Calendula Tincture Recipe

What Is Calendula?

You may not recognize the name calendula, but perhaps you have heard of marigolds, which is the broad classification of the flowering plants found within this genus. Calendula officianalis is the most common species within the genus, but all possess certain compounds and substances that make them valuable in certain parts of the world. You may hear the name marigold in reference to a different genus, but it specifically refers to 15-20 different species of pot marigold found throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean region, and parts of southern Asia.

Health Benefits Of Calendula

Let’s take a closer peek at the diverse health benefits of this flowering plant.

Healing Properties

One of the best reasons to keep calendula handy is due to its healing abilities. If you apply this flower oil to your cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites, you can quickly speed the healing process, partially due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, in addition to the unique antioxidant compounds found in this miraculous plant. By protecting against infections, it keeps wounds and scrapes safe, allowing them to heal rapidly.

Oral Health

There are also certain antibacterial properties of calendula that have made it very popular in recent years. You will often find it on the ingredients list of various herbal health and hygiene products, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, and shampoos. In terms of oral health, toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain calendula are very effective in killing bacteria that cause everything from gingivitis to cavities.

Skin Care

Aside from stimulating healing, calendula oil can significantly boost the appearance of your skin. It can affect blood flow to the skin cells, provide antioxidant protection that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and ages spots, and even the visibility of scars. If you want smooth, even-toned skin that glows with youthful vitality, consider adding some organic products that contain calendula or consume it in another form, such as tea.

Vision Health

Research has shown that calendula contains certain antioxidant compounds that directly impact your vision. Beta-carotene is essential for the health and functioning of your eyes, and it is a wonderful source of this compound.

Reduced Inflammation

Regardless of where inflammation is occurring, this flowering plant can significantly reduce the discomfort. If you are suffering from a cough or congestion, calendula tea can be a wonderful remedy. If your joints are hurting from arthritis or gout, add some calendula oil to a skin balm and enjoy a rapid reduction in pain. Finally, if your stomach is upset, it can help normalize your gastrointestinal system and eliminate any inflammation that may be causing discomfort.

Cancer Prevention

Calendula oil has certain anti-tumor properties that make it very valuable in new cancer research exploring natural solutions to this global epidemic. Cancer remains one of the great mysteries of our species in terms of collective health, and compounds like those found in calendula offer an interesting new angle on this critical issue.

This calendula tincture is easy to make and perfect in teas, baths and astringent solutions.

 According to herbalist James Green, in The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook (Crossing Press, 2000), the most efficient solvent for extracting fresh calendula flowers at home is grain alcohol (ethyl alcohol) at a concentration of 95 percent alcohol (190 proof). This is sold in some states under the label Everclear. Dried flowers may be tinctured using 60 to 80 percent alcohol. In this case, the 190-proof grain alcohol would be diluted with distilled water because even 100-proof vodka is only 50 percent alcohol. Recipes below are adapted from The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook.

Dried Calendula Tincture

• 1/2 cup tightly packed whole, dried calendula flowers
• 1 ounce distilled water
• 4 ounces grain alcohol, 190 proof

Grind dried flowers in a spice or coffee grinder (one not yet used for coffee) or use a mortar and pestle. Grinding will reduce the flowers to a powder measuring ¼ cup. Place the powder in a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to alcohol in a measuring cup and stir. Pour this mixture of alcohol and water over the herbs. Stir to completely dampen every particle of herb. Shake the tincture twice a day for 14 days. On the 15th day, let the jar sit undisturbed. On the next day, gently pour the tincture (decant) into another container, such as a jar or measuring cup. Press the finished calendula petals  by emptying the herb into a piece of cheese cloth or muslin, wrapping and pressing down to extract all of the essence from the tinctured herb; combine this final-pressed mixture with what has been poured off.  Store in a labeled bottle.

Approximate dose is 1 tablespoon, three to four times a day.

 

 

Fresh Calendula Tincture

Chop and crush enough calendula flowers to completely fill a 1-pint canning jar. Slowly pour in enough pure grain alcohol to completely cover the herb. Secure the lid tightly. Shake and turn the jar every day for 14 days. On the 15th day, let the jar sit undisturbed. Gently pour the tincture into another container. Press the finished calendula petals by using  cheese cloth or muslin, wrapping and pressing down to extract all of the essence from the petals; combine this final-pressed mixture with what has been poured off. Store in a labeled bottle.

Approximate dose is 1 tablespoon, three to four times a day.

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