Herbs are great for so many things: teas, salves, cooking, tinctures, lip balms, and adorning our homes with beautiful aromas.
In honor of my upcoming grand opening of Original Organics Herbal, my Etsy shop in which I’ll be selling handmade herbal products from organic & wildcrafted ingredients including lip balms, natural sunscreen, essential oils perfumes, and more, I’m sharing how to make an herb-infused oil to be used in such products.
Where to Get Herbs
It’s surprisingly EASY to make an oil featuring your favorite herbs. The “hard” part is having access to high-quality herbs. Here are a few ways to come by herbs for your herb-infused oil:
Many herbs are actually quite simple to grow as long as you have the space. If you’re new to gardening, starting an herb garden is a fun and rewarding (and easy!) entry point into this sometimes daunting world. Pots also work decently well but over time herbs like to be planted in the earth so they can come back year after year (if they’re perennial) and/or stretch their roots far and wide.
Perhaps surprisingly to you, many herbs or plants that are healthiest and most medicinal can be found growing wildly! If you have access to land where the owner(s) will let you forage, you can find a myriad of goodies – from red clover to raspberry leaves, dandelion to nettle – nature abounds with some of the most nutrient-dense plants around. One option is to contact local farmers to see if they would let you forage around their property. Some of these farmers may even have an excess of herbs like comfrey that are used to companion-plant within apple orchards and make a wonderful addition to any skincare product (and this also happens to be the herb I’m featuring in this how-to)
When I’m not able to grow my own or forage for herbs for my products, I source them primarily from Mountain Rose Herbs.
They have a wide variety of high-quality herbs in bulk at affordable prices. Here’s a quick peek at some of their herbs in the “A” section:
I also purchase Starwest Botanicals from Amazon. Like Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals has a wonderful assortment of bulk herbs, many of which are organic and at a discounted rate. Also, if you have Amazon Prime, you can get free 2-day shipping on their items!
Making an Herb-Infused Oil
There are two primary methods to making an herb-infused oil. One is the solar method, which uses the sun to infuse the oil over time. Another method is by heating rapidly over the stove, which takes place in a couple of hours. The method I’m covering in this post is the solar method, because it’s just so darn easy!
32 oz glass jar (like these)
Cheesecloth (like this)
Dried herbs of choice (I used comfrey for this recipe)
Extra virgin olive oil (like this)
1.) Finely grind thoroughly dried herbs (oil & water don’t mix, so be sure all moisture is out of the herbs) and fill clean jar with desired amount (see step #2 for herb:oil ratio).
2.) Using a ratio of 1:2 (Herb:Oil), add oil to the jar, covering the herbs fully and being sure that the oil goes at least 2″ above the herbs.
3.) Cover jar with lid tightly and place in a sunny windowsill. Shake the jar a couple of times per day. If the herbs soak up all the oil, simply add more. Allow herb to infuse for 2-6 weeks, or until you notice the oil taking on the color and scent of the herb.
4.) Once your herb-infused oil is ready, strain herbs by following this tutorial. Store oil in sterilized jar in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.