, marigold PMS

About this Author

Melissa Jordan-Reilly has been a writer for 20 years, both as a newspaper reporter and as an editor of nonprofit newsletters. Among the publications in which she has published are, "The Winsted Journal," "Taconic" and "Compass Magazine." A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Jordan-Reilly also pursues sustainable agriculture techniques and tends a market garden at her Northwestern Connecticut home.