If you’re ever taken a class in herbalism or even read a few blogs on the subject you most likely know the herb calendula.
In the United Kingdom and in most of Europe it was called marigold but as another, unrelated plant, the Mexican Marigold, gained popularity, herbalists gradually shifted using the Latin binomial Calendula officianalis. Over time, the Latin name was shortened to be simply Calendula, which is what we call it today.
For centuries, herbalists and healers have plucked the calendula flowers from fresh blooming plants and steeped them in oil, infusing the oil with the healing compounds in the calendula flowers. These flower infusions remain the main stay of any herbal apothecary and home practitioner.
But there is another calendula oil. Completely different from the infused oil. I recently came across calendula seed oil, a new calendula oil pressed from calendula seeds. Just like other fixed/carrier oils, it is a lipid oil made up of fatty acids. It is still quite rare hard to find.
Here’s a few interesting things to note about calendula seed oil. It is made up of a little over half calendic acid, a fatty acid unique to the calendula plant.
And what is unusual about calendic acid is that it is a conjugated CLnA, fatty acid similar to punicic acid in pomegranate seed oil.
Both these unique fatty acids give the the oil they are found in, a thick protective feel. When I use these oils, both calendula with the calendic fatty acid, and pomegranate seed oil with punicic acid in skin care formulas, I usually dilute it in another lighter and more absorbent oil. And while you can use either of these oils safely directly on the skin, they do feel a bit thick and sticky when used alone.
This morning, inspired by the first fresh calendula blooming in my garden, I recorded this short video for you on the difference between calendula seed oil, which I purchased from a supplier out of Egypt, and my own calendula infused oil that I made last year with fresh calendula petals.
With these two powerful healing oils on hand, just imaging the potential to treat and heal the skin.