Calendulas are not only a decoration of our gardens where their orange and yellow flowers shine and light up every corner, but they are also an integral part of a medicine cabinet of any herbalist.
Easy to grow from seeds, calendulas belong to one of the most popular herbs used internally as well as externally in herbal medicine.
Calendula tincture has a large spectrum of uses from sore throat inflammations to healing open wounds and hemorrhoids. Its spasmolytic effect helps treat abdominal cramps and constipation.
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Whether you grow your own calendula or you get your desired marigold (calendula) flowers from a shop, what can you do to harness their power?
The gentle and versatile way of preparation is a classic herbal tea. When you feel sad, tired, low in energy or fractured from the troubles that life can bring, a warm cup of calendula tea will revive in you the healing power, energy, and optimism you need in your life.
However, where we need to achieve a higher concentration of the active substance and wish to receive a stronger effect on our body, we prefer tincture. We also use it where we know that active substances dissolve better in ethanol than in water.
What is tincture?
Tincture in herbal medicine means an extract of the plant in various ethanol concentrations (20 – 90%) that you make by soaking herbs in alcohol for several weeks. After that, the herbs are strained and the concentrated liquid full of active ingredients is ready to be used. Tinctures are a traditional way of preparing herbs
The word “tincture” was originally used in pharmaceuticals and derived from the Latin tingo, tinctus – stained, meant dye or drug.
Tinctures are made of single plants or mixed plants. Depending on herb one can use various parts – roots, bark, petals in fresh or dried form.
- simple dosing
- fast onset of action – ethanol helps faster absorption of active substances into the blood and into the whole body
- concentrated tinctures can be diluted in water to hide the taste
- portable – convenient for travel, and for carrying in a handbag so you can administer your herbs wherever you are
- Tinctures are a great option for those who lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to prepare herbal teas daily.
- long shelf life (ethanol acts as a preservative) – up to 5 years
How to make a tincture?
Making your own tincture is very easy and all you need are two ingredients:
alcohol – you can use ethanol 60% (synonyms: ethyl alcohol or grain spirit) that is available in a pharmacy
alternatively use vodka, rum or brandy
Substitutes for Ethanol: Ethanols is an excellent solvent for both constituents (acidic and alkaline). However, you can replace it with glycerol or apple cider vinegar (non-alcohol)
calendula – use dry or fresh calendula petals. To get maximum of medicinal properties from the herb, smaller pieces of the herb are better. So bruise or grind the herbs in a mortar and pestle to help maximize the extraction process
If you don’t want to prepare your own calendula tincture you can buy one here
the ratio for dry herbs: 1:5 (one weight part of the calendula petals and 5 weight part of alcohol)
the ratio for fresh herbs 1:2
The typical dose is 3 times 20 drops/day of tincture
Apply in forms of drops under the tongue or drops diluted in juice, water or tea
Uses of Calendula tincture:
- for gargling to reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and sore throat. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917203/
- This helped to soothe sore throats and stop infections, laryngitis and tonsillitis, coughs, dryness of the lungs and digestive upsets.
- internally to clean the lymphatic system – swollen glands or heavy rings. The lymph is filtering and eliminating waste products and bacteria and therefore helps keep our immune system strong. Calendula tincture raises immunity by stimulating lymphatic drainage https://www.rjwhelan.co.nz/herbs%20A-Z/calendula.html
- for treating of sore or broken tissues such as gastric or duodenal ulcers 
- its spasmolytic effect is used for the treatment of abdominal cramps and constipation [2[
- You can apply locally to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. Or apply to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the rectum 
- excellent antimicrobial activity against fungi and most of the bacteria tested while comparing with Fluconazole 
- Calendula contains astringents such as tannins that are used topically on the skin for treatment of acne. Calendula tincture reduces inflammation and prevents further spread of the infection over the skin. It also promotes rapid healing of the skin.  . You can apply directly on the skin to treat acne or impetigo-simply add a few drops of the tincture to any kind of neutral skin cream you use every day just before applying to your face, or you can add a few drops of tincture to every application of face wash. Alternatively, make acne mask from calendula tincture, cinnamon and essential oils – the recipe is coming soon.
- as a mouthwash for infected gums and other mouth problems -. You can dilute a few drops of tincture in a glass of water and use as a mouth rinse or gargle for sore, inflamed throat and gums.
- Calendula tincture can be added to bath water or a hair rinse to help itching or irritated scalp and skin conditions.
Can you make a non-alcoholic tincture?
If you want to create a non-alcoholic tincture, then you can simply replace the alcohol with Apple Cider Vinegar.
Pour the apple cider vinegar over the herbs and cover them by 2-3 inches, and then seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Then, place the jar in a warm, sunny spot, and let the herbs soak (macerate) for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking daily
This vinegar-based tincture will keep for at least 1 year.
Why store tincture in dark places?
The medicinal compounds in tinctures are both light-sensitive and air-sensitive so they may break down with prolonged light exposure. If kept correctly tincture shelf life is more than 5 years.