What are herbal infused oils? If you are an aspiring herbalist, natural health lover, or simply a frugal person looking for a more cost-effective way than essential oils to get the power of herbs in your life, then this post is for you!
I think I have been in love with plants and herbs forever. I love to grow them, forage for them and of course, use them. You can just about always find some herb hanging upside down to dry in my back door/ mudroom.
I love herbs so much my kids tell me I’m like a Witch with my herbs and lotions and potions everywhere filled with pure herbal goodness. To be honest I’m totally guilty.
One thing I love the most is how versatile herbs are and how easy they are to use. One of if not my favorite way to use herbs is herbal infused oils.
What is herbal infused oil?
Herbal infused oil, herbal oil or infused oil are all names for the same thing, it means taking an herb and infusing it into and oil.
A herbal infused oil (also known as a macerated oil) is carrier oil that has been ‘infused‘ with the goodness of a herb or a flower. By letting herbs and flowers infuse in an oil for a certain period of time we are able to extract many of the powerful and healing properties of the plant into a usable form.
Herbal infused oils are just about the simplest way to get the power of herbs into your life. Infused oils can be used in many ways.
How to use infused oils
I like to solar infuse oils, and always keep some on hand for so many reasons from healthcare to animal care to cooking here are just a few of the ways you can use these wonderful oils.
- Use herb-infused oils for cooking and adding extra herb power to the food you will eat. Think sage-infused olive oil to cook meats in, or rosemary-infused oil to drizzle over pasta, or your favorite herb-infused into an oil for a light oil and vinegar salad dressing.
- Herb infused oils make wonderful body care. Herb infused oils easily replace body lotions for power-packed herbal body care. Think lavender-infused sweet almond oil, or mint-infused relaxing feet and leg oil.
- Herb infused oils make a great carrier oil for healthcare issues. When using essential oils you need a carrier oil to carry the herbs into the body. I use calendula infused oil for this. There are other great infusions for this too.
- Herbal infused oils make a wonderful animal care item. Just like people animals respond well to herbal oils. I have used calendula herbal oil on one of my dairy goats who tends to get mastitis, and herbal oils have worked wonderfully in my treatment regimen for her.
- Herbal oils can also be a wonderful base for other homemade body care items like healing salves, lotion bars, chapsticks and more.
Knowing the many ways you can use herb-infused oils to replace other items in your life be it salad dressing or body oil is not only good for your health and your wallet it is also much better for the environment. Just think how many fewer bottles of stuff could you buy if all you needed were big jugs of a quality oil?
How to make an Herbal oil
The good news is that making an herbal oil couldn’t be easier. It’s is simply a matter of deciding what herb(s) you want based on what health or flavor properties you want to incorporate and what oil you want to use based on how you intend to use it.
Good Oils for food uses: Remember Organic is best
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- sunflower oil
- and many more
Good oils for body or health care uses: Remember organic is best
- olive oil (make a heavier oil good in salves, but a little extra heavy for a body oil unless you suffer dry skin).
- coconut oil
- sunflower oil
- grapeseed oil
- sweet almond oil
- jojoba oil
- and many more
Making your own homemade herbal oils is just as simple as filling a jar 1/4-3/4 full of your, preferably dried herb(s) of choice then filling the jar with your oil of choice and setting your jar in a sunny window for 4-6 weeks. (If you are not sure what to do with your oil infuse till you are ready the oil will not go rancid with the herbs still infused, a miracle of nature)! Remember to give your jar a shake every few days. Strain the herbs out when you are ready to use, and voila homemade herbal oils!
**On a side note fresh herbs can be used but they can be a little trickier as the water content can let more microorganisms begin to grow.
The benefits of Herbal Oils
Herbal oils have many benefits none of which are any small thing!
- Homemade herbal oils used in replace of many essential oils can save you big $.
- Very versatile and can be used in many ways.
- Herb-infused oils do not cause sensitivity issues like the much more intense essential oils can.
- Oils infused with herbs give you the power of herbs without the massive amount of plant material used (and wasted) in the making of essential oils.
- Many herb infusions can be made from herbs you can grow in pots, gardens and even wild and foraged.
- Made at home herbal infusions can save a lot of waste in replacing other products. (think how much less trash would you produce with fewer lotions, creams, skincare, wound care, salad dressings, etc).
The world is beginning to realize (none too soon in my opinion) that more natural things like herbs instead of chemicals are the better way to go with many things from cleaning products to body care products. Herbal oils are the age-old herbal answer. Herbal infused oils are one of the easiest, most cost-effective and eco-friendly way to incorporate more herbs into your food, health, and body care. Herbs are so readily available and easy to grow that infusing your own will be just about the easiest thing you can do to improve your health ♡♡♡
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