Medicine Making Series: #1 Calendula Oil

Medicine Making Series: #1 Calendula Oil

The first step is to find some calendula. This plant can be found throughout Portland. You can also purchase calendula flowers at various herb shops. The Herb Shoppe has always been a trusty place to source ingredients for medicine making. Click here for the link to their online catalogue.

There are two methods you can use to make an herbal oil. There is a slow “sit on the counter for several days” method and a quicker one that uses heat to speed up the extraction process. Both options are included below.

Ingredients: same for either method

  • 4 oz of fresh or dried calendula flowers (dried herb reduces chance of bacteria growing)
  • clear glass containers for decanting / extracting
  • 2 cups of quality oil (like extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, or fractionated coconut oil)
  • strainer
  • large bowl
  • cheese cloth or tea towel
  • amber glass bottles to contain the end product
  • 1/2-1 oz of vitamin E oil


  • Oil is best stored in a dark colored bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Shelf-life is 1 year if properly stored.
  • Add vitamin E oil to avoid mold
  • calendula single.jpg

Slower method:

  • Add 4 oz of calendula for every 1-2 cups of oil
  • Fill clear container with herbs (in this case calendula)
  • Fill jar with oil leaving 1 inch minimum from the top
  • Fresher herbs will absorb more oil, so okay to fill as needed as this happens
  • Cover container(s) with tight fitting lids
  • Store in a warm, dark place for 4-6 weeks until oil takes on a rich color and aroma of the herb.
  • Pour through a strainer with cheesecloth on top to remove most of the crude herb from the oil with the storage jar underneath.

Quick method:

  • Place herbs and oil in slow cooker.
  • Heat slowly on low for 48-72 hours.
  • When the oil possesses the color and aroma of the herb, remove from heat.
  • Pour through a strainer with cheesecloth on top to remove most of the crude herb from the oil with the storage jar underneath.
  • Then pick up cloth and squeeze together to further remove oil from herb.

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