How to Make an Infused Oil of Lavender
This time of year you may be enjoying having lavender in your garden.
Apart from how beautiful lavender looks and seeing the bees loving it too, you can also use your lavender to create a beautiful therapeutic herbal oil.
You can do this by infusing the lavender blossoms in a nourishing base oil like organic Sweet Almond or Olive Oil.
There are a couple of options on how to do this. One is a quick method using heat from a crock-pot or stove top which speeds up the infusion process.
The other is an older folk method called a cold infusion which takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks.
I personally prefer the cold infusion slower method. Sometimes it is better not to rush things.
Good things can take time. Today’s world is busy and rushed and it is good to slow down where we can. For me there is something sacred about following the old traditional methods that have been passed down over the generations. The plant is not rushed and the process is gentler on the oil and therapeutic properties.
I really enjoy making herbal oil infusions and there’s a sense of pride when I see all my jars of plant concoctions sitting safely away slowly infusing their goodness into the oil. I feel I’m connecting back with nature and my ancestry.
If you’d like to try making an infused oil of lavender, it’s honestly very simple once you know how.
First you’ll need to harvest your lavender
Before I harvest my lavender, I make sure I have a place ready to safely store the lavender away from direct sunlight allowing it to dry.
Russell, my husband, made me a couple of drying screens which I use with a little bit of organic cheese cloth placed over the top. If you don’t want to make one you can find drying racks for sale online. Other options are to hang small bundles up-side-down in a dry dark area or spread out your lavender blossoms on absorbent paper and place away from direct sunlight to dry.
My drying rack full of lavender 😍
My preferred method is using my drying screens because they allow the air to circulate.
I time harvesting the lavender around mid-morning. By then the morning dew has evaporated and it’s before the intensity of the midday sun is on the plants. This is the prime time to get the best therapeutic value from your lavender. I also pick a day where it hasn’t rained for a couple of days so that the moisture level of the plant material is at a minimum.
🌸💚 While I am picking the lavender I like to say a quiet thank you to the plant for letting me harvest it and use its healing properties for my own well-being. This is up to you of course, but I believe saying thanks sends out an energy of gratitude and respect to nature which then raises the energy vibration for what you create 🌸💚.
Also, when harvesting the lavender, I keep in mind the size of the jar I will be using and once harvested I prepare the lavender for drying straight away. I prefer not to leave it sitting around.
I usually dry my lavender when making an oil infusion. You can use fresh plant material but it is important to remember it will contain water and this increases the chances of your infusion spoiling or the oil going rancid.
If you are using a drying screen you will need to pick the lavender blossoms off the stalks. Always handle the lavender gently and with care.
Lay out the blossoms in a single layer on the drying rack. Then place your rack in your selected area away from direct light and safe from contaminants. I place mine in our airing cupboard 😊.
You will need to allow at least 2-3 days of drying time. The blossoms are dry once they are crisp with no signs of moisture or softness.
How to infuse …
You will need:
- 1 Mason / Preserving jar with lid
- Dried lavender
- Organic, cold pressed nourishing base oil of your choice (see above).
- Paper bag (optional)
Place your dried lavender in a clean Mason / Preserving jar.
Pour enough oil to cover the lavender by at least 2-3 cm and leave at least a couple of centimeters space at the top of the jar so the lavender will have room to expand as it absorbs the oil.
After 12-24 hours check whether your herbs have soaked up all of the oil, then pour more oil on top to ensure that the herbs are completely covered. Stir well and cap the jar tightly. You do not need to open again until it is ready to decant.
Place the jar in a warm spot away from direct light. If you like, you can place a brown paper bag over the jar to give it extra protection from the light.
Leave for 4-6 weeks. Each day you can gently tilt the jar from side to side to encourage the infusion but this isn’t a strict requirement.
How to decant and store
You will need:
- Jar with your beautiful lavender oil infusion
- Sterile bottle with lid to store your infused oil in (a narrow neck bottle is easier when using oil).
- Label for your bottle
- Fine organic cheesecloth
- Fine strainer/sieve
- Large measuring jug e.g. Pyrex jug to collect your lavender oil
- Gloves (optional)
- After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the lavender oil over a large measuring jug using a strainer/sieve with cheesecloth placed over (this further prevents small particles of plant material getting into your oil).
- Let the oil fully drain and then wring out the cheese cloth to get as much of the oil out of the lavender as possible.
- Decant your lavender oil from the measuring jug into your sterilised bottle and secure lid firmly. Discard plant material (if you have a compost you can put them in there 😊).
- Prepare label noting the name of your herb (lavender), the oil that you used and the date decanted.
- Store in a cool, dry location away from light, heat and moisture. The oil should keep for at least a year if stored properly.
TIP – One thing to be aware of is never let water anywhere near your oil as this may cause the oil to spoil and go rancid so make sure that all the containers you use are completely dry.
How to use
You can use this precious herbal oil on its own as a body moisturiser. Very healing, soothing and gently aromatic. You can also use it in recipes for balms, butters or salves as well as in lip balm recipes, facial oils and as a nourishing hair treatment.
I love applying lavender infused oil on to my skin after a shower or bath. Particularly in the evening as the calming properties from the lavender help me relax and support a great nights sleep.
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Published on November 28, 2018