The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “marigold” is the sweet little, oddly scented flower that lined my grandfather’s gardens as a child. Back then I had no idea what an important part these little sunset colored flowers played in the garden. Later, my love for gardening lead me to stumble upon the true purpose the marigolds were playing. Marigolds can help to repel pesky insects from the garden without the use of chemical pesticides. Under-planting certain vegetables or simply lining a garden with this and other helpful plants is a great way to build a successful, natural garden.
Certain marigolds, like Calendula officinalis, are often used to serve a purpose beyond garden defense. Known in the natural skin care industry as Calendula, these flowers can be used to heal and protect the skin. Calendula can be used in salves, balms, and intensive spa treatments to soothe and comfort irritated, damaged, and sensitized skin. The colorful petals are also a common ingredient in cold process soapmaking. Dried Calendula Petals have the unique ability to retain their beautiful color throughout the soaping and curing process. This is a very special property because most herbs and flowers will morph in color during the soap making process, becoming unattractive.
Because Calendula possesses such strong healing properties, a variety of ingredients have been created to help formulators incorporate Calendula’s benefits into a wide range of formulations. Calendula Extract comes in many forms.
- Water soluble, Powdered Calendula Extract is perfect for use in water based formulations such as toners, splashes, or rinses. Powdered Calendula Extract can also be added to the water phase of cream and lotion formulas.
- Calendula CO2 Extract is a highly potent, completely pure botanical extract that is dispersible in oil based formulas. This complete high quality extract can be used in a wide range of products including balms, salves, lotions, creams, and masks.
- Calendula Oil is a combination of Soybean Oil, Calendula Extract, and Tocopherol. It is a great choice for massage, soap making, and basic toiletry making.
- Ground Calendula Petals can be used to color soaps, create herbal bath teas, powders, and more. The ground flowers can even be infused into oil or water to create healing salves and lotions.