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How To Make Infused Oils From Dried Herbs At Home

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Infused oils are a combination of dried herbs and a carrier oil. It's easy and full of benefits from the herb as well as the oil. A few easy infused oils to make at home are lavender infused oil, calendula infused oil, rosemary infused oil, and chamomile infused oil. These oils should have you covered for a year's worth of health benefits.

Are you looking for an easy way to make essential oils at home? Here’s a peek into how it’s usually done.

Essential oils are extracted from herbs or flowers through three main ways.

Steam distillation: This is the most common way to create essential oils. The herbs or plants are placed in a distillation apparatus with water. It is then boiled and the steam is collected. In some time, the oil gets separated from the water.

Cold expression: Also known as cold pressed method, you need to press fruit peels to squeeze out the oil. This is typically done mechanically and is used in making citrus peel oils.

Extraction: In this, the flowers or herbs are mixed with a solvent like hexane. It becomes a combination of essential oil, waxes, and bits of plants. Another way is to use ethyl alcohol to extract the oil from the mix. The alcohol is then removed by distillation.

It is possible to make these concentrates at home. But the methods mentioned above require proper equipment. You could probably use a combination of pressure cookers, copper wires, essencier, and a bucket. And a few sources claim you can make essential oils using a crock pot. But these methods aren’t an equivalent in terms of quality to the concentrate you get from a store.

If you are considering making essential oils at home, here’s what you need to know.

  • You would not get 100% pure essential oil by making it at home. To get its purest form, your safest bet is to buy it. And you need the purest form if you intend to apply the oil on your body or for aromatherapy
  • Making essential oils at home is a tedious process. It requires patience and the process of distillation is treated as art
  • You need a lot of herbs or flowers just to extract a little bit of oil. Also, you need to be sure the plants are free from pesticides and chemicals
  • You need to be careful when making the oil, considering the equipment you choose to use

If you are interested in making oils at home, infused oils are a great option.

Infused oils are a combination of a carrier oil and dried herbs. They are easy to make and you get added benefits from the carrier oil and your chosen herb. Also, you could directly apply the oil onto your skin.

How To Make Infused Oils At Home

1. Lavender Infused Oil

How To Make Lavender Infused Oils At Home

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Dried lavender flowers
  • Glass jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Strainer
  • Funnel
  • Bottle to store the oil

Method:

  • Add the dried lavender into a clean glass jar
  • Fill up the jar with olive oil. Make sure the lavender is completely immersed in the oil
  • Leave the jar out in a well-lit location. Preferably on a window sill with maximum sunlight
  • Let it rest for two weeks
  • Place the cheesecloth over a strainer and pour the oil into a container
  • You can transfer the infused oil into a bottle of your choice. Use a funnel to avoid any spillage
  • Label the bottle after you are done and there you go!

Olive oil soothes irritated skin and has great moisture-holding abilities.1This combined with the antimicrobial powers of lavender makes the infused oil a great addition to your vanity box.2

How to use:

  • For nasty insect bites, rub a little of this infused oil onto the affected area
  • If you spent a little extra time out in the sun, apply the oil and it should soothe your skin

2. Calendula Infused Oil

How To Make Calendula Infused Oils From Dried Herbs At Home

Ingredients:

  • Dried calendula flowers
  • Coconut oil
  • A glass jar

Method:

  • Fill the jar with your dried calendula
  • Add coconut oil to it and make sure it covers the flowers completely
  • Let it rest out in the sun for a month
  • Strain out the flowers using a cheesecloth
  • Your infused oil is ready

Coconut oil is a known moisturizer that helps smoothen skin. It is also great in combating early signs of aging.3 Calendula helps improve skin texture and hydrates the skin. It also acts as a strong anti-inflammatory agent, a property useful for treating dermatitis and diaper rash.4

How to use:

  • You could apply this oil to treat minor cuts and wounds
  • If your baby has a diaper rash, you could massage a few drops to the area
  • It doubles as a great moisturizing oil as well

3. Rosemary Infused Oil

How To Make Rosemary Infused Oils From Dried Herbs At Home

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 rosemary springs
  • Saucepan
  • Bottle for storing

Method:

  • Combine olive oil and rosemary in a saucepan
  • Cook over low heat
  • Using a thermometer, make sure the temperature of the oil reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes
  • Let it cool for 2 hours
  • Remove the springs and put it a bottle of your choice. Now pour the oil into the bottle
  • Close it and place it in the refrigerator for a month.

Olive oil is loaded with beneficial components, including monounsaturated fats and vitamin E (tick marks for healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels).5There are several studies that prove rosemary is good for the immune system and it promotes smoother digestion.6

How to use:

You could season your salads with this oil or simply use it as a dip.

4. Chamomile Infused Oil

How To Make Chamomile Infused Oils From Dried Herbs At Home

Ingredients:

  • Dry chamomile flower buds
  • A glass jar
  • Almond oil
  • Strainer
  • Bottle for storing

Method:

  • Fill a glass jar halfway with the dried flower buds
  • Add almond oil to the jar, leaving a little gap at the top
  • Cover the jar and keep it out in a sunlit place
  • Let it rest for a month
  • Strain out the buds and transfer the oil into a bottle
  • The infused oil is ready

Almond oil is a high source of proteins and vitamins that make your hair strong.7 Chamomile is packed with antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory in nature.8 It’s also popular for reducing arthritis pain and back pain.9

How to use:

  • If you have fair hair, use chamomile infused oil as a conditioner to enhance the color
  • Another way to use the oil is to add a few drops to your bath to soothe the skin
  • Tired joints and legs? Massage the oil to the affected area to relieve yourself from pain

5. Comfrey Infused Oil

How To Make Comfrey Infused Oils From Dried Herbs At Home

Olive oil has a strong anti-inflammatory property.10 Comfrey is proven to help heal wounds and treat joint pain.11

Ingredients:

  • Dried comfrey leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Double boiler
  • Cheesecloth

Method:

  • Mix olive oil with comfrey leaves in the double boiler
  • Heat it on low flame
  • Continue it on low flame for nearly an hour
  • Strain out the combined oil using a cheesecloth
  • Store in a bottle of your choice

How to use:

  • If you have a rash or a bug bite, you can massage the oil gently onto the affected area
  • If you are experiencing pain from arthritis, apply the oil on your joints to get relief

About Drying Flowers And Herbs

The ideal choice would be to buy dried flowers and herbs. But, if you prefer, you can do it by yourself. Simply, cut the parts you want from the plant using a scissor. Make sure you harvest it on a sunny day. Spread it on a table and let it rest overnight. Be careful it doesn’t touch water. Now you can use these parts the next day to make your infused oil.

A Note About Infusing Oil With Sunlight

When you keep infused jars out in the sunlight, do not neglect them. You need to check on it every few days to make sure it doesn’t catch mold. If you see a smudge of mold (don’t panic!), take that part out immediately. But if it’s spread, you can’t save it.

Also, during this process, nothing should come in contact with water, which includes the jars, strainers, and lids that you use.

These oils should typically last a year. Again, if you do see a lot of mold or if it smells sort of funky, throw it away.

Above all, have fun making these oils at home. Here’s to being one step closer to nature!

References   [ + ]

1. Perricone, Nicholas V. “Treatment of skin damage using olive oil polyphenols.” U.S. Patent 6,437,004, issued August 20, 2002
2. Jianu, Călin, Georgeta Pop, Alexandra T. Gruia, and Florin George Horhat. “Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia) grown in Western Romania.” Int. J. Agric. Biol 15 (2013): 772-776
3. Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M., Kristine M. Dillague, and Bertha S. Syah-Tjundawan. “Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.” Dermatitis 19, no. 6 (2008): 308-315
4. Medical Reference Guide: Calendula. University of Maryland Medical Center
5. Owen, Robert W., Attilio Giacosa, William E. Hull, Roswitha Haubner, Gerd Würtele, Bertold Spiegelhalder, and Helmut Bartsch. “Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants.” The lancet oncology 1, no. 2 (2000): 107-112
6. Al-Sereiti, M. R., K. M. Abu-Amer, and P. Sena. “Pharmacology of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.) and its therapeutic potentials.” (1999)
7. Deane, Jeffrey Alan. “Hair cleansing conditioner.” U.S. Patent 6,723,309, issued April 20, 2004
8. Srivastava, Janmejai K., Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.” Molecular medicine reports 3, no. 6 (2010): 895
9. Gharakhani, Afshin, Sanaz Hamedeyazdan, Taher Entezari-Maleki, and Hamed Ghavimi. “Chamomile an Adjunctive Herbal Remedy for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment.” Advances in Biosciences & Clinical Medicine 1, no. 1 (2013): 20
10. Beauchamp, Gary K., Russell SJ Keast, Diane Morel, Jianming Lin, Jana Pika, Qiang Han, Chi-Ho Lee, Amos B. Smith, and Paul AS Breslin. “Phytochemistry: ibuprofen-like activity in extra-virgin olive oil.” Nature 437, no. 7055 (2005): 45-46.
11. Frost, R., H. MacPherson, and S. O’Meara. “A critical scoping review of external uses of comfrey (Symphytum spp.).” Complementary therapies in medicine 21, no. 6 (2013): 724-745