Making Herbal Infusion Oils


The process I use to make herbal infusion oils is really very simple, but it requires a bit of patience.

Start with a squeaky clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid or cork. I generally make only about 1oz at a time, so I use a 3 oz lab vial.

Put the dried herb or mixture in a mortar…about 3 heaping tablespoons. Grind, grind, grind, until it begins to get really powdery…and the fresher the Herbs are, the better. SLOWLY add a high quality Grapeseed oil to the mortar and grind the herb INTO it.

Why Grapeseed? It’s light and not very greasy, has almost no odor of its own, and is relatively inexpensive. I know people who use sweet Almond or other oils, and I have used these in the past, but Grapeseed remains my favorite.

It will go rancid without the addition of an Antioxidant though, so be sure to add the Vitamin E. Pour the whole mess into the little jar. Scrape all the oily herb paste in there.

For my 3 oz vial I add the contents of two 400mg Vitamin E capsules (just snip off one end and SQUEEZE). Shake the heck out of it. Put the jar in a cool, dry, dark place to mature…one moon cycle is a good guestimate.

Some people say to put it on a windowsill for the sun to warm it. I have never done it this way, but I can see how that might “speed up” the process.

Shake the jar 2-3 times a day; once a week strain off the oil and repeat the process with new Herbs and the old oil (you don’t have to keep adding Vitamin E or anything…just grind the Herbs into the old oil mix.)

After about a month, strain it off and smell the oil. I usually Put a bit on the inside of my elbow, walk into another room and sniff. If it isn’t strong enough, continue the process for another month or so.

To strain: line a funnel with a coffee filter and pour the oil through. It takes a while for all the oil to drip through, but it is worth it…you won’t have little chunks in your finished product.

Some Herbs have a stronger fragrance than others, and some actually work better when fresh, rather than dried…the upshot there is that there will be water which you have to figure out how to get rid of. The coffee filter should get most of it, but just look for it sitting on the top of the oil.

If you want to try making an oil that WILL contain an odor, try Dill. This is one of my favorites! Just get a good quality dried Dill weed from the grocery, and follow the process.

The oil is quite pungent after only about two weeks and has a lovely Emerald green color.

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