Herbal Infused Oil

The herbal infused oil that we can make at home is easy to make and wonderful to use. The reason we infuse the herbs into oil is to break down the herbs and make their constituents easier to use. They absorb beautifully into the skin and do their work amazingly. You can use it as is or as a base for homemade salve.

*This herbal infused oil is not to be confused with essential oil. Essential oils are the distilled, highly concentrated volatile oils of the plant. They are pretty much impossible to make at home without investing in expensive distilling equipment.

There are a few things that we need to know before we start.

  • Use good quality oil. Olive oil is preferred because it is a very stable oil that does not go rancid easily.
  • Use dried herbs. Fresh herbs have water in them. If you want to use fresh herbs allow them to sit in a warm, dry place for several hours or overnight so that most of the water will evaporate. 
  • Remember that water can cause mold to grow.
  • Choose your size container. A pint jar works well but if you want more oil than that use a quart jar. Just remember that oils do go rancid after a while so don't make more than you will use.
  • Use clean containers. Wash them with soap, then sterilize them by placing them in the oven or washing them in a dishwasher.
  • Make sure the containers are dry before you use them.
  • Label your jars with the ingredients as well as the date. It will help you keep track of them after a few weeks.

Okay, let's make infused oil.

  1. If using dried herbs fill the jar half full of herbs.
  2. Add enough oil to fill the jar. The dried herbs will rehydrate and fill the whole jar so make sure they have plenty of oil to expand into.
  3. If using fresh herbs, after having let them sit for several hours or over night, loosely fill the jar with fresh herbs to the top.
  4. Add enough oil to cover the herbs. Make sure that all parts of the herb are completely covered.
  5. Stir the herbs to get out any air pockets that may be hiding.
  6. Place a paper towel over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band or a canning jar lid. This allows any moisture to escape thereby preventing mold.
  7. Stir the herbs once every day taking care to be sure no herb parts are allowed to be above the oil.
  8. Place the jar of oil in a sunny window (still stirring every day) and leave it there for at least two weeks. If you leave the jar in a cooler place leave it for up to six weeks.  (Plantain should only be left in oil two weeks.)
  9. Strain the herbs from the infused oil.
  10. Add 10 drops of Vitamin E or 10 drops benzoin tincture to help lengthen shelf life if desired.
  11. Rebottle the oil, preferably in dark jars.
  12. Label the jar with the ingredients and the date.
  13. Refrigerate if desired, but if not, be sure it is in a cool, dark place. It will last longer that way.

Infused oil can also be made with heat. Follow this link on making salve steps 1 through 3, for the fastest way to make it.

It can also be made in a crock pot by putting the oil and herbs into a jar, as above, fill the crock pot 3/4 full of water. Sit the jar in the water and simmer on low for 4 hours. Check it occasionally to be sure the water doesn't dry out.

Remember. Heat breaks down and destabilizes the oil which will make it go rancid faster. Be sure to watch your oil if you use heat to be sure it doesn't get too hot.

Here are some recipes:

Mullein Flower Oil for Earaches

Dry mullein flowers to fill half a jar (add a few garlic cloves too if desired)
Olive oil to completely fill the jar

This is the first oil I ever learned about. Using this infused oil is the very best thing you can do for earaches which often come with colds and flu.The only way to make it better is to add some garlic oil (made the same way). Works like magic.

Dandelion Infused Oil

Make as instructed above. The oil from Dandelion Flowers is warming and wonderful to use on sore muscles as well as for arthritis and rheumatism and other aches and pains.

Sports Massage Oil from Rosemary Gladstar

2 parts St. Johns wort
1 part Hops
1 part Arnica
1 part Mullein leaves
2 parts Camphor oil (available in some health food stores or pharmacies)
Essential oil of wintergreen or clove
Olive oil

Make the oil using the first four ingredients. After straining the herbs from the oil add the Camphor oil and enough essential oil to give it a strong pungent odor.

St. John's Wort Oil for Aches and Pains

Make the oil as described above just using St. John's Wort flowers and leaves. 

This oil also makes a wonderful rub for sore muscles or for arthritis and rheumatism. I wonder what would happen if you combined Dandelion Flowers and St. John's Wort?

Calendula Oil is another multiple use oil that works well for many ailments. It's antiseptic properties help promote painless healing of minor wounds by reducing inflammation and preventing infection. Calendula improves blood circulation so is useful for alleviating bruises, skin ulcers and for reducing scarring.

As you learn the properties and uses of different herbs you will find many ways to use them. What an exciting journey. Enjoy!

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