Making your own herbal infused oil is a wonderful way to preserve the medicinal properties of herbs. You can choose to use the oil as-is or include it in lotions, scrubs, salves, lip balms and more. The options for home remedies become endless! Plus, with the use of herbal infused oil, you don't have to invest in expensive essential oils to provide fragrance and healing properties to your homemade products.
Below you will find a list of conditions that can be easily treated with herbal infused oils as well as the capabilities of multiple types of herbs that will benefit those conditions. Once you have an idea of the herbal combination (or single variety) you'd like to use, scroll down to the bottom of this article to learn the simple steps to making your very own infused oil!
Muscle Pain and Stiffness (Overexertion, Bruises, and Swelling)
- Comfrey Leaf and/or Root Herbal Infused Oil— analgesic/connective tissue healing. Great for sprains, wounds, burns, arthritis, and contusions. Comfery herbal infused oils relieve pain and swelling as well as supporting muscle, cartilage, and bone. It can be massaged into the tissue or applied topically.
- Ginger Root Herbal Infused Oil— warming, use for occasional sore muscles. Can be massaged into the tissue or applied topically.
- Arnica Flower Herbal Infused Oil— analgesic (relieves pain). Can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises, and pain. Can be massaged into the sore muscles or applied topically.
- Cayenne Pepper Infused Oil— very warming salve. Good for occasional sore muscles, and alleviates pain and itching. Can be massaged into the tissue or applied topically. (Do not use on open sores or cuts!)
Minor Abrasions, Cuts, Scrapes, and Wounds
- Calendula Flower Herbal Infused Oil— antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, vulnerary (healing wounds). Useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions, including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies. For topical use.
- Chamomile Flower Herbal Infused Oil— antiseptic, analgesic. For minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and wounds. Apply topically.
- Goldenseal Leaf and/or Root Herbal Infused Oil— antiseptic. Useful for treating minor wounds and skin conditions topically.
- Myrrh Gum Powder Herbal Infused Oil— antiseptic, analgesic. Used for cuts, scrapes, scratches, and abrasions topically.
- Oregon Grape Root Herbal Infused Oil— antimicrobial, astringent, vulnerary herb that contains berberine (kills yeast and bacteria). Fabulous used topically as a skin disinfectant for minor wounds.
- Thyme Herbal Infused Oil— antiseptic. Used topically for cuts or scrapes.
Burns and Sunburns
- Chickweed Herbal Infused Oil— Antipruritic (anti-itch), emollient (softens skin). Soothing, helps topically with skin conditions, minor burns, insect bites, and other skin irritations.
- Lavender Flowers Herbal Infused Oil— analgesic, antiseptic, antimicrobial. Soothing, calming and relieves pain. Has healing properties and is beneficial when used topically for minor wounds and numerous skin conditions.
- John’s Wort Herbal Infused Oil— antibacterial, and vulnerary herb that is a profound healer of sunburns. Beneficial for burns, minor wounds, cuts, bruises, muscular pain, insect bites and stings, nerve support, scrapes, and minor burns. For topical use.
Insect Bites and Stings
- Echinacea Herb and/or Root Herbal Infused Oil— Beneficial for minor sores, wounds, insect bites, and stings.
- Plantain Leaf Herbal Infused Oil— Antipruritic (anti-itch), antiseptic. Helps speed the recovery process. Relieves and soothes insect bites and stings, poison ivy, itching, minor sores, bruises, blisters, and damaged skin.
There are two methods that can be used to create your herbal infused oil: The Solar Infused Method (which takes about 2-6 weeks to set, but involves very little preparation), or The Quick Method (which uses constant heat and can be used immediately after). See which ones float your boat!
The Solar Infused Method
- Coarsely chop dried botanicals (leave any flowers whole).
- Place dried botanicals into a dry and sterilized glass jar. Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other oil of choice that has a stable shelf life, leaving at least 2 inches of oil above the herbs to allow the herbs to swell. Close the jar tightly and place in a sunny, warm window. Cover the jar with a bag or box so the oil is not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Shake the jar once per day, or as often as you remember. If the herbs absorb the oil, add more so they are always submerged in oil. Allow to infuse for 2-6 weeks, or until the oil takes on the color and aroma of the herb.
- Once the oil is ready, strain using cheesecloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Make sure to squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs.Herbal oils will keep for approximately a year when stored properly in a cool dark place.
The Quick Method
- Place herbs in crock-pot or double boiler and cover with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or other carrier oil of your choice, leaving at least 2 inches of oil above the herbs. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 2-5 hours or until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herb. Do not boil or deep-fry your herbs because it will destroy some of the valuable constituents.
- Once the oil is ready, strain through a cheesecloth and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Make sure to squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs. Herbal oils will keep for approximately a year when stored properly in a cool dark place.
Go ahead and give herbal infused oils a try! They are easy to make and provide incredible benefits. We all need something on-hand for insect bites, scrapes and sunburns, right? Rather than buying a whole bunch of over the counter ointments with chemicals and preservatives, keep a handful of these infused oils in your medicine cabinet for sweet relief.
How Do You Know Your Oil Has Gone Bad?
You can tell when an oil has gone bad by the smell. it will smell like a rancid crayon. You will be able to tell the difference between a fresh lovely smell to a rancid bitter smell. Familiarize yourself with the scent of each essential oil you keep, that way you know the aroma of each and can identify when it smells different than it should. Do keep in mind that different batches of oils can vary in their scent. Just like wine, the plants that produce essential oils can be impacted by weather and climate influences that will give each harvest a unique quality. However, an oil that has gone rancid should be obviously different from a fresh oil.
You can also tell iff an oil has gone bad if you experience redness, itching or irritation. This can happen if the oil is too strong on your skin – the potency of the oil can lead to oversensitivity. However, if the oil is properly diluted (the way it’s intended to be), then you shouldn’t experience redness or irritation, and if you do, it’s possible the oil has expired.
You can also tell by the consistency of the oil. Almost all essential oils have a similar smooth and fluid consistency. If the oil has gone bad, it’s possible the consistency of the oil will thicken up. The oil can also take on a cloudy appearance, rather than the typical translucent coloration. Sounds like the long and sticky substances could indicate the oil has spoiled. how did it smell? If you strained it thorough a cheesecloth would it have been clear?
In general, keep an eye and nose out for any changes in the color, consistency or smell. These are the biggest indicators that your oil may have turned.
What is your favorite herbal infused oil?