Have you ever tried making an herbal infusion? You can transfer the aromatic and healing benefits of flowers, herbs or tea into oil – or even water or alcohol – by soaking them together. I’ve tried two methods, solar and heat infusions, with a variety of carrier oils – coconut, almond, olive and jojoba. It’s a simple process – here’s how to infuse body oil, 2 easy ways!
How to make solar-infused oil
Letting the heat of the sun do the infusing work for you takes a bit longer, but the results are just as amazing – and you get to enjoy looking at your pretty bottles every day. I used solar infusion for these botanical colognes (using vodka instead of oil and fresh citrus and herbs) and these headache and healing balms.
The process is simple. Place a handful or two of dried herbs in a clean, dry jar (make sure it’s completely dry – you don’t want mold to start growing) and cover the herbs with oil. Try to have at least 1-inch of oil above the herbs. This is so that the herbs will still be completely submerged even as they absorb oil and swell. Seal the jar and keep it in a sunny place for a couple of weeks. Give it a shake every so often. After its time in the sun, strain the oil with cheesecloth, squeezing every bit of oil out of the herbs.
How to make heat-infused oil
If you’re impatient (like me) you can make an infusion in about an hour using your stove top. This vanilla chai body oil and this green tea-infused moisturizer were made using a low heat infusion. I like to use a ratio of about 1 cup of oil to 1/4 – 1/2 cup of whatever you’re infusing.
The instructions are simple with a double broiler (or a make-shift saucepan / bowl combo). Put a few of inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Combine the herbs and oil in a heat proof bowl. Place bowl over water and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the oil get too hot as over heating can destroy the beneficial properties of the oil and keep an eye on the water to make sure it doesn’t all evaporate.
Remove from heat and let cool. Strain herbs (I use a paper towel to make sure I remove all small pieces). Transfer to jar with lid. If properly strained, the oil will last 1-2 years.
Crockpot Oil Infusion Method
You can also infuse oil in your crockpot. Combine oil and herbs and heat on low for 2-4 hours. Again, you don’t want to get the oil too hot so if you’re not sure of the temp of your crockpot use a kitchen thermometer to make sure it doesn’t go higher than 125 degrees F. Let oil cool and then strain into a jar.
Nutty Coffee Body Oil
After getting totally spoiled with the vanilla chai body oil I turned to another favorite beverage – coffee – for the next batch. Almond oil is nice because it has amazing skin benefits and will remain liquid, unlike coconut oil. Plus have we mentioned (about a million times) how awesome coffee is for cellulite?
Coffee-Infused Almond Oil
- 1 cup almond oil
- 1/2 cup fresh, unused coffee grounds
- Heat oil and coffee in a double broiler (or saucepan / bowl combo) over low heat for 1 hour.
- Let cool, strain well and transfer to storage bottle.