Making your own lotions, soaps, or lip balms may require you to infuse herbal oil first.
If you are wondering “What are infused oils?”, the answer is simple. It’s taking an herb and heating it gently in an oil to extract the properties from the herb.
It’s a great way to get the properties of the herbs into your DIY projects. The benefits of infused oil are soothing inflammed skin, helping skin to heal, and softening skin are what you use herbs for. Herb infused oil for skin care will help you create luxurious body products for you and your family.
Some of the best DIY projects to use infused oils are soaps, shampoo bars, lip balms, and lotions. You can also make your skin soothing salves with infused oils. The oils you use will create luxurious products. Lotions for gift giving, soaps for shower favors and so much more! The sky is the limit on how to use these infused oils. You can also just use an infused oil as a massage oil. Infusing cayenne pepper and arnica into jojoba oil is a great pain relief massage oil. (to see how to make this, read this post here)
There are 5 easy ways to infused herbal oil. Infused oils need to be done at a low temperature, in order to maintain the benefits of the herbs themselves. Too high of heat and it can destroy the herbs properties. Too low of heat, and it can take a lot longer to infuse. You want to extract the qualities of the herbs, without losing them. It can be a delicate balance sometimes. One of the best ways to keep the qualities of the herb in the oil is to make sure the container you have the herbs and oils in is covered loosely. Do not screw a lid on tight. This can cause pressure build up.
Normally, when dealing with herbs in a medicinal application, it is important to measure them by weight for accuracy. This helps in dosing tinctures or capsules. When you are looking to create and infuse herbal oil for a beauty product, exact weights are not as important. The herbal infusions are usually washed off, with only a minimal amount of the herbs being absorbed into the skin. Even in the case of lotion, which isn’t washed off, you only use a small amount of the overall product. However, keeping an eye on the herb to oil infusion ratio is still a good idea.
For what is the best oil for infusing herbs, you will need to figure out what you want to use it for. Each oil will have it’s own unique properties that will be beneficial in your final product.
- Avocado Oil- almost creamy texture, this absorbs quickly into the skin with no greasy residue left.
- Coconut Oil- idea for massage due to it’s thick texture. It’s solid at 76 degrees, but easily melts on the skin
- Grapeseed Oil- idea for lotions or lip balms due to it’s thin consistency and no odor.
- Jojoba Oil- idea for skin care and healing salves due to it’s natural anti-inflammatory properties.
- Olive Oil- coats the skin well due to it’s creamy consistency. Best used as a fraction of the overall oil to avoid the olive scent.
- Sweet Almond Oil- most popular oil for infusing. Absorbs quickly into the skin with a light fragrance. Used interchangeably with apricot kernel oil.
To infuse herbal oils, try one of these 5 easy ways. Each one will work for both beginner and advanced herbalist with equal ease. The herb to oil ratio for infusion here commonly used is 1:5, meaning for every gram of plant matter you add, you cover with 5 mL of oil.
This is how to make infused oil with dried herbs. For how to make infused oil with fresh herbs, it’s best to dry the fresh herbs first. This removes the water from the plant. To leave the water or moisture in could cause your oil to mold or go rancid quickly.
Perfect for when you need the infused oil right away.
- This requires the herb or plant matter, your choice of oils and a low oven, set at 200.
- Place the herbs in an oven proof bowl and cover with the choice of oil.
- Allow to infuse in the oven for 2 hours
- Strain the herb matter out and toss in the garbage.
Best if you don’t need the infused oils right away, perfect method for beginner.
- Simply place your choice of herbs in a jar, cover with oil of choice and cap tightly.
- Store in a cool, dark place and shake daily for 3-4 weeks
- Strain the herb matter out and toss.
Solar Oven Infusion.
This is usually best done very early in the morning or later in the afternoon, when the sun isn’t so intense.
- Once your solar oven is placed correctly, and the temperature is at 200, place your oven proof container with the plant matter and oil in the solar oven and close.
- Keep a careful eye on it, to not allow it to go over 200.
- Allow to infuse for 2 hours, then strain the herb matter out of the oil.
This is a great method for overnight infusion.
- Heat a crock pot on high, filled 2/3 full of water, for 3 hours.
- The water should be hot, around 180-200 degrees.
- Turn the crock pot OFF and place a tightly capped jar filled with herbs and oil in the water.
- Tuck a towel around the crock pot to hold the heat in, and allow to sit overnight, or 8 hours.
- In the morning, strain the herb matter and toss.
A great method if your oven and crockpot are busy, but you still need the infused oil quickly.
- Pplace oil covered herbs in an oven proof bowl.
- Place in the dehydrator.
- Infuse the oils at 200 degrees for 2 hours.
- If you need to let it go overnight, set it at 115 degrees for 8 hours.
- Strain the herb matter and toss.
Once the oils are infused, the shelf life is as long as the oil’s life. For example, if the oil has an expiration date in 6 months, the infused oil will last 6 months. Keeping water and air out of the oil will help make sure to prolong the shelf life. Water can cause mold, and air can cause it to break down and go rancid.
As you can see, there are easy ways to infuse herbal oil and be able to use them in your favorite beauty and spa products. Which one is your favorite?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.