Calendula clears up your acne and is great for hydrating the skin. It is an extremely versatile medicinal herb that has a centuries-old history in herbal medicine. It is probably most well known for its powerful effects on the skin but herbalists have always used is as a medicinal herbs for health as well.

How I Make Medicine with Calendula

I love to make medicine with freshly harvested Calendula, it doesn’t grow wild in Iceland but it grows easily in gardens and I am sometimes lucky enough to have access to it.  Picking it leaves your fingers sticky and the gorgeous deep orange colour of the flowers fills with joy each time I pick it.  I use either fresh or dried Calendula flowers to make a tincture (herbs extracted in alcohol).  This tincture is then blended with other tinctures to become the Acne Healing Extract, my bestselling product in Iceland. I also make a Calendula herbal infusion to use in all of my moisturisers and dry the flowers for tea which I commonly dispense to my patients.

  • Botanical name: Calendula officinalis
  • Parts used: flowers
  • Action: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, heals wounds, relieves muscle spasm, astringent, prevents bleeding.
  • Used for: acne, wound healing, skin disorders, varicose veins, inflammations, ringworm, athlete’s foot, vaginal fungal infections, diaper rash, heartburn, gastritis, stomach ulcers, leaky gut, colitis, period pain, regulating menstrual bleeding, liver- and gallbladder conditions.
  • Preparations: tea, tincture, infused oil, poultice, suppository, cream, ointment

Calendula for Clearing Acne and Hydrating the Skin

Calendula has well known anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral effects. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and is especially effective against acne, spots and blemishes and any skin inflammation. Calendula flowers made into a tincture is one of the ingredients in my Acne Healing Extract. Other ingredients in that popular extract for acne are Yarrow and Arctic Thyme, but I find combining the three of them gives the best result. Calendula has traditionally always been used for skincare by herbalists but its popularity as a skincare herb has increased dramatically in the last few decades.  It calms and soothes red and inflamed skin and keeps it soft and healthy. Calendula can also prevent the formation of scars and promotes skin health after the skin has been damaged. Science is now showing that it improves elasticity and skin hydration which is why I use it in all my moisturisers:

Calendula as a Skin Remedy

This is such an ideal herb for the skin since it is strongly antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Calendula also has astringent effects on capillaries which explains its effectiveness for cuts, wounds, varicose veins and other inflammatory skin conditions. It has long been a popular skin remedy for any kind of red, itchy and inflamed skin, being effective for acne, eczema, burns, diaper rash, sore nipples, cold sores, ringworm and athlete’s foot.

How Calendula is Used in Herbal Medicine

Calendula is an excellent herb for all kinds of digestive conditions due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects. It has also long been considered to be a detoxifying herb that helps to treat underlying toxicity of various diseases. It is traditionally used for treating the lymph system and as a herb for women’s ailments.

About the Author

Anna Rósa is a medical herbalist and author of the bestselling book Icelandic Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses. She’s the CEO and founder of Anna Rósa Skincare and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in UK. It’s the oldest herbalist institute in the world, founded in 1894.

Anna Rósa CEO and Founder of Anna Rósa Skincare