Calendula Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
Do not judge an essential oil only by its aroma! This statement holds true when it comes to an essential oil like calendula. The calendula oil benefits are abundant and way beyond your imagination.
Though calendula essential oil (obtained from Marigold flower) has a strong and not-so-pleasant aroma, its medicinal properties have been highly regarded for ages.
From treating bruises to preventing premature aging, the benefits of calendula oil are numerous. Let’s understand its history, therapeutic properties, chemical structure, and much more in this post.
What Is Calendula Oil?
Calendula essential oil is extracted from the flowers of Calendula officinalis through the process of steam distillation.
Commonly known as Marigold, the plant is native to Mediterranean regions. There are about 15 to 20 calendula species in the Asteraceae family. Marigold is a perennial herbaceous plant. The plant has erect stems, long, hairy leaves, and yellow. (1)
The flowers are orally taken in some places. Traditionally, the flowers were used to treat various conditions like acne, burns, fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, lymphadenitis, and much more.
Scientific Name Of Calendula Oil
The botanical name of calendula is Calendula officinalis.
History Of Calendula Oil
The name “calendula” comes from the Latin word “calendae,” which means “little calendar.” It was named so due to the Roman calendar. According to the Roman calendar, calendula flowers were in full bloom during the beginning of the cycle of the new moon.
Marigold has been used in the Egyptian civilizations for its rejuvenating properties. In India, the flower is used as an offering to gods, goddesses, and decorating temples. You will be fascinated to read the fact that Marigold was one of the key ingredients in plague-treating medicines.
It has been a part of traditional medical systems in many parts of the world. The flowers and leaves are slightly bitter but edible. It is still used in soups and salads.
Colour, Consistency, and Smell Of Calendula Oil
- The color of calendula oil is greenish yellow.
- The consistency of calendula oil is thick.
- The smell of calendula oil is strong slightly spicy, musky, woody, and bitter.
Properties Of Calendula Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of calendula essential oil include:
- Analgesic – Reduces pain sensation
- Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
- Antifungal – Inhibits fungal growth
- Anti-infectious – Prevents the growth of infections
- Anti-inflammatory – Alleviates inflammation
- Antimicrobial – Prevents the growth of microorganisms
- Antioxidant – Inhibits the process of oxidation
- Antiseptic – Destroys microbes and prevents their further development
- Antispasmodic – Prevents or relieves spasms, convulsions, or contractions
- Antiviral – Prevents viral growth
- Astringent – Contracts or tightens tissues
- Cicatrizing – Promotes the formation of scar tissue, thus healing
- Circulatory – Promotes the flow of blood and lymph
- Cytophylactic – Promotes cell turnover, thus healing
- Emmenagogue – Induces or regularizes menstruation
- Emollient – Soothes and softens skin
- Expectorant – Promotes removal of mucus from the body
- Hypnotic – Has a sedative effect
- Hypotensive – Lowers the blood pressure
- Immunostimulant – Stimulates the action of the immune system
- Laxative – Assists in bowel elimination
- Mucolytic – Breaks down mucus
- Nervine – Acts on nerves; relieves nervous disorders
- Regenerative – Tends to regenerate
- Restorative – Strengthens and revives the body’s systems
- Rubefacient – A counterirritant producing redness of the skin
- Sedative – Relaxes psychological and physical activity
- Soporific – Induces, or tends to induce, sleep
- Spasmolytic – Eases smooth muscle spasms
- Stimulant – Increases the overall function of the body
- Stomachic – Great for the stomach. It is a natural gastric tonic and a digestive aid
- Tonic – Refreshes and restores the bodily functions
- Vasodilatory – Promotes dilation of blood vessels
- Vulnerary – Heals wounds and sores when applied topically
Chemical Compounds In Calendula Oil
The chemical composition of calendula essential oil vary depending on the place of cultivation.
The compounds present in the essential oil extracted from calendula grown in Brazil include α-copaene (0.9%), α-ionone (1.5%), α-humulene (1.2%), geranylacetone (1.6%), γ-muurolene (2.3%), β-ionone (3.2%), Ledene (2.3%), α-muurolene (5.6%), γ-cadinene (8.9%), δ-cadinene (22.5%), α-cadinene (0.9%), α-calacorene (2.3%), caryophyllene oxide (0.5%), copaen-4-α-ol (0.6%), β-oplopenone (1.7%), viridiflorol (2.2%), ledol (1.3%), 1,10-di-epi-cubenol (0.9%), 1-epi-cubenol (1.6%), epi-α-muurolol (12.9%), α-cadinol (20.4%), and cadalene (0.8%). (4)
Health Benefits Of Calendula Oil
Though the calendula oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones include:
1. Protects your skin
Of all the benefits of calendula essential oil, it is prized the most for its healing powers on the skin. Topical application of the oil can decrease wrinkles, treat atopic skin, eczema, and prevent you from Ultraviolet B radiation.
Calendula is fortified with Vitamin A and E, providing the skin with all the necessary nutrition to regenerate itself. It can also be used to treat sunburns and tans.
Mix 5 drops of calendula oil with 10 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of rosemary oil. Take 2 to 3 drops from this mixture and dilute it using 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Apply the diluted blend topically to see a significant result.
2. Reduces inflammation in the eyes
Usually, essential oils are kept away from eyes and other sensitive areas. Eyes are one of the most sensitive organs in the body. And that is when hydrolats come as a better option.
Inflammation, puffy bag under the eyes, dark circles, eye dryness, and eye strain are becoming more prevalent than they once used to be.
Scientific research has found that calendula extracts and its essential oil are capable of treating conjunctivitis and eye inflammatory conditions.
Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflower hydrolat with 1 tablespoon of Witch hazel and a drop of Calendula oil together. Pour the mixture through an unbleached paper coffee filter. Store the filtered mixture in a clean, glass bottle. Keep it in the refrigerator for a week.
Put 2 cotton pads on a plate, pour some filtered mixture over them. Close your eyes and place the eye pads on it.
3. Heals wounds
Traditionally, calendula extracts were used to treat irritated and inflamed skin. Topical application of the oil can prevent itching, swelling, rashes, and redness.
Also, studies have found that calendula essential oil increases blood flow and promotes tissue growth in the affected areas. The oil also tightens the skin by encouraging collagen production, enhancing the healing process (11, 12)
You can use calendula essential oil to treat diaper rash, heat burns, and cuts. Blend 3 drops of calendula oil, 5 drops of rosemary oil, and 5 drops of lavender oil.
Take 3 drops from the mix and dilute it using 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 1 tablespoon of Shea butter. Apply it on the affected point until you find the desired result.
4. Relieves varicose veins
Veins are thin walled vessels that carry impure blood back to the heart. A varicose vein is a condition where the veins become enlarged and thick.
The muscles around the veins become weak during this condition. It can occur anywhere in the body but the veins in the legs are the largest, and it is mostly found there.
It causes spasms, pain, and discomfort below the veins.
Treating varicose veins needs a strict discipline when it comes to food. Being on a juice fast, eating a raw food diet followed by regular exercising and a gentle massage using essential oil can relieve the discomfort.
The calendula essential oil is spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, circulatory and a tonic. It strengthens the muscles and increases blood circulation. However, strong massage technique would hurt the veins (13, 14).
Blend 10 drops of cypress oil, 1 drop of peppermint oil, and 4 drops of calendula oil. Take 3 drops from the mixture and dilute it using 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil.
Hold the ankle by one hand gently and use the other hand to apply the oil in an upward motion.
5. Cures leg ulcers
Leg ulcers or stasis ulcers are wounds that occur on the ankles or legs due to damaged or abnormal veins.
It is often caused due to various blood circulatory problems. High Blood pressure, age, insufficient blood circulation, varicose veins, infections, water retention, and a few other factors contribute to leg ulcers.
The ulcers would get deep and worse over time if left untreated. Nutritional supplements of zinc, vitamin C, D, and E along with compressions would help prevent and treat ulcers.
Prepare a blend using 10 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of geranium oil, 5 drops of calendula oil, and 5 drops of lemon oil. The oil should not be applied to the sores but on the surrounding regions. But we recommend you to consult a physician for the treatment regime.
6. Breast-care oil
Few women suffer from sore breasts without any medical reason. Every woman experiences cramps in that area during the menstrual cycle. Excessive perspiration in the area may attract infections at times.
Calendula essential oil helps you to get rid of sore breasts and soothes the pain in sensitive areas.
It also moisturizes and restores the natural pigmentation of the skin. The antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties of the oil help in preventing the infection from sores.
Mix 1 drop of calendula oil with 5 drops of lavender oil. Dilute the blend using cold-pressed sesame oil. Apply the diluted oil on the affected regions and let it sit for a few minutes before you wash away.
7. Prevents pressure sores
When a person is bedridden for a long time or sits for a long time on a chair, a person develops the risk of pressure sores. When the skin becomes damaged due to improper or restricted circulation in the blood, lesions develop.
It requires a lot of preventive measures – usually, from keeping the bed clean to changing the body posture every 2 hours.
Calendula essential oil helps to increase the blood flow when topically applied.
Blend 5 drops of lavender oil, 5 drops of calendula oil, and 3 drops of tea tree oil. Dilute the mixture using 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed sesame oil or olive oil.
Apply a small amount of the diluted blend twice a day on the areas that are prone to developing sores. Make sure not to apply the oil directly on the sores.
8. Alleviates hemorrhoid pain
Scientific studies have demonstrated that calendula essential oil helps in tissue healing within a few weeks of usage.
Hemorrhoid pain is embarrassing and causes discomfort. It may sometimes bleed as well. Application of calendula essential oil helps in reducing pain and heals the wound faster.
9. Overcomes visual stress
Human eyes are built for natural lights. However, in today’s world, we are mostly working in a world of artificial lights, where there are constant radiations from computer screens and smartphones.
We are susceptible to many disturbances that are not good for our health. This leads to eye strain, headaches, and stress.
One of the best calendula oil benefits is that it is great for eye strains. It eliminates dryness and irritation in the eyes. (19)
10. Repels insects
Calendula flowers and its essential oil extracted from it are excellent insect repellents. That’s why it is one of the key ingredients used in most insect repellents.
Diffuse the oil in the room to repel mosquitoes and other pests in the garden. The strong aroma of the oil repels mosquitoes in a closed environment. If you do not have a diffuser, add 1-2 drops of calendula oil in a cup of water and place it in the corner of the room. (20)
What Blends With Calendula Oil?
Calendula oil blends the best with:
- Benzoin oil
- Bergamot oil
- Chamomile German oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Chamomile Roman oil
- Clary sage oil
- Citronella oil
- Geranium oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Jasmine oil
- Lavandin oil
- Lemon oil
- Lavender oil
- Lime oil
- Rose oil
- May Chang oil
- Neroli oil
- Tangerine oil
How To Use Calendula Oil?
- Topical Application: Calendula oil is considered safe even for people with sensitive skin. However, if you are allergic to flowers or some floral essential oils, then it is always better to perform a patch test before using the oil.
- Aromatherapy: For aromatherapy benefits, make sure to diffuse the oil using a vaporizer or a diffuser.
- Ingestion: Calendula essential oil is safe for oral intake. However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before using the oil. Unnecessary interactions may cause serious effects.
Side Effects Of Calendula Oil
- Avoid using the calendula essential oil if you have any allergic reactions.
- Pregnant and lactating women should not use this oil.
- The oil may cause drowsiness. Avoid using it if you are consuming sedative medications.
- Avoid the calendula essential oil during and after surgery or any treatment, as the drug interaction may cause some problems.