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  • Writer's picturejuliakimd

What are infused oils? And how to make them

Updated: Feb 8

Infused oils are made when we leave dried or fresh herbs in oil for a minimum of 4 weeks, although, the longer you leave them, the stronger they get, and you can also double their strength by straining the original oil and putting more herb into the same batch of oil.


Infused oils are a great way of using herbs topically. They are so easy to make and can be added to baths, used to make lip balms, as an addition to bath bombs, use in ointments and hand/body creams. Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on it, so as soon as I learnt how to make my own skin care products, I have never bought anything ever again! I use infused oil in the products I sell on my online store.


To make one, you will need:

  • Sterilised glass jar

  • Herbs

  • Oil(s) of your choice (grapeseed, hazelnut, macadamia, olive, avocado, peach kernel, apricot kernel)

  • Muslin

  • Bowl

You can easily sterilise your glass jar by heating the oven to 170°C (338°F) and placing a clean jar in there for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can boil the jar in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes.

For the herbs, choose Chamomile, Lavender, Marigold (or Calendula), St John's Wort, Rosemary - any herb you like - if you need any assistance in choosing which one, please don't hesitate to contact me. You could even do this with garlic, onion, chillis, etc. to use in cooking. They are really great to do with children.


Method:

  1. Put enough herb into the glass jar to almost fill it. It can be loosely placed in there, you don't have to push it down to squeeze lots in there. You could weigh it after you've got the amount in there but this is not important if you don't have the time or scales.

  2. Pour enough oil to completely cover the herb and make sure the lid is on tight. You could measure the amount of oil before pouring so that you know how much you added - generally, I would say it would probably be about 200mL to 250mL, or thereabouts - depending on the size of your jar, of course!

  3. Label the jar with the date you do this, and also what herb and oils were used. If you wanted to find out the ratio or strength of your oil, write the grams of herb used and the mL of oil used. Example: 20g of Chamomile to 200mL is a ratio of 1:10, this is a kind of standard ratio to use, but if you haven't weighed the herb, do not fear, it will not be too strong to make it unsafe to use.

  4. Leave in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks, and do not open it once. Try remember to shake the jar once per day - this is to get the oil into all the little bits of herb to extract the maximum goodness out of it.

  5. After 4 weeks (you can leave it longer if you like, as long as the jar has not been opened and has been stored in a cool, dark place), strain the oil by draping a piece of muslin cloth over a bowl big enough and emptying the contents of the jar into the muslin cloth.

  6. Gather up the muslin with clean hands and gloves, and twist to get all the oil out, keeping the herb in the muslin and squeeze the oil out of the herb. If you have a press to do this for you, that is great.

  7. Discard the herb that was used, and pour the strained oil into a sterilised bottle to use how you wish.

  8. Label the bottle with the date you strained it. It should be good for 12 months, possibly more, depending on how it is stored - again, in a cool, dark, dry place.

If you want an even stronger oil, instead of bottling up the strained oil in step 7 above, simply get more herb into another sterilised jar (as per step 1 above), and pour the strained oil over it. There is usually some loss of oil in the whole straining process because it is absorbed by the second lot of herb, but the result is a much stronger oil.


What you can do with an infused oil:

  • Massages - especially with a herb for aching muscles or nerve pain, and also babies, especially Chamomile or Lavender infused oil before bed time

  • Baths - great for relaxing and for skin conditions

  • Bath bombs - see my post here about how to make these - using a Chamomile infused oil in a bath bomb for a baby or children is great for so many things.

  • Lip balms

  • Ointments

  • Hand creams

Below is an infused oil I just put together, it's a Chamomile one and you can see the label with quantities I've included (please forgive my scrawly handwriting!):

chamomile infused oil
chamomile infused oil













Below is a video of my strained oil being poured into a jar for use in the products I make that are in my store - this was Marigold infused oil - the colour produced is such a lovely warm glow when held to the light!


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