I love calendulas, more commonly called marigolds. I have grown them in my garden for many years for three reasons. One, they are so beautiful and bright. Two, the keep many pests away from my veggies. Three, you can do so many things with the flowers. Every year we save the seed and replant in the spring. They are easy to grow and will continue flowering through to early winter (I still have some growing in my garden, we live somewhere with a very mild climate in winter).
During summer we often sprinkle the leaves on our salads. We gather as many flower heads as possible and some of them we use fresh and the rest we dry out. The bulk of the flowers are made into calendula oil. It's so simple and so effective. Get a clean glass jar, fill with calendula flowers and then add oil. It's up to you which oil you choose depending on preference and budget. We usually use almond oil but sometimes we use sunflower oil too, we prefer organic oil. Make sure the oil completely covers the flowers otherwise mould may form on the flowers. Place the lid on and close tightly. Put the jar in a sunny place, I put mine on our kitchen windowsill. Shake the jar every day. In around two or three weeks the oil will be ready. Strain the oil into a new, clean glass jar and label. I store mine in the bathroom cabinet.
We almost ran out of calendula oil in February and had to make more. Luckily we still have a nice big bag of dried flowers from the summer. My six year old enjoys filling glass jars with calendula flowers before covering with oil.
Anytime we have any skin issues, dry skin, sore skin, itchy skin, we rub calendula oil into the skin and it soothes it immediately and heals it quickly. We mix the calendula oil with a little melted beeswax to make our own lipbalms. (ratio beeswax to oil 1:4 in volume, adjust as required) During the winter months I pour a little homemade caledula oil into our baths and when we get out, our skin is silky smooth and smelling lovely.