Calendula oil is made from the calendula flower, which is part of the marigold family. The oil is most often used as an herbal remedy for treating several different skin problems. Calendula oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, and people throughout the world have been using it for these benefits since the sixteenth century. It is usually available at health food stores and may also be made at home from harvested calendula flowers.
Some of the skin problems that calendula oil may be helpful in treating include bed sores, varicose veins, and dryness. Many people also use it to treat diaper rash and for the relief of chapped, bleeding nipples from breastfeeding. The antiseptic properties of this oil might help prevent infection in bug bites and small cuts or burns on the skin. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of the oil may be effective for killing harmful bacteria already present in skin injuries, such as Staphylococcus. It is not typically advisable to use calendula oil for very deep cuts or serious burns, however.
Applying calendula oil to the skin is generally very easy. It is normally just rubbed onto the affected area in the same manner as lotion or any other topical skin treatment. In most cases, about three applications per day are necessary. For people who do not like using oil directly on their skin, it is also possible to find calendula oil in the form of lotions, salves, and creams.
Making calendula oil is normally a simple process as well. First, the flowers are harvested and the blossoms placed inside a jar filled with some type of oil, such as olive or safflower. Every flower in the jar should be covered in the oil. The jar is then covered with cheesecloth and placed in a sunny spot until all the moisture has evaporated. When the mixture has a yellowish tint, the oil is strained through a colander and into sterilized jars.
Any type of herbal remedy, including calendula oil, could potentially cause an allergic reaction in some people. Even if something is widely considered to be harmless, it may still be a good idea for a person who has never used a certain herb to test it first on a small area of skin. If nothing out of the ordinary happens within a few hours, it may be safe to assume that no allergic reaction is going to occur.