Infusing Oils With Herbs

Three Ways to Make Herbal Oils for Natural Beauty Recipes

Infusing oil with herbs is a great way to add color, scent, and healing properties to the raw ingredients you will be using in natural beauty recipes.Herbal Oils for Natural Beauty Recipes
Simply soaking herbs in oil isn’t enough to infuse the oil; it needs to be heated. Luckily, there are a few ways of doing this so you are sure to find one that suits your needs. The following describes how to infuse oils using the stovetop, a slow cooker, or the sun!

The common thread to all methods is to pack as many dried herbs as you can fit into a container, and then pour over the oil so that the herbs are completely submerged. Choose herbs that are completely dry (moisture and oil don’t mix). When the infusing is finished, strain the herbs from the oil with a fine sieve once, then pour the oil through a coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined fine sieve. Store the oil with a tight-fitting lid in a cool, dark place. Generally, infused oil will last up to the best before date on the original package label. Olive oil should last for 2-3 years and coconut oil will last for many years, although spoiling could happen more quickly if contaminants were introduced in the infusing process.

straining calendula infused oil

 

Stovetop Oil Infusing

Use a double boiler to slowly heat the oil and herbs. Pack a handful of herbs in the top of a double boiler, and pour oil over. If you are using coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, then melt the oil first before adding the herbs. Fill the bottom pot with an inch of water and set the double boiler on medium-low heat to warm up, then turn down to low for a few hours or until the oil becomes aromatic.

Slow Cooker Oil Infusing

The slow cooker method takes longer but it requires less attention than the other methods. Just set it and forget it!

If you have a small slow cooker, you can add the herbs right into the ceramic bowl and set it on low for 8-12 hours. To do a number of different herbs in separate oils, you can put the oil/herb combination in mason jars and set those in the slow cooker. Infuse for the same timing: 8-12 hours on low. There is no need to put lids on the jars when you have the lid on the slow cooker.

Sun-Infused Oil

Pack herbs into mason jars and pour oil over them. Screw on a lid and set in the sun for 8 hours. The summer sun can be very hot, so this method is best used in cooler months and with large jars. Overheating the oils can remove some of the beneficial properties and this method is one you will have to watch more closely. It doesn’t use any power beyond the sun so you can infuse oils right out in the garden as you harvest your herbs!Infusing oils with herbs

Infused oils can be substituted in most recipes for natural beauty: soap, body butter, lip balm, and scrubs. Some good choices for oils to infuse are:

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sweet almond oil

Calendula-infused olive oil for skincare products

Some herbs that are good for infusing are:

  • Lavender – relaxing, antibacterial, adds purple color to oil
  • Calendula – healing, adds golden color to oil
  • Chamomile – calming
  • Comfrey – helps with pain and inflammation
  • Sage – pain relief, anti-inflammatory
  • Mint – energizing, pain relieving, darkens color of oil
  • Rose – romance, love, adds pink color to oil

Herbal Infused Oil Three Ways

If you want more details on healing herbs, check out The Top 5 Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden:

The top medicinal herbs that everyone should grow in thier home garden

I use lavender and calendula infused oils for almost all of my natural beauty products. To see all of them, please visit the Natural Skincare Series.

 

About the Author : Stephanie Rose

A city girl who learned to garden and it changed everything. Author, artist, Master Gardener. Better living through plants.

View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Virginia Graves
    Virginia GravesJuly 25,15

    I find it very difficult to print your recipes. Can’t you provide a print friendly button? Virginia

  2. Sharon
    SharonNovember 16,16

    I didn’t know different kinds of oils, spoiled much more quickly or slowly! You have a lot of useful information on here. Thanks for sharing it all for free!

  3. Mary Coakley
    Mary CoakleyJune 17,17

    So very glad I found your blog so much information on many subjects and all of it of interest to me I am an avid gardener for me its the nearest thing to praying I suffer from depression and it helps me o much looking forward to receiving more of your posts

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