I absolutely love making things with my hands and some of my favorite things to make are Herbal Infused Oils. I use them to create salves & balms, and I also use them when I’m cooking. If you have never made an Herbal Infused Oil, then you are in for a wonderful treat! This is one of my most used recipes, it’s from the Herbal Academy I’m attending! ☺️
The materials you’ll need:
- Good quality dried herb or herbs
- Oil (I prefer to use olive oil, since it offers some resistance to oxidation and rancidity.)
- Wax paper
- Clean, dry jar with tight fitting lid (I prefer a good ole mason jar.)
- Labels and permanent marker
- The sun or consistently warm area
I use the folk method (meaning I eye ball it and don’t measure or weigh) most of the time now days, but in the beginning I would use a 1 oz. dried herbs to 10 oz. oil ratio.
Make sure all the materials you are using are dry, because moist or wet materials can contaminate your oil.
Fill the jar about about half full with the dried herbs and cover completely with olive oil. Gently stir the mixture with a clean and dry spoon to make sure all of the herbs are well saturated with oil.
Before putting on the lid, cover the top with a small square of wax paper, then screw on the lid.
Place the jar in a warm spot (heat is what helps infuse the oil), but not directly in the sunlight (unless you are using a dark colored bottle or jar). You can also cover your jar with a brown paper bag to protect it from direct sunlight.
I like to take the jar in my hands and roll it back and forth to make sure the herbs are well saturated with oil, I do this every few days while I let it steep for 4-6 weeks.
After 4-6 weeks the oil will be ready to strain and bottle. I like to use a cheesecloth lined metal mesh strainer, so I can squeeze the remaining oil from the herbs into the bowl. Once strained, compost the herbs and pour the oil into clean, dry bottles or jars and add a couple drops of vitamin E oil (if you choose). Keep the oil in a cool, dark place and it should keep for up to a year. If the oil, at any time, smells off then discard it immediately.
Another method I use to make Herbal Infused Oil, especially if I need it immediately, is the Double Boiler Method. For this method you’ll need a double boiler or a make-shift double boiler (I use a metal bowl and a pot 1/3 full of water that the metal bowl will fit into…make sure the water does not splash into the metal bowl). Place the herbs and oil into the metal bowl or double boiler, bring to a slow simmer, heat slowly for 30-60 minutes. If you keep the heat nice and low, it helps release the medicinal properties of the herbs. Strain, bottle, and store following the directions above.