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How to Make Herbal Infused Oils

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I have just recently began wetting my feet in the realm of herbal remedies. I have to say… I love them. There is nothing more satisfying than utilizing natural remedies for everyday ails. Honestly, I love our herbal remedies even more than essential oils! Say what? Yep… I like the herbal stuff even more.

It isn’t that essential oils aren’t amazing. They are! We use them routinely in our home for various things. However, I don’t know how to make essential oils, and even if I did… I don’t have the proper equipment to do so. On the other hand, herbs I can grow or forage. I can dry them, and I can utilize them for all sorts of different needs. You can make salves, balms, serums, massage oils, soaps, body creams and so much more with these infused oils!

I’m one of those type people who gets an idea in their head and just wants to jump right in… now… immediately. This is a bad quality, let me tell you. It can get you incredibly frustrated really quickly when things don’t turn out like you wanted. So, for the first time ever, I took my time and learned a bit at a time about herbs. I still have an incredibly loooong way to go, but this little project was one of my first steps to actually using herbs. It is incredibly simple and I wanted to share with you how easy it is. There are 4 basic ways to make herbal infused oils, so lets get started!

How to Make Herbal Infused Oils

Note: All of these methods are made with dried herbs. Fresh herbs need to be dried for a minimum of 12 hours before being used. Their moisture content is too high and moisture is a recipe for mold.

Method 1: Solar Infusion

This is the most basic infusion method and what our ancestors would have utilized. It is incredibly easy, but takes a long while. I’m sure you can figure out by the name, that you’re going to use the power of the sun to infuse your oils.

  1. Place your dried herbs in a jar that has a tight fitting lid. I use canning jars….
  2. Cover with a carrier oil (extra virgin olive oil is best as it has a long shelf life and a huge amount of different applications) with at least an extra inch of oil. Making sure your jar has at least a half inch of headspace.
  3. Stir mixture throughly. If your herbs soaked up all of the oil, just add more. When finished, place a lid on the jar.
  4. Place mixture in a sunny windowsill and shake it up a couple times a day.
  5. Leave mixture in window for a minimum of two weeks up to six weeks.
  6. After you’ve allowed the herbs to infuse for a few weeks, strain the oil through a cheesecloth. Ensure you get every bit of the oil out of those herbs.
  7. Pour oil mixture into a glass jar.  Add a half teaspoon of vitamin # oil for each pint of oil. Lid it and immediately label it. Store in a cool, dark place.

Method 2: Crockpot Infusion

Impatient? Need infused oils now? This method will afford you that benefit. Instead of needing to wait weeks on end. This method only takes a day in the crockpot. You can have your oil by the evening, if you start it in the morning.

  1. Place your dried herbs in a jar that has a tight fitting lid.
  2. Cover the herbs with a carrier oil with at least an extra inch of oil. Ensure your jar has at least a half inch of headspace.
  3. Stir it up. If your herbs soaked up all of the oil, just add more. Lid the jar.
  4. Fill the crockpot with water until the jars are about 3/4 covered.
  5. Turn your crockpot on low and infuse the oils for about 10-12 hours.
  6. After they’ve infused, remove jars from crockpot. Remember it’s going to be hot!! Let it cool a bit. Strain the oil through a cheesecloth. Ensure you get every bit of oil out!!
  7. Pour oil mixture into a glass jar. Add a half teaspoon of vitamin E oil for each pint of oil.  Lid it and immediately label it. Store in a cool, dark place.

Method 3: Oven Infusion

This is another one for the impatient at heart that doesn’t require a crockpot. It’s even quicker than the crockpot method! Three hours and you’ll have your oil infusion!

  1. Place your dried herbs in an oven safe dish. I use a glass pyrex dish for this method.
  2. Cover the herbs with a carrier oil.
  3. Cover the dish and place it in an oven that has been preheated to the lowest temperature it will go. My oven goes down to 170°F, some people have said theirs only goes to 200°F. Whatever the lowest temperature setting is, use that one.
  4. Allow herbs to infuse in covered dish in oven for 3 hours. Remove.
  5. While oil mixture is still warm, carefully strain the oil through a cheesecloth. Get every bit of oil out!!
  6. Pour oil mixture into a glass jar. Add a half teaspoon of vitamin E oil for each pint of oil. Lid it and immediately label it. Store in a cool, dark place.

Method 4: Stove top Infusion

This is the quickest of all the methods!! Only two hours required!!! However, I seem to not get as strong of an infusion out of the first go around. So, I usually do a second infusion with more herbs in the same oil.

  1. Get out your double boiler. Put water in the bottom and place your dried herbs in the top.
  2. Cover the herbs with a carrier oil.
  3. Ever so gently, simmer your herbs for 2 hours. Remove from heat.
  4. While the oil mixture is still warm, carefully strain the oil through a cheesecloth. Get out every last bit of oil!! If the infusion isn’t strong enough, repeat steps  with the same oil and a new batch of dried herbs.
  5. Pour oil mixture into a glass jar. Add a half teaspoon of vitamin E oil for each pint of oil. Lid it and immediately label it. Store in a cool, dark place.

There you have it! Four different ways to make herbal infused oils! I will add, the vitamin E oil is optional, but will help ensure preservation. Your oils should keep for a minimum of a year. Check back for a great way to use some herb infused oils!

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Baral Sendu

Monday 26th of October 2020

Hi I'm making some garlic spray but is it ok if I use palm oil instead of olive oil for infusing? Thanx.

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Yes, palm oil will work fine.

Trudy

Monday 13th of July 2020

Where is the infusion for Garlic to repel snakes. I didn't see it, and I do not know how to make this one. Thank you

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

So, you'll use the instructions in this post to infuse some oil with garlic. You'll simply use one of these methods and place several cloves of garlic (peeled, even minced can help release the scent/oils from the garlic) and infuse the oil. Then, you'll make the spray listed in this post https://www.therusticelk.com/naturally-repel-snakes/

Cindy

Saturday 12th of October 2019

Can you use freshly picked comfrey or does it have to be dried?

Danielle McCoy

Monday 14th of October 2019

The excess water content can actually cause your oil to go rancid. It's best to use dried and if you want to use fresh comfrey you should wilt them for about 12 hours, snip them into small pieces and grind them with a mortar and pestle before using them.

Lynne Bier

Sunday 22nd of April 2018

Soooo, is there a specific amount of herbs you put in the jar? Like lightly packed in, or firmly packed?

Danielle McCoy

Thursday 26th of April 2018

No specific amount. The more you put in, the stronger the infusion will be. I usually just lightly pack them in.

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