Mother Earth Living

Calendula Tincture Recipe

This calendula tincture is easy to make and perfect in teas, baths and astringent solutions.
By Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox
January/February 2008
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The most efficient solvent for making a calendula tincture at home is grain alcohol, or ethyl alcohol, at a concentration of 95 percent alcohol (190 proof).
Photo By Tatiana Belova/Fotolia


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The reason we like to tincture our calendula flowers is to preserve their medicinal qualities so that the calendula tincture can be added to teas and healing baths, astringent solutions for cosmetic purposes and as first aid for wounds. According to herbalist James Green, in The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook (Crossing Press, 2000), the most efficient solvent for extracting fresh calendula flowers at home is grain alcohol (ethyl alcohol) at a concentration of 95 percent alcohol (190 proof). This is sold in some states under the label Everclear. Dried flowers may be tinctured using 60 to 80 percent alcohol. In this case, the 190-proof grain alcohol would be diluted with distilled water because even 100-proof vodka is only 50 percent alcohol. Recipes below are adapted from The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook.

To read the main article about the many uses of calendula, in both the kitchen and the apothecary, read Celebrate Calendula Flowers

Dried Calendula Tincture

• 1/2 cup tightly packed whole, dried calendula flowers
• 1 ounce distilled water
• 4 ounces grain alcohol, 190 proof

Grind dried flowers in a spice or coffee grinder (one not yet used for coffee) or use a mortar and pestle. Grinding will reduce the flowers to a powder measuring ¼ cup (about 20 grams, or a scant 1 ounce). Place the powder in a pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to alcohol in a measuring cup and stir. Pour this mixture of alcohol and water over the herbs. Stir to completely dampen every particle of herb. Shake the tincture twice a day for 14 days. On the 15th day, let the jar sit undisturbed. On the next day, gently pour the tincture (decant) into another container, such as a jar or measuring cup. Press the finished calendula petals by using either a tincture press or by emptying the herb into a piece of cheese cloth or muslin, wrapping and pressing down to extract all of the essence from the tinctured herb; combine this final-pressed mixture with what has been poured off. Filter if desired. Store in a labeled opaque glass bottle.

Approximate dose is 1 to 2 milliliters, three to four times a day.

Fresh Calendula Tincture

Chop and crush enough calendula flowers to completely fill a 1-pint canning jar. Slowly pour in enough pure grain alcohol to completely cover the herb. Secure the lid tightly. Shake and turn the jar every day for 14 days. On the 15th day, let the jar sit undisturbed. Gently pour the tincture into another container. Press the finished calendula petals by using either a tincture press or by emptying the herb into a piece of cheese cloth or muslin, wrapping and pressing down to extract all of the essence from the petals; combine this final-pressed mixture with what has been poured off. Filter if desired. Store in a labeled, opaque bottle.

Approximate dose is 1 to 2 milliliters, three to four times a day.


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