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How to Make an Herbal Infused Oil

Making your own herbal infused oil is incredibly easy and sets you up to make all kinds of herbal remedies to keep your family healthy.
I’ve made herb infused oils for many years. I  use them in soaps, lotions, salves, and next I am going to try them in my natural face serum recipe.
You can even used infused oils in cooking!
herbal infused oil

Folk Method of Herbal Infused Oil

Today I am making lavender infused oil. Lavender is a very gentle herb that has a variety of uses. It supports healing of minor cuts and scrapes and would be perfect in a first aid salve.  You can use either fresh or dried herb for infusing but if you’re using fresh , you have to take precautions to prevent mold.  Also, some herbs are better used in one form or the other, so it is best to know the herb you are working with.  For example St. John’s Wort should only be used fresh.

I tend to use what is known as the folk method for my herbal preparations. The folk method is most commonly used because it is easy and a great method for beginners.  It was how the common “folk” made their medicines.  If you’re using fresh herbs you use more herb than if you are using dry.  In the video below, I fill the jar 3/4 full of fresh lavender.  If I were using dried lavender, I would only fill the jar about 1/3. 
While the folk method requires less precision and measuring, it also means that there can be some variability in the strength of your herbal medicine.  Therefore, this method is best in remedies that do not require exact dosing.

To Heat or Not To Heat

Many people like using forms of heat (stove, crockpot, sun, etc) to infuse oils because the heat breaks down the plant material and the infusion process is faster.  Personally I prefer not to use this method for a few reasons:
  1.  Lazy herbalist here!  I tend to do things the “easy” way and allowing it to sit on a dark shelf for 4-6 weeks is easier for me than monitoring the heat to make sure I don’t burn my infusion, even if I may have a finished infusion sooner.
  2. I prefer not to use electricity if I don’t have to. 
  3. I easily get distracted because I’m usually working on 2-3 projects at once and if I leave my infusion for an extra couple of weeks it is no big deal.  If I leave it on the heat too long, it can be a VERY big deal.

Infused Oil Ingredients

What is so great about an herbal infused oil is that you really can use just about any combination of herbs and oils based on your goals and needs.

Carrier oils

herb infused oilThe two most common oils for infusions are almond oil and olive oil.  I’ve used both and olive oil feels greasier to me so I will typically use that in soaps and salves.  I’ll use almond oil for massage oil, face serum, or any recipe where it is still liquid when applied.
Once I used coconut oil to infuse hemp for CBD oil but it has to be done carefully because it is a heated infusion and too hot can damage the medicinal benefits of the CBD.

Herb Choices

calendula infused oilThere are dozens if not hundreds of choices of herbs you can infuse in oil.  Which herbs you choose depend on your end goal.  Don’t forget to consider taste/constitution when choosing an herb too.  

Rosalee de la Foret is one of my favorite herbalists and she has a lot of great information about how the taste of herbs and your constitution can affect how well an herb will work for you.  She also has a fabulous book, Alchemy of Herbs, that helps build an understanding of this concept.

Are you making a first aid salve?  Calendula, Comfrey, Lavender, Yarrow, and Plantain are all herbs to consider including.

How about a face serum?  St John’s Wort, Calendula, and chamomile are all good choices.

A crosemaryulinary oil for cooking or salad dressing?  How about oregano, rosemary, or basil infused oil?  Rosemary infused oil drizzled on roasted potatoes sounds so tasty!

Lavender Infused Oil Recipe

Lavender Infused Oil

A great oil to use in soaps, salves, lotions, and more!
Prep Time30 minutes
Active Time42 days
Yield: 1 pint


  • lavender flowers
  • carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil
  • pint canning jar
  • cheese cloth or paper coffee filter


  • If using fresh herbs, prepare your lavender for infusion. (remove leaves and buds from stems)
  • Add lavender to pint jar, filling about 3/4 for fresh or 1/3 for dried.
  • Pour carrier oil over lavender until covered by about 1 inch.
  • Stir lavender into oil if needed, and push down until all lavender is covered by oil.
  • Cover with cheesecloth or coffee filter. If using dried lavender, you can use a screw on lid.
  • Allow to sit in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks.
  • Strain using cheesecloth or muslin. You will not be able to clean this for reuse, so be sure it is something you deem disposable.
  • Discard spent lavender and store strained oil in jar with screw on lid until you are ready to use it in your fabulous herbal creation!

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