Herbal oils are a great thing to have around – you can mix them into homemade lotions, lip balms, shampoos and body washes, or just apply them straight to your skin. They will make your life better.
Depending on the oil and herb used (like rosemary, thyme, or oregano in olive oil, etc), they can even be used on salads and in cooking. The possibilities are as boundless as your dreams.
The best part is, herbal oils are ridiculously simple to make.
Here is what you need:
- Dried or fresh herb of choice. For body products, I like to infuse calendula flowers. Calendula is a wonderful herb for skin care; it promotes cell repair, calms inflamation, and is antiseptic. I’ve found it really helps my super sensitive dry skin, and it’s great for soothing eczema. My sister and I also noticed that our skin is much clearer since we started using it in our face cream. Comfrey or lavender would be great choices, too.
- Oil. For body, I like to use jojoba or sweet almond oil (sometimes I mix them together, actually). Of course, a nice organic olive oil works too (and of course, the one to use if you’re making an edible oil), and avocado oil is great for very dry or aging skin. If you plan to use the oil on your face, I suggest grapeseed oil – it’s very light and won’t clog pores or feel too greasy when you apply it.
- A super clean, dry mason jar
- Jar labels
- Cheesecloth and a mesh strainer
How to make it:
- Fill the mason jar about halfway with dried herb. If you’re using fresh herb, fill it about 3/4 of the way.
- Pour in the oil until all the herb is covered (I usually just fill the jar almost to the top).
- Write the date and herb (and oil too, if you want) used to make the oil on a label so you’ll remember when you made it/what’s in it.
- Leave the jar in a sunny, warm place for 3-6 weeks. The longer you leave it, the stronger your oil will be. I typically try to stick it out for 6 weeks (because it takes so long to brew, I like to have at least one jar always brewing so that I don’t run out). Also, for the first week or two, remember to flip the jar and shake the herbs around every day so that mold doesn’t have a chance to form on the top of the plant matter.
- When your oil has finished brewing, line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl.
- Pour out the oil into the strainer and let it seep through the cheesecloth. I like to really wring out the cheesecloth in order to get every drop of goodness from the herb.
- Pour the oil back into the mason jar and top with a lid. The oil should last for many months if kept in a cool place.