HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE OILS
INFUSED WITH HERBS
Herbal infused homemade oils contain all the healing and healthy benefits of the herb used. These herbal oils can be used marinades, salad dressings and frying. Some can be used as a base for homemade salves, ointments, lotions, liniments or creams. They also make wonderful soap making oils, bath oils, massage oils, herbal rubs or a simple moisturizer. With the simple skill of making infused oils you'll be able to make a wonderful variety of homemade gifts for everyone on your list!
For making culinary oils choose herbs with wonderful flavors such as rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, peppers, peppercorns, parsley, juniper berries, cloves, etc.
For medicinal or beauty oils pick your herbs accordingly. Lavender smells wonderful and also has relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties so it would make a great massage or bath oil. Arnica, plantain, goldenseal, comfrey and solomons seal are just a few of the herbs that have great healing abilities. These are great choices for herbal rubs or as an oil base for a healing salve.
You also have a choice as to which natural vegetable oil to use as a carrier oil for your herbal oil infusion. It's really a matter of preference but a good cold pressed virgin olive oil is a great choice for both medicinal and kitchen oils. Click here to learn more about natural plant oils.
There's several ways to make oil infusions but it's said that the superior way to get the most benefits from the herbs used is the cold fusion method.
COLD INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS
- Gather herbs or flowers. When using fresh herbs you'll need enough to fill your jar. You'll also want to let your herbs sit out in a single layer overnight to wilt. You must make sure the herbs are completely dry before starting your herbal oil. Any moisture will cause your oil to go rancid or mold. Though fresh herbs are best dried will work also.
- Tear or crush the herbs then lightly pack into a clean, sterilized glass jar. For fresh herbs, fill the jar. For dried herbs, fill the jar about 1/3 full.
- Pour your high quality cold pressed, virgin olive oil (or other natural plant oil) over the herbs.
- Stir lightly to get rid of any air bubbles!
- Cap jar and make sure you label it. Place jar in a small bowl in case of overflow. Should this happen stir your infusion again to get rid of air bubbles.
- Store your jar in a cool, dark place (out of direct sunlight!) for two to six weeks. For kitchen use just taste your oil until the flavor is where you want it. If your making a medicinal oil it's recommended that you infuse for six weeks. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GO ANY LONGER THAN SIX WEEKS OR YOUR OIL MAY GO RANCID!
- After six weeks strain out the herbs through cheese cloth, twice if you have to, then pour into a clean, sterile bottle or jar. Infused oils that your going to eat should be stored in the refrigerator.
QUICK METHODS OF MAKING INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS
NOTE: The following methods are best suited for oil infusions to be used externally.
1. OVEN INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS - Place your herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with the natural oil of your choice. Cover the dish and place in the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest possible setting your oven has. Cook for three hours. While it's still warm, strain through cheese cloth and squeeze the oil from the herbs. Pour the oil into a sterile bottle or jar.
2. STOVE TOP INFUSED OILS - Using a double boiler, GENTLY simmer oil and herbs for 2 hours. Strain through cheese cloth. For a stronger infusion repeat using the same oil and fresh herbs.
3. CROCK POT INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS - This method can only be used if your crock pot has a "warm" or very low setting! This works great for infusing several oils at once. Fill your sterile pint jars with your herbs and oils. Place the jars in the crock pot and cook on low for eight hours. You can do up to 5 different oils at once with this method depending on the size of your crock pot!
TIP: Add 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E (per pint) to your beauty and medicinal oils to preserve them. You could also try using 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract.
HERBAL INFUSED RECIPE FOR BABY OIL
This is a wonderful body oil either for baby or yourself! Soothing, pampering and all natural!
- 1 ounce chamomile
- 1/2 ounce calendula
- 1/2 ounce rose petals
- 1 pint sweet almond oil
Combine ingredients and infuse the oil with one of the above methods. What a suberb gift for a new mom!
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