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Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

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Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby Kassandra » Mon May 13, 2013 9:19 am

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Herbal Infused Oils: Homemade Instructions


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Medicinal Oils can be used alone, or can form the basis of salves and balms. The general principal is simple: Oil + heat + herbs = Herbal Oil. The quality and strength of your homemade herbal oils depends not so much on exact measurements, as it does on making sure you cover all the plant matter, so no spoilage occurs.

The most versatile and easy system for measurements is the simplers method, because it is based on ratios, measurements are referred to as "parts", for instance 1 parts dried herb, 5 parts oil is a very common herbal oil formula. There can so much variation in the strength of herbs (due to growing and harvesting conditions, fresh or dried, etc.) that even if you follow the exact measurements, each batch will still be slightly different. In my experience, the length of time the oil macerates, and the amount of heat applied are the biggest determining factors in how strong your oil becomes.

Using a very high quality organic oil such virgin olive oil, or safflower oil, is as just as important as the quality of the herbs used. You will find that making herbal oils and other preparations is not an exact science, and each batch is always a learning opportunity. Mountain Rose is my supplier of choice for all bulk oils and herbs that I do not grow myself or obtain from local organic farmers. Homemade herbal oils are fresher, contain no chemical preservatives, and save loads of money. All of the following methods can be used, the one you choose depends on how strong you want your oil to be, and how much time you have to make it.

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Infused oils can be used
medicinally, cosmetically,
or for cooking, or for spell
work ("dressing" candles,
etc.)...the possibilities are
endless. You can alsomake
your own massage oil
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Solar infusion
Using the 'simplers' measure, place the herbs and oil in a glass jar and cover tightly. Place in a warm,sunny window and let infuse for about 2 weeks. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white wine to help break down the plant material. Strain and rebottle. For a stronger oil, add a fresh batch of herbs and let infuse for two more weeks.

Oven Extraction
Place the herbs and oil in a canning jar, or a container with a tight fitting lid. Put them in a pan with enough water to cover the bottom half of the jar. Turn the oven on the lowest temperature possible and heat for several hours. This is a good method for those days when you are going to be around the house all day. I have better luck with this than the faster double boiler method, because the oil doesn't tend to overheat, and you don't have to watch it so carefully.

Double-boiler method
Place herbs and oil in a double boiler ,covered with a tightly fitting lid and bring to a slow simmer. SLOWLY heat for 1/2 hour to an hour, checking frequently to make sure oil is not overheating. The lower the heat and longer the infusion time the better quality of oil.

Crockpot method
Place herbs and oils in crockpot and set on lowest possible heat. You will have to experiment with your own crockpot as the strength of the heating element can vary quite a bit, but as a general rule 2 to 4 hours will do it (my crockpot is just too hot for this method). Electric roasters have an even lower heat source and herbal oils can be left to steep for 2 weeks.

Once the herbs have been infused into the oil, strain the mixture, bring to room temperature. You may then add a few drops of essential oils such as lemon, or rosemary for even more stimulating properties as well as a nice fresh scent. Rebottle and enjoy.

Source: anniesremedy.com/chart_remedy.php?prep_ID=30


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Basics of the method. The Mountain Rose Herbs website is very informative.





Lemon Oil. Here, the maker will use it as a base for her homemade shampoo, in addition to herbs
she will add to the mix.






Peppermint is so refreshing. It's nice to waft it through the house by placing a few drops of the oil
in a candle diffuser (there are electronic diffusers, which work extremely well, but I enjoy the ele-
ment of fire in my presence, so I do it the old-fashioned way), along with a few couple drops of water
(which prevents the oil from "cooking" in the diffuser, which gets stinky).






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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby North Star » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:53 am

Hi Kassandra,

I just love all your stuff!! So much information that I have been looking for. smiley_dance

I have never worked with making my own oils before, but this is something I want to do more in the future (hopefully after I get that indoor garden going good). I really need to get working on that! :roll:

My question is, is grapeseed oil good to use for many herbs? I have a lot of it, and my husband wants to bring home more if I can use it in the future (an Italian brand called Sadaf). We are hoping to extract peppermint oil especially, living in Alaska and the state bird is the mosquito...I am DONE with the chemical crap, and I started using a peppermint lotion that works a thousand times better. I would like to start making my own lotion. As well as making other oils, but right now I am curious how grapeseed could work with peppermint. I LOVE peppermint, so many great uses!

Just wondering if it would be a good idea to have more on hand, the price is right... (free lol)

Thanks again for sharing so much great info. Blessings to you!
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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby Kassandra » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:15 pm

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Thanks so much for your positive feedback, glad you're enjoying the posts.:P I started a blog about herbal stuff because I didn't want to post too much of that stuff here. Though it's "related" to the main theme of this message board, the main theme here is still spirituality, not plants, lol. Please share it (like post a link on Facebook or something) if you get the chance and feel so inspired. I would love to share it with others! It's a relaxing distraction for me.

Edit: after I talked to Starwitch about it, she OK'd my having this subforum here, "Foray in the Green," so here it is. I really didn't want to log into the blog I mentioned above, then log in here. Since whenever I have a chance to spend time on the internet, I'm usually here, I figured I might as well just "move the blog" here, so to speak, and she was OK with that.
--March 16 2014


I have seen grapeseed oil mentioned in a positive light with people who make herbal infusions, so if you have the hook-up like that (hubby has a supply), then I say go for it! I have not used it myself, only because I haven't bought any, not because there's anything wrong with using it. I hear it's good stuff.



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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby North Star » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:40 pm

Thanks Kassandra,

Yes I have your blog bookmarked, maybe I could post on the EUTM page on facebook the link... I do not think Starwitch would mind that at all. I will work on that! Thank you for the tips. I got my blog started, but frustration set in (can't seem to get it to look like yours lol) but I am getting the knack of it. I agree it is a pleasant distraction.

I have to agree also there is a place for gardening here but it is a more minor subject in spirituality. I notice with the search when some put so much personal or general information stored here on the site, it affects the search feature, and if I have a huge thread about gardening it may affect others from finding what they are really looking for. So I am going easy on the gardening thread and trying to only relate it to magickal correspondences in the future.

I will let you know how that oil works for me. Starting a few plants this weekend for the indoor grow. :)

Blessings to you! And thank you again ;)
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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby Kassandra » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:04 am

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That's a great idea. I don't Facebook much, so I hadn't thought of posting a link there. Thank you.

Feel free to post as much of anything you want to post here, regarding gardening or whatever. My comments were only meant for me; don't let them discourage you. Until you get your blog the way you like it, post here all you'd like. If' gardening is where you're at now, cool. It's actually a very spiritual experience.

I'm excited about your indoor garden. Hope you have a lot of fun with it. Keep us posted.


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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby North Star » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks Kassandra,

No I am not discouraged at all, no worries! I am trying to organize on a few fronts, my info here, on my private BOS I share with my close friends, the FB page, my personal BOS on my computer... way too much for someone like me who needs total organization lol. The blog is the best way I have found for me, but I also have the other things going on equally important to me... so I am over-whelmed with putting 25 years into technology and starting new endevours at the same time. Laptop is new and after the last one croaked I lost a lot of work. I am just going with the flow...

Unfortunately not much going on in the garden so I haven't had too much to post on the garden thread, along with a stressful month that is finally subsiding, I can focus again. I am still on the forget me nots and rhubarb lol.

I will for sure post this weekend, my garden center trip is tomorrow. I know I will come home with more than I plan... don't we always?!

Thanks again Kassandra! I am going to work on sharing that link... :)
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DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby MistressOfTheMoon » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:35 pm

Thanks for this informative post Kassandra! I am new to making herb-infused oils and recently burned the fresh herbs I put into a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil :-D

Here's a picture of the burned herbs lol. The horror of seeing green herbs turn brown as soon as they hit the fryer still haunts me. I guess the oil was too hot by the time I put them in.

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I am making another batch this Sunday using dried herbs and will try to incorporate less aggressive heating methods (such as heating the oil and leaving it to cool before I put in the herbs since we have no crockpot or oven, putting the sauce pan in low heat - though I am certain it was in low heat last time, or using the microwave as an alternative heat source). Whichever method I choose, I will let the herbs sit for a while before straining them.

Now I do have some questions for you.

1. Will Apple Cider vinegar have the same effect on dried herbs? Break down their plant material for better infusion?

2. Does Apple Cider vinegar affect the scent of the oil? I am making elemental herbs and would prefer that they emitted a scent that resembled the herbs I put in.

3. Is it alright if I use "mild and light tasting" olive oil? I find that extra virgin olive oil overpowers the aroma of my herbs.

Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: DIY Infused Oils...Lots of Uses

Postby Kassandra » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:58 pm

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Thanks for sharing your herbal travails with us, MistressOfTheMoon. :wink: I like to post my mistakes for others to learn from, too...as in, "Don't do it this way," lol. I love that rounded bottle in the picture you posted, an interesting design.

Out of the four types of heating processes mentioned in the OP, I think sun-infusion or double-boiler methods are best. Even a crock pot gets too hot, even at its lowest setting. I can't say I'm a big fan of directly heating carrier oils, unless the "herb" in the oil is something very "hearty," like the lemon peels the lady in the video above (in the OP) used. Leaves and/or flower petals, I find, tend to be too delicate and fussy for direct heat. Maybe someone else has had good results with directly heating delicate herbs in oils, and could share their tips.

Personally, I don't heat herbs in an oil blend at all. I just let them sit in the oil, shake the bottle or jar, etc.


lilgeekess wrote:Now I do have some questions for you.

1. Will Apple Cider vinegar have the same effect on dried herbs? Break down their plant material for better infusion?

2. Does Apple Cider vinegar affect the scent of the oil? I am making elemental herbs and would prefer that they emitted a scent that resembled the herbs I put in.

3. Is it alright if I use "mild and light tasting" olive oil? I find that extra virgin olive oil overpowers the aroma of my herbs.

Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


1. Apple cidar vinegar (ACV) does break down the herbs' constituents. I don't know about a "better" infusion, but it's probably a quicker process than that of using oil, and quicker doesn't necessarily equate with better. I have heard of people using vinegar, or even using vodka as a solvent in which to infuse herbs. If those are all that's used (without the oil) I think it would be considered creating a "tincture, rather than an "oil." As the guy in the Mountain Rose vid above mentions though, you could put a teaspoon or so of ACV in an oil infusion just to give it a boost. But, it appears that most people either use all-oil, or all-alcohol, or all-vinegar in their herbal infusions.

2. I have not used my precious organic ACV for herbal stuff, only because I like to use it for other things (like take it internally, use it as a hair rinse, etc.). But, now that you mention it, maybe I will buy some less-expensive ACV and try it in herbal infusions. I have used vodka before, though (since alcohol is totally expendable to me, as I don't drink).

I tried an experiment last year: I bottled some magnolia petals in vodka, some in olive oil, and steam-distilled some others. The petals in the vodka have, to this day, stayed pretty much true to their original scent; not so with the oil-infused petals. They went kinda' acrid-smelling. And the magnolia petals really reacted poorly to the steam distillation from the git-go; they smelled awful (the heat was super super low, but maybe they just don't like being steamed). When I make the time to continue working on this project, I plan to add top and bottom notes to the base magnolia scent (maybe something citrus-y for the top, and something earthy for the bottom), pour the mixture into a nice glass spray bottle, and use it as an after-shower "body spray." But, all that's for another day I guess, haha.

3. After trial and error, I have come to the conclusion that even the mild olive oil is still too overpowering. I just switched altogether to almond oil for magical oils, etc. But, olive oil is great for home-made (dry) hair and skin products, as I have read in many places over the years that it is very similar to the sebum, or natural oil that our glands produce. It is very compatible with the human body.






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