This post is a follow-up to a previous post in which I taught How to Make an Herb-Infused Oil. I created this post because I realized I grazed over a crucial and often neglected step in making herb-infused oils: how to actually strain them (well)!
A how-to as simple as this might seem obvious to the seasoned herbalist, but if you are a beginner (and like me when I made my first herbal oil), I think you’ll find it very helpful.
I’ll be sharing the necessary tools (very important!) and process to ensure that your carefully-tended herb-infused oil makes it all the way to the bottle, and then, hopefully, to your handmade herbal salves :)
What Can Go Wrong
Here we go: the main thing that can go wrong here is that you will spill your oil all over the place. Seriously. My first experience in this realm involved some cheesecloth, a couple extra hands, and a lot of slippery floors (counters, dishes, bodies, etc.).
Needless to say, I didn’t have the right tools, which made for a messy and heartbreaking experience. After you’ve gone to the trouble of letting the oil soak up all the herbal goodness for weeks, sometimes even months, you don’t want to spill a drop! That stuff is precious gold, folks.
How to Do it Right
1.) Herbal oil(s) // Learn how to make your own!
2.) Strainer (like this, seriously this is the best)
3.) Glass amber bottle (like this 32 oz one)
4.) Bowl and measuring cup or funnel
1.) Strain oil into a bowl by using a jelly strainer like this one. I highly recommend this kind of strainer for this process:
- Place strainer legs on the edge of a (*DRY!) bowl
- Secure bag to metal frame
- Pour herbal oil – herbs and all – into the bag
- Let the oil drain fully from the bag over several minutes before removing
*Remember, oil and water don’t mix. If water enters into your oil, it will go rancid much quicker, so be careful to ensure all materials are fully dry before putting oil into them.
2.) Once oil is completely strained from the herbs, pour into bowl, and then pour carefully and swiftly into a measuring cup (or funnel).
3.) Carefully pour strained herbal oil into a dry, sterilized glass amber jar. Secure lid tightly and you are set!
You can even smack a cute little homemade label on your oil if you’d like. I suggest writing the date as it’s easy to forget!
Enjoy your homemade, nutrient-packed, made with love herbal oil within a year or so by storing in a cool, dark place. You can use this to make all kinds of wonderful salves and other skincare products.