I have been making herbal infused oils for many years now in a multitude of different ways. As the avid gardener and wild harvester I am (when I’m living somewhere that allows it) I always have had an abundance of herbs. When it is something I can’t grow or something I need ASAP I try to buy as locally as possible. If I can’t get it locally I try to at least shop small. My family is all local and handmade enthusiasts. Support your community! Support artists!
That being said today I am using one method of making an infused oil. The long way. I prefer to make “cold process” infused oils. Or really cold processed anything when I can. Not adding heat helps to protect the various properties of the herbs and oil/s and I think it generally retains a better scent and texture. Today, I am using what I could find at one of our co-ops. I prefer Pure Sweet Almond oil as my carrier oil of choice for most things. Even perfume oils. Though. If you want a fast drying perfume oil I would use a “dry” carrier oil. I have used rice oil and didn’t enjoy the texture but I know many natural perfume makers who utilize it. I just take the extra time to massage my oils in.
The carrier oil I am using today is Jojoba. This seems to be the most popular carrier oil out there. When all else fails I can still find this oil. It’s my husbands favorite for massaging. A little goes a long way. Which is good considering its price….
I don’t have an exact method for making infused oils. I don’t tend to consume herbal oils or else it would matter for taste. I cook too much of a variety to keep 100 bottles of olive oil with different herbs and such soaking in it. If I want herbal infused oil for cooking I use heat and make it before I begin cooking. Though this might soon change in some ways (stay tuned!). I generally go by the size of the bottle, the amount of oil I have, the herbs, whether or not I will be adding essential oils, etc. That combined with a bit of intuition and a lot of experience. When I sold oils years ago I made notes on what and how much was used for myself but it’s never the same oil to oil. So play with different amounts to get what you like.
I have noticed rose oil and rose scented things irritate quite a few people. I LOVE it though and love how it makes me feel. I try to be considerate of others though so this is one of route I go to minimize effecting others while still making myself happy. The other route is making rose water. I use fresh roses for rose water though and I only have dried. So oil it is! This oil pictured in the blog is going to be worn as a VERY light perfume oil and for me a mood enhancer. The smell makes me feel refreshed and beautiful. I dab it behind my ears and on my wrists.
What I do to make it is take a sterilized bottle with a good fitting lid. I like droppers so I can use the shaft to mix things up a bit while not having a ton of air in the bottle to shake it. If I am using something like a mason jar I keep some space to gently shake my ingredients once a day to every few days depending on what is in it. Dried ingredients usually only need it every few days in my experience. I fill at least half the bottle full of herbs then cover completely with oil. I leave this for at least two weeks then I strain and add the oil to another bottle with new herbs. I feel it helps to make a more concentrated brew. This isn’t necessary though. The longer you let it steep the better. Two weeks is the absolute minimum for a good oil. After it has steeped long enough you can strain the oil for use or leave the herbs in. It can get messy with the herbs so most of the time I strain unless the bottle has a narrow mouth where I can place my thumb over it for just a dab of oil. I don’t mind digging my herbs out of small bottles but if you do use a larger mouthed bottle and strain with cheesecloth.
After it is all done is when I would add essential oils. I don’t always use them but you may want a stronger scent, more concentrated energy (for ritual work if you do that) or find essential oils retain more of their healing properties but are a bit pricey. Sometimes I also add crystals but you have to be sure they won’t deteriorate in liquid. I have seen far too many people use crystals that crumble with a bit of sweat or moisture in general much less using them to infuse drinks and oils by fully submerging them. Please do your research. Also note that light and heat can destroy the oil. Keep in dark bottles if possible and in a cool dark place.
If you have any questions feel free to comment! The pictures are random and not really instructional. Just pretty.