What is herb-infused oil?
Herb-infused oil is a result of steeping dry or fresh herbs in carrier oil for several days to weeks. The plant matter is then discarded, leaving just the oil, which has been infused with the medicinal properties of the herb.
You can use easily accessible plant oil such as olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and coconut oil as your carrier oil. You can also use more expensive options such as jojoba oil, avocado oil, and argan oil for face application.
Since herbs contain a lot of medicinal properties, herbal oil can be really powerful for healing and beauty purpose.
I only use dried herbs in my oil infusions, because any water that is in the herb can grow bacterial and spoil the infusion. There’s no saving the batch, it will have to discarded.
Follow these guide lines for beautiful and useful infusion:
- Use good quality dried herbs for best result as they are less likely to spoil throughout the process.
- Always use clean and sterilized jars with tight fitting lids.
- Add a few drops of vitamin E to prolong the shelf life. If Vitamin E is not available, use a dark colored bottle to reduce oxidation due to sunlight.
- Olive oil is commonly used as it offers better resistance to oxidation and rancidity, but you can use any oil you like. But may be too heavy for face treatments.
- Label jars with the starting date, and the herb/oil ratio (example – 1:5 is 1 part dried herb to 5 parts oil). You can use other ratios too.
- Write down the dates and ingredient list right after bottling for storage. This practice is good for future reference.
I will be using the ration 1:5.
Fill a glass jar with dried herb to 1/5 (guessing is okay) of the jar. It will be same whatever size jar you use. If using roots or seeds, it is best to pound them first.
Pour oil to 1 inch of the top of the jar. Cap the jar. Label with date, ingredients, and ration.
You can place jar in a window out of direct sunlight, but some wish to store in a dark place. Shake every few days, but it not necessary.
Your infusion will be at its best if you let it infuse for 4-6 weeks.
Strain out herbs by pouring it through a coffee filter or muslin cloth. Pour it into a clean jar or bottle, cap, and label again with the above information. You might have the magic formula, and you’ll want to make it again.
It’s now ready to use as is as a face or body oil, hair or beard oil, bath oil, or rub for joints. But, you can use this oil to make a salve, balm, cream, etc. Check out our herbal recipes.
The Best Methods
Method 1 is above, but Methods 2 and 3 and also be used.
There are three ways to infuse your leaves. They are:
- The long method – place the jar in a dark place, shake every day for 4-6 weeks (The best way, but it’s a long wait. This is the only way I infuse.)
- The short method – place your jar in a pot with 2 inches water, simmer water on low for an hour, replacing water as needed until properties are extracted (on low because you don’t want water droplets to form on the inside of the jar, not good). Only use this one if you’re in a hurry.
- Another short method – place the jar on an electric candle warmer for a few hours, stirring a few times, don’t let it get too hot. Only use this one if you’re in a hurry.
When the infusion is done, strain the warm (not hot) through cheese cloth, white cloth, or coffee filter. Your special oil is ready to use now or you can continue and make salve. If you’ve decided to use the oil, you any wish for a little scent. Sadly, very little of the lilac scent is retained in the infusion. You can add essential oil is you wish. Five drops of Lavender EO and one drop Frankincense is a great combo to each 1/4 cup of infused oil, but you can add whatever scent you choose.