Calendula is a beneficial and versatile herb that’s perfect for tea and a myriad of other uses. Learn about the benefits of calendula, 3 ways to make calendula tea, plus 17 other creative ways to use it!
Calendula – One of Our Family’s Favorite Herbs
Calendula is one of our family’s favorite herbs in the garden. It is such a joy growing, harvesting, and nourishing ourselves with these bright golden blossoms!
Calendula has been used in folk medicine for centuries and is one of the most common herbal remedies in the world. It’s often featured in skin formulas for its soothing properties, but it has many other benefits too!
Richard might even be more passionate about calendula than myself – he is always steeping a cup of this lovely tea for some reason or other.
Is calendula a marigold? Or are they different?
The herb’s scientific name is Calendula officinalis, which is sometimes called pot marigold, so the two often get confused. However, calendula is a totally different plant than marigold (Tagetes erecta).
Calendula flowers have straighter and thinner petals, while marigold blossoms are very round with thicker, curved petals, as shown below.
Marigolds are typically used in gardening to keep away bugs and pests, so they are great for companion planting. In contrast, calendula is most well known for its herbal benefits and edible properties, beneficial for the whole body. Make sure you’re using Calendula officinalis for all the recipes mentioned here!
Calendula blossoms are also sticky to the touch, which is actually desirable and means that it contains more herb healing properties. For more on the differences between calendula vs. marigold, check out this post from the Nerdy Farm Wife.
Calendula Tea Benefits
There are so many benefits of calendula tea, but here are just a few!
- Antioxidant rich. Calendula can help combat the effects of oxidative stress. “In a study in rats fed monosodium glutamate (MSG), calendula extract significantly reduced oxidative stress and reverted the depletion of antioxidant levels by up to 122%” (source)
- Anti-inflammatory. “Pharmacological studies reveal that C. officinalis exhibits antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.” (NCBI)
- Anti-microbial. May help kill unwanted bacteria and seems to be effective against Candida yeast.
- Wound & skin healing. Applied topically, calendula tea or ointment can help speed healing and boost the skin’s own collagen production. It is also seems to be beneficial for skin conditions such as rash and eczema, or to help reduce acne.
- Oral health benefits. Calendula may help to combat gingivitis and keep mouth bacteria at a healthy level.
Calendula tea is wonderful for so many occasions. First, we often drink calendula tea when we feel any sort of cold coming on since it’s full of antioxidants, and is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
My husband loves to brew a strong cup of calendula tea, and is convinced it wards off the germs that come his way (along our with super tonic).
But, you don’t have to reserve your calendula tea for when you’re feeling under the weather. It’s good for you anytime!
Calendula is generally considered safe for most people. However, if you are pregnant you shouldn’t use calendula, as it can trigger menstruation.
If you have severe pollen or ragweed allergies, you might react to calendula tea.
Finally, if you are on blood pressure medication or take sedatives, calendula tea could be contraindicated (source). Consult a health care provider before use.
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Does calendula tea make you sleepy?
What does calendula tea taste like?
Calendula has a sweet fragrance but a slightly bitter, yet floral taste. It pairs wonderfully with a bit of honey stirred in.
How to Make Calendula Tea (3 Easy Recipes)
There are two methods for making calendula tea: using fresh flowers OR the dried petals (herb). Or, make an overnight infusion, which is more medicinal.
🌼 Fresh Flower Calendula Tea 🌼
Put a handful of fresh calendula blossoms (I use about 4 flowers per person) in a jar or teapot. Pour over boiling water and allow to steep for 3-4 minutes. Strain, add honey if desired and enjoy!
🌼 Dried Petals Calendula Tea 🌼
If you buy herbal calendula tea from the store, it is simply dried flower petals. You can either dry the calendula petals yourself or purchase the loose leaf calendula herb.
Add 1-2 tablespoons dried calendula petals to a mug and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes, add honey if desired, and enjoy.
Tip: If you make a lot of loose leaf tea, this tea steeper/infuser is super handy to have! I like it better than the mesh infuser balls.
🌼 Calendula Infusion 🌼
If you want your calendula to have a more medicinal effect and a stronger flavor, try an infusion. An infusion is created by allowing herbs to steep in water for a longer period of time, usually overnight, to extract all the minerals, aromatic oils, enzymes, vitamins, etc. This method allows more time than regular tea for all the herb’s beneficial properties to be extracted into the liquid.
Use 1-2 tablespoons dried calendula petals (or 3-4 fresh calendula blossoms) per cup of water. For example, if you want a 16 oz. infusion you will need to use 3-4 tablespoons calendula and 2 cups water.
Add calendula to a jar or teapot and pour over boiling water. Allow to infuse overnight before using.
You can drink the infusion or use it topically such as a face toner, throat spray, apply to wounds or rashes, etc.
If using internally, use the infusion within 1-2 days. If using extrenally, use infusion within a week.
Tip: Try adding other flavors to your calendula tea! I like adding fresh ginger and lemon. You could also add other herbs you enjoy to create your own blend such as chamomile, peppermint, nettle, etc.
Calendula is a beneficial and versatile herb that's perfect for tea. Here are 3 ways to make calendula tea: with fresh flowers, with dried flowers, or as an infusion.
- 1-2 Tablespoons dried calendula herb (OR 3-4 fresh calendula blooms)
- 8 ounces boiling water
If using dried calendula: Add 1-2 tablespoons dried calendula petals to a mug and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes, strain, and add honey if desired.
If using fresh calendula blooms: Put a handful of fresh calendula blossoms (I use about 4 flowers per person) in a jar or teapot. Pour over boiling water and allow to steep for 3-4 minutes. Strain, add honey if desired and enjoy!
To make an herbal infusion: Add calendula to a jar or teapot and pour over boiling water. Allow to infuse overnight before using. You can drink the infusion or use it topically such as a face toner, throat spray, apply to wounds or rashes, etc. *
* If using internally, use the infusion within 1-2 days. If using extrenally, use infusion within a week.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 10Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Calendula Gardening Tips
You can easily grow calendula yourself at home! It is a very forgiving plant, and it’s so fun to see the bright orange/yellow blossoms popping up in the spring and summer months.
I bought organic calendula seeds online and Richard planted them. He planted 2-3 seeds about 18 inches apart. To harvest, simply pluck the blossoms and more flowers will grow in their place.
When harvesting, it’s best to use the entire calendula flower head rather than just the petals. The green base of the flower contains lots of medicinal properties that the petals alone don’t have.
Wash thoroughly and allow them to dry fully before storing as tea. My husband uses a needle and thread to string them up in our kitchen, like this:
Then we carefully store the loose tea in a glass jar to make tea whenever we want it.
If you’re not interested in growing your own calendula, you can find it online (just make sure it’s organic!)
17 Other Ways to Use Calendula
- Add calendula infusion to a spray bottle and use for wound healing or skin irritation, rashes, etc.
- Make your own sensitive skin face moisturizer with calendula.
- Use calendula infusion or tea as a facial toner to help prevent acne.
- DIY calendula oil has a variety of uses for the skin.
- Spray infusion into your throat if you have a sore throat.
- Make your own calendula salve which is wonderful for healing wounds, cuts, and bruises.
- Add calendula flowers to a second ferment to flavor kombucha.
- Make some moisturizing calendula body butter for dry skin.
- This calendula sugar scrub makes a lovely DIY gift.
- Celebrate calendula’s edible side by making these raw calendula beauty bars for a nourishing snack!
- Use as an herbal hair rinse, especially good for itchy scalp!
- Add calendula flowers to your favorite salad to make it extra beautiful and nourishing.
- For a special touch, add calendula flowers to your favorite shortbread recipe.
- Add cooled calendula tea to your favorite smoothie.
- Soothe your scalp with this homemade calendula shampoo bar.
- Try this calendula hair oil for hair regrowth.
- Add calendula tea as part of the liquid in homemade gummies!
If you make calendula tea, be sure to leave a review here and tag me on Instagram @healthychristianhome so I can see it!
Have you ever made calendula tea from flowers? What’s your favorite herbal tea?