Making Infused Herbal Oil
The end of summer brings one of my favorite things: fresh herbal infusions.
By this time dried herbs from the summer have been infusing long enough to be strained and made into salves. This year, especially I am excited because I have my own homegrown herbs to use in herbal infusions.
Calendula, lavender, and chamomile have been drying on my DIY herb drying rack throughout the summer. It seems like I am out gathering calendula and chamomile every few days!
Since I have so much of both, I decided to use them in a large herbal oil infusion. Both calendula and chamomile are lovely for skin, so I knew I would easily use them in many salves. Lavender is also a skin-soothing herb and lends a relaxing aroma to this infusion.
Choosing a Base Oil
When making herbal infusions, it is important to consider which base oil you will be using. Some things to consider are shelf life, the scent of the oil, cost, and the oil’s properties.
Some of my favorite oils to infuse into are sweet almond, jojoba, sunflower, and olive oil. I choose each one for various reasons depending on what I am going to make with the herbal infusion later on.
High-oleic Sunflower Seed Oil
For this skin-soothing herbal infused oil, I chose high-oleic sunflower seed oil. Firstly because this oil is affordable to buy in larger quantities, which I knew I would need for this recipe.
Sunflower seed oil is also lovely for skin. In her book, “Power of the Seed,” Susan Parker says that oleic acid, “helps maintain suppleness, flexibility, and softness” on the skin (p. 80). She also says that the skin can easily absorb and use this oil.
Another bonus is that high-oleic sunflower seed oil has a longer shelf life. That is a very important factor to consider when infusing. You don’t want to choose an oil that will expire in 6 months unless you plan to use your infusion quickly or you are only infusing a very small amount.
Sunflower seed oil is virtually odorless, which allows the beautiful aromas of chamomile, lavender, and calendula to shine through in this infusion.
Infused Herbal Oil Recipe
4 ounces dried chamomile 4 ounces dried calendula 4 ounces dried lavender 16 ounces sunflower seed oil
Place herbs in a 16-ounce wide mouth mason jar.
Pour in sunflower seed oil, allowing the herb matter to be completely covered.
Allow any bubbles to escape, then fill to the top with oil if herb matter is not fully covered. Make sure to completely cover herbs with oil or the infusion will risk developing mold.
Cap and store in a sunny window for 2-4 weeks, shaking every so often.
Once the infusion has reached the desired strength, strain out herb matter into a new, clean mason jar using a cheesecloth. Be sure to squeeze all the wonderful oil out of the herbs! A little fine sediment at the bottom of your infusion is normal.
Store in a cool, dry, dark place for the shelf life of the oil.
Using Your Infused Oil
Using this infusion is easy. It can be used as the base for a relaxing massage, in a skin-soothing salve, or as a delightful bath oil.
Personally, I like to use this infused oil in salves and creams as it makes a beautiful base that I can customize to any need. It would make an awesome base oil for this DIY bug bite and boo boo stick recipe.
It can be substituted for any plain carrier oil in recipes as well. The possibilities are endless!!
Have you ever made infused herbal oil? Tell us about it.
The Ultimate DIY Skin Soothing Herbal Infused Oil was written by Katie Vance.