Easy DIY gift idea: Herbal-infused oils on a dime
Essential oils have wonderful therapeutic abilities. They are used to help you sleep, treat skin conditions and help you relax. They are made from many types of herbs and plants, each with its own healing characteristics. The process to make essential oil takes a lot of plant material and time.
There are three methods used to make essential oils: distillation, expression and extraction. Most of us lack the large amounts of plant material, time and equipment needed in order to make a true essential oil at home. You can, however, make your own infused oil. Although it's not as potent as a true essential oil, you can capture some of the plant's therapeutic properties. You can use your homemade infused oil as body moisturizer or in a diffuser. It's easy to make and doesn't take special equipment.
- A good handful of your choice of herbs, spices, flower petals or citrus fruit rinds. A couple of things to consider with your plant choice:
- Choose plant material that is clean and free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other chemicals.
- You can use fresh or dried plant material.
- A glass Mason jar with a lid
- A 1/2 cup of carrier oil (olive, sweet almond, grapeseed or jojoba)
This is the cold-infusion method:
Step 1: Sterilize the glass jar by dipping it into a pot of boiling water. You can also sterilize the jar by running it through the dishwasher.
Step 2: Chop and/or tear the herbs. Set aside until ready to infuse.
Step 3: Fill the glass jar with the 1/2 cup of the carrier oil.
Step 4: Add the herbs to the jar.
Step 5: Screw on the lid and give it a good shake.
Step 6: Let the mixture sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. The herbs will have infused into the oil.
Step 7: After 2 weeks, strain the infused oil through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
Step 8: Pour the infused oil into a dark glass container. Store the infused oil in a cool, dark place. The infused oil will keep for 6 months.
If you are short on time and do not want to wait 2 weeks for the oil to infuse, you can also infuse the oil by "cooking" it in a Crock-Pot on low for about 6 hours. Once the oil has infused and cooled, strain it and pour into a dark container.
Now your infused oil is ready to use! Rub it on your skin as a moisturizer, add a few drops to a diffuser to scent a room or into your bath for a relaxing aromatherapy session. Make a few extra jars... they make great gifts!