Lemon Balm Infused Oil
The smell of fresh lemon balm instantly takes my mind to warm summer days.
Not only does it smell beautiful, it has a long list of uses as well. If you want to get your nerd on, check out this wealth of knowledge from The Herb Society of America in Kirtland, OH. There's a ton of delicious recipes and I highly recommend the Sweet Harvest Tea with a little raw honey! Pick up your honey locally to get a dose of allergy support!
Summers are pretty short and mild in northeast Ohio so I try to preserve as much of this herbal goodness as I can. One of my favorite ways to keep that summer vibe all year long is to make oil infusions.
There are several different methods, however I prefer to let the sun naturally infuse the oil. Slow and steady always gives me the perfect results. As far as which oil to use, there's no wrong answer. My skin loves almond and avocado oil, but coconut or olive oil work just as well.
Harvest your lemon balm in the morning, wash with cold water, and lay them out for 12 hours to remove some of the moisture. Too much water will cause your oil to go rancid, and no one wants that! Chop your herbs into small pieces (ground with a mortar and pestle if you have one), and add them to a mason jar.
- Carrier oil of choice, I love almond oil for this infusion
- 3-4 cups freshly harvested lemon balm, more for a stronger aroma
- 8 oz mason jar - wide mouth
- Fine cheese cloth for straining
Oil Infusion Instructions
- Place herbs in a clean, dry mason jar. I recommend the wide mouth type so you can easily get a spatula in there when it's time to strain the herbs. You'll want every last drop out of that jar!
- Fill remaining space in the jar with your oil of choice, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1 inch. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, pour more oil on top to ensure the herbs are well covered. I love almond oil for this particular infusion.
- Tighten the cap, write the date on the top, and shake everything up.
- Place jar in a sunny, warm windowsill and shake at least once each day.
- After 3-4 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using a cheese cloth and mesh strainer. Make sure and squeeze out every precious drop of oil!
- Pour your oil into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place.
I love using lemon balm infused oil to make lotion bars and salves. If you're feeling adventurous, check out my recipe for mini lotion bars.
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