So is there such a thing as pure calendula oil? The short answer is yes.
Now here is the long answer.
Calendula is a medicinal herb used since Ancient Greek times and renown for its beneficial properties for the skin. Calendula oil is applied pure, undiluted on the skin where it is quickly absorbed. It helps to nourish and repair all skin because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxydant properties. Even the most delicate and sensitive skin benefit from it.
Calendula can be use fresh as a herbal tea. Such a tea assists soothing the skin inside (mucus membrane) like for the digestive system. It will also help with the lymphatic system. How wonderful!
To extend the life of a herb, we can transform them in a way or an other. One of those is to dry the plant for a later use. Be aware that to preserve the beneficial qualities of the herb, it needs to be dried at a low controlled temperature. That way the herb will keep its vibrant colour. This is a telling sign of the quality of the herb you have.
An other way to transform medicinal herb is to make a tincture with it. This is known then as a liquid extract or liquid tincture. There is a way to go about it to ensure the efficacy of the final product. As this is an other topic all together I shall not discuss this in the present blog.
Let us carry on and consider calendula oil.
The traditional way to product a botanical/herbal medicine oil is by steeping botanical matter into an oil and let it sit in this way for a certain amount of time.
Reading European ways to make infused oil, they mix herbs into oil and let the jar sit in the sun as to harness the heating power of the sun. Following this approach some people choose to have the herbal material and oil sit in a slow cooker at a very low temperature for 2 to 3 days.
In the light of this information, a calendula oil is always an infused oil. Yet the quality varies. As they say: oil ain't oil.
Trained as a herbalist I learned some crucial element in making a top quality herbal infused oil.
First - the herbal material is dried at a low controlled temperature as to protect the beneficial qualities of the herb. Using dried herbs also means no water content of the herb will be transferred to the oil. This would decrease the shelf life of the final oil.
Second - select a high quality oil which is freshly made and will be stable for a long time. Olive oil is renown to be stable for the longest period of time.
Third - make the herbal infusion with no heat applied during the process as to maintain the quality of the oil.
Fourth - infused for at least 3 months.
Fifth - once the infusion is completed and the oil filtered, store the final product with the least air in the container, in a dark place, with a stable room temperature.
An oil made in such a way will be stable for up to five years. The scent is pleasant, the texture light, absorbs easily and leave your skin smooth, nourished and repaired.
If you would like to know more about the calendula oil we produce, read all about it here: https://theherbalgardener.com.au/collections/face/products/calendula-oil.
Our calendula oil is Australian grown, made and certified organic (actually Demeter Biodynamic) since 2008.
I hope this is helpful to understand more about calendula oil and how to best select it.