How to Make a Basic Herbal Oil Infusion

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How to Make a Basic Herbal Oil Infusion

Creating an herb infused oil sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. There are a few different ways to make an infused oil, but the first thing you need is fresh herbs.

herb infused oil

Choosing and Drying Herbs and Flowers

I collect spearmint, plantain leaves, lemon balm, dead nettle, calendula, St. Johns wort, rosemary, and sage from my yard and garden regularly through the summer. There is an abundance of it this time of year so I try to preserve as much as I can to last through the cooler months! Pick your own or source from a high quality herb supplier- just make sure the plants aren't grown with pesticides and chemical based fertilizers or you'll be absorbing those same chemicals into your skin- yuck! Always do your research!

dried calendula

If you foraged your own herbs, you'll need to dry them before you infuse or you run the risk of your oil turning rancid and no one wants that. Hang herbs upside down for several weeks, use a drying screen, or if you're in a hurry and happen to have a food dehydrator- you can use that too. Trust your nose. If it smells slightly sour or off, toss is out and try again.

 

Choosing a Base Oil

There's no wrong choice when choosing a carrier oil. My skin loves almond and avocado oil, but coconut or olive oil work just as well.

If you're doing carrier oil research or need some suggestions, check out my Carrier Oil Pinterest board for a quick reference. 

 

Making an Herb Infused Oil

 diy herb infused oil

Sun Infused Method

There are several different methods for infusing your medicinal herbs, but I prefer to let the sun naturally infuse the oil. Slow and steady always gives me the perfect results.

Crush your dried herbs,put them in your infusion jar, then cover with oil. Place the jar in a warm, sunny window and shake daily for 2-3 weeks. 

I have mason jars in my kitchen window all summer long and shake them after I do dishes habitually so I don't forget.

Quick Infusion Method

If you need your infused oil quickly, you can gently heat the herbs in the oil over a double boiler or in a slow cooker on very low heat. Have you seen the mini crock pots? They're PERFECT for oil infusions (and dips too)!

Crush up your dried herbs, put them in your crock pot, and cover with oil. Heat for several hours on the lowest setting, making sure that it doesn’t get too hot and actually cook the herbs. You'll know the herbs cooked if it smells rancid or off. Trust your nose.

I usually put everything in the pot after dinner and turn the heat off before bed, letting the herbs continue to steep overnight. I come back to strain the herbs about 12 hours later but there's wiggle room.

Straining your Herbs

supplies to make an herb infused oil

You will need:

www.handkraffted.com dandelion infused oil

Strain herbs with a sieve and fine mesh cheesecloth making sure you squeeze every last bit of oil out of the plant matter. Your oil will be a gorgeous shade of green and will vary depending on the herbs you've infused.

straining herb infused oil

Now What?

www.HandKraffted.com DIY herbal oil infusions

You can use your homemade herbal infused oil to make any number of creations. I use mine for naturally healing balms, butters, and salves with a variety of additives for medicinal benefits but you can use the same method for infusing fresh herbs such as basil or thyme into cooking oil as well. 

herb infused oil

Check out some of our favorite DIY recipes around the HandKraffted Blog:

DIY Solid Lotion Bar HandKraffted
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diy all natural skincare and essential oil infusions
As a side note - as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, I'll only recommend things I love and have personally tested and can vouch for!

2 comments

  • Shauna @ HandKraffted

    Hey Shayna! If your oil smells funny, it’s best to toss it out and try again. I usually set an alarm on my phone to check what I’m working on because let’s face it, life happens! I’ve dumped a few infusions and it’s always painful, but better than applying oil infused with bacteria! Best of luck in your future oily infusions!

  • Shayna Howard

    Omg I burned my oil, I just want to know if I can still use it? I put it in water in a crockpot on high and forgot about it for 24 hours I am so horrified. I have cfs so sometimes I start things then walk away and forget. Please any advice would help. Thanks in advance!

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