DIY Herbal Infused Oils
The first thing you need to make an infused oil is dried herbs. It is very important that the herbs are totally dry before you combine them with oil, as they can cause rancidity. Many different types of herbs work well for making infused oils, especially lavender, rosemary, calendula, plantain, yarrow, comfrey, and mullein. If you don’t already have your own dried herbs, Mountain Rose Herbs and Monterey Spice Company both have a great selection of medicinal herbs to choose from.
Next you will need to choose the oil that you want to use. I usually use a high quality, light olive oil, but there are many types of carrier oils that you can choose from. I generally avoid Grapeseed oil because it has the shortest shelf life.
Once you have those two simple ingredients, there are several ways of making infused herbal oils. The first one is probably the easiest, but it does take the most time. Simply put the dried herbs of your choice into a jar and cover them with oil.
Stir the mixture gently with a spoon to get as many of the air bubbles out as possible.
Then put in a sunny windowsill for 4 to 6 weeks to steep.
When you feel it’s ready, simply strain the herbs from the oil using cheese cloth or a nut milk bag.
Cap with a lid and use as soon as possible. Once oils have been infused they have a shorter shelf life, so I try to only make as much as I’ll use within a six months. Any extra you might have should be stored in the refrigerator for future use. I put a small bottle of this in the bathroom to use after showers and it makes your skin amazingly soft. Who needs all that chemical filled lotion! I also use in my bath. I use this for making salves and solid perfumes as well.
My favorite blend is Lavender, Rose Petals and Chamomile. It smells divine! You can also make your own herbal infused oil for cooking. It's a great way to use your herbs and it really gives your meals that extra boost of flavor. I love to make an Italian blend with rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme.
There are quicker ways of making infused herbal oils, as well. You can use a double boiler by putting the herbs and oil in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the oil doesn’t get too hot as to fry the herbs, and it should be done in a matter of hours. I’ve also used a mini slow cooker on the warm setting to make calendula oil with good results.
Really, it’s as simple as that! While making an infused oil sounds like it could be complicated, it really is as easy as putting two ingredients together and letting them sit in the sun for a few weeks. If you can make a cup of tea then you can do this!
Now comes the fun part… deciding which herbs you want to infuse!