Making your own herbal oil is so ridiculously easy we should all be doing it. We have harvested a ton of herbs from the garden and now it’s time to put them to use! Herbal oils can be used as a base for salves and other cosmetics. Here’s how you do it.
The first thing you need for an oil infusion is herbs, obviously. The herbs also need to be completely dried as any moisture can cause mold. We use two methods for drying our herbs; dehydrator or window. With the set up of my new studio we have a great sunny window to hang up our herbs for drying. I simply bundle together the herbs and use twine to tie them at the base, then hang them using a clothes peg onto a line across the window. They are dry in about a week this way. If you want them faster you can use a dehydrator, spreading a thin layer out on the trays and setting the dehydrator to the right temperature for herbs (it should give you this info right on the machine)
Once you have your dried herbs load them into a mason jar and cover them completely with olive oil, or a vegetable oil of your choice. Fix the lid on tightly and place into a sunny and warm window for about 30 days, gently shaking the mixture once a day. Once the 30 days are up line a funnel with cheese cloth and pour the mixture through into another jar to filter out the herbs. If you want the infusion to be done faster you can gently heat the oil and the herbs together in a slow-cooker on low heat (you can also use this method if you want to use coconut oil which is generally solid at room temperature). You are left with a herb infused oil that can then be combined with beeswax (or carnauba wax if you want it vegan) to create a salve. I am currently infusing lemon balm and calendula oils to make salves! Calendula salve can be used for skin ailments and is safe for use on animal (especially rabbit!) skin, which is a huge bonus for us.
Enjoy making herbal oil infusions!