Herbal Interests | DIY Herb Infused Oils
Back when I first started making herbal home remedies, I remember creating one of my first healing salves and reading up on the benefits of infusing my herbs in oil over time. There are several ways that you can extract the healing properties of herbs at home, one of those by letting other carrier oils soak these properties up, or even by cooking them into the oil over the stove. Of course, being an impatient person and having just spent money on my herbs, I wanted quick results. It did work well, heating them over the stove! I was given beautifully infused oil in under an hour and turned that oil into a healing salve which actually worked. It was brilliant! You can find that healing salve HERE, and I still use it to this day. I probably need to take some better photos of it - how times have changed!
But I still wondered about the process of letting herbs infuse over time. If you have ever come across an herbal recipe that involves essential oils (most of them!) and/or an infused oil, then you'll know that each time you are faced with an option. Do you I purchase a new essential oil or wait to make this salve later? I still have a love/hate relationship with essential oils, namely for their price, and also for the heavy potency. Did you know that infusing herbs in oil in the sun actually creates an oil that is less harsh? You have a mix of oils, which is what you commonly avoid when purchasing an essential oil, but you are also gaining the benefits of that carrier oil, like jojoba or sweet almond. Plus, I feel much safer using this type of beneficial plant oil on my son's sensitive skin and even my own. The process is extremely simple and really similar to making a tincture, which is basically steeping herbs in alcohol in a pantry and waiting a couple of weeks. You'll be doing the same thing here but with oil!
By placing the herbs in the sun to infuse, you are speeding up the process rather than keeping it in a dark place (which doesn't work well with coconut oil!) and it's also believed that the sun can extract even more beneficial parts of the plant that other heating processes cannot. Pretty spooky! By making these, you are saving yourself some money and some sanity. Using essential oils topically can be a little scary, especially when you cannot afford the better and more expensive brands that are safe for internal use. The cost of making these is the price of dried herbs (you can grow your own - in your kitchen!) and some carrier oil (coconut oil can be used, so can olive oil, and both of these are probably already in your kitchen), and your time.
Now is the perfect time to begin making your own solar infused oils! As the sun continues to heat us in these last days of summer and into early autumn, you'll be able to create some great remedies in the coming winter months when illness tends to breed. I use my healing mixture for cuts, scrapes, bites, and burns. These oils can be applied topically or made into a salve, lip balm, lotion, hair mask, and much more.
Healing Infused Herbal Oil (multi-purpose)
- 1/4 cup dried lavender
- 1/4 cup dried chamomile
- 1/4 cup calendula
- 1/8 cup jasmie
- 1/8 cup comfrey (optional)
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp lemon balm
- 2 cups carrier oil (coconut, olive, jojoba, almond, apricot kernel)
- Place the herbs in a clean mason jar, quart sized. Make sure the herbs are dried! They will infuse much better than fresh herbs and be less susceptible to molding.
- Cover the herbs with your carrier oil. You basically want a 1:2 ratio here; enough oil that the herbs are completely covered by at least an inch overhead of oil.
- Seal off the jar with an airtight lid and place either outside somewhere safe or in a sunny window. Let infuse for at least 4 weeks.
- When the oil is ready, strain through a cheesecloth making sure to get as much oil as possible. You could use what you need in the moment and leave the remaining oil with the herbs until later!
There are several oil combinations you could make! I received a question the other day about uses for lemon balm, which made me think of my cold sore salve. That thing REALLY works, and you could turn it into an infused oil, which I think would be great. Here are some other single oils you could make and their benefits!
Calendula Oil | Use this for any skin remedies, like lotions or facial oil. It has great healing properties!
Peppermint Oil | Peppermint is wonderful for relieving aches and pains and can be used as a massage oil or added to your bath water. If you have a headache, you could run a bit on your wrist and breathe in the healing aroma.
Lemon Balm Oil | Lemon Balm is a natural astringent and has antibacterial properties, which are great in healing the herpes virus as well as other skin complications. Make it into lip balm for cold sores or a facial cleanser.
Rosemary Oil | If you have hair troubles such as growth, lice, or dandruff rosemary is your friend! Put it into shampoos or as a hair mask.
What do you think? Sounds pretty easy and amazing, right?! I am excited to use my new oils to make some fun remedies that I hope to share here with you. I have been slacking lately with my home remedy recipes, but I am ready to get back on track!! Lots of things to do around here, and as always, so grateful to help and serve you with this information. Which kinds of recipes would you like to see around here? I'd love to start brainstorming on some of your ideas!
I'd also like to remind you, once again, that I am not a doctor nor a certified herbalist. I am simply a hobbyist who enjoys researching and learning more about herbal remedies. Please consult with a professional before taking my advice if you are hesitant about any of my information. These ideas are not meant to be used to cure any serious illnesses or ailments. Thanks, people!
Looking for some amber bottles to store your oils in? These are the bottles that I use! Super nice and keep my home remedies safe from going bad. You can also grab my favorite Chinese Utility Scissors! Perfect for just about everything: clipping herbs, trimming pie crust, and even cutting hair. Yup!