Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Four Methods for Producing the Perfect Herb Infused Oil

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Four Methods for Producing the Perfect Herb Infused Oil

Devon No Comments

Ensure perfect results when making an herb infused oil using one of these easy infusion methods. Tips and tricks for getting consistently awesome herb infused oils!

Do you know how to properly make an herb infused oil?

Moreover, do you know how to do it correctly so that you produce an excellent herb infused oil time and time again.

Still yet, do you know that certain infusion methods are more appropriate for certain herbs?

Sometimes it is the simplest of things that eludes us, and, as a result we get mixed, even unfortunate results.

Long time readers of this blog will know that I am an open book and love to share my embarrassing fails (did you catch this elderberry lollipop post?).  Folks, I have FRIED my oil fusions.  I have had them go rancid.  I have had made more than my fair share of mistakes when infusing oils with herbs.  If somebody had taught me a few tricks in the beginning I would have saved some serious time and money.

So, I am doing that for you.  Here are few techniques for getting perfect herb infused oil every time.

Methods for Making Herb Infused Oil

Solar Herbal Infusion

This method involves placing dried or wilted herbs in a jar with your chosen oil and carting it outside everyday to enjoy the warmth of the sun or placing is a sunny window (jars placed outside are brought in every evening).  The gentle heat of the sun helps to draw forth the herbal constituents to permeate the oil.  This is a common method for herb/oil infusions practiced by many herbalists. Solar infused oils are usually infused in four to six weeks.

solar herb iinfused oil

There are a few drawbacks to this method.  There is a high probably of breakage due to the frequency of transport and exposure to the elements/pets/pests.  Extremes in heat might also reduce the integrity of the glass jar.  There is some argument to be made about degradation to both the oil and the herbs due to UV exposure.  And lastly, unattended jars are candidates for contamination.

Heated Herbal Oil Infusion

In the heated method, your jar of herb infused oil is placed in a slow cooker/crockpot filled with water and set to its lowest setting.  I prefer to use a slow cooker with a “warm” setting like this to avoid overheating the oil/herb infusion.  It is quick and easy, and an excellent choice for most herbs, especially resinous ones like cottonwood buds and tree saps.  It is far and away my favorite way of infusing herbs.

There are very few drawbacks to this method.  The slow cooker does need to be monitored to ensure that it does not go dry and maintain temperature.  And I suppose a big drawback would be if you didn’t have a slow cooker.

Double Boiler Herbal Oil Infusion

The double boiler method is perfect when you need to make a batch of herb infused oil in a jiffy.  Instead of the days or weeks it takes with other methods, the double boiler method yields an infused oil in about an hour.  This method involves placing a glass or stainless-steel vessel over a saucepan of simmering water and closely monitoring it for about an hour.  NOTE: I used a designated glass bowl for years until this stainless steel double boiler from Mountain Rose Herbs came into my life – seriously guys, I am not even being paid for this link, you need this piece of equipment.

As with anything, this method has its own drawbacks.  It cannot be left unattended.  There is also increased chance of scorching your herbs and oils.

Cool Herbal Oil Infusion

I like to refer to this as the Eeyore method, long and slow.  You place your jar of herb infused oil into a cool dark place for six weeks to two months.  You can check on it occasionally, in which case it will probably respond “I’m alright, don’t mind me”.  This cool infusion method is ideal for use with herbs possessing delicate aromatics such as elderflower and tulsi.

The biggest drawback here is really the time involved.  This method simply takes T-I-M-E.

Lunar Herbal Oil Infusion

This variation of the cool method and flip-flop of the solar method involves placing your jar of infused oils out in the moonlight.  Now, y’all – I totally respect your magical ways, but this method is a little too woo-woo for even me.  And I have a goodly amount of woo-woo in me.  Folks, skip the lunar method and opt for the cool method if for no other reason than that it minimizes the risk of spoilage and breakage.  Unless you are chin deep in the woo-woo – then have at it.

Here are a few more tips and tricks for producing great herb infused oil.

  • Use jars with a tight fight in lids.
  • Use immaculately clean jars free to nicks or crack.
  • Use well wilted (24 hours) or dried herbs for you oils infusion. In the case where you may want to use a fresh herb like St. John’s Wort, used the heated method with a small cloth or a coffee filter rubber banded to the lip pf the jar to allow excess moisture to escape.  Moisture is the enemy of herb/oil infusions and will cause them to spoil.
  • Strain your herb/oil infusion through flour sack cloth like this nestled into a fine mesh sieve. Squeeze tightly to extract all the oil from the spent herbs.
  • Infused oils can benefit from the addition of an antioxidant like vitamin E to prolong the shelf-life and protect against oxidation

Your herb infused oil can now be stored in a container in a cool, dark place or crafted in to salves, lotions, creams, massage oils and other goodies!

Herb Infused Oil in Mason Jar

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, will be published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, as yet untitled will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

Devon

Connect

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links

Instagram

  • Pearly everlasting is one of my favorite medicinal wildflowers to forage for during summer.  It ticks so many therapeutic actions boxes and is just an all around useful botanical.
It grows abundantly in the coastal mountain range a few miles from my home so it gives me great excuse to abandon my home and work responsibilities and get outside, far away from modern distractions.
All new post on the blog extolling the many virtues of this wonderful plant!
Tap link in bio for link to post.
#pearlyeverlasting #anaphalis #anaphalismargaritacea #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #medicinalherbs #wildflower
https://nittygrittylife.com/pearly-everlasting-anaphalis-margaritacea/
  • This summer has been an absolute flurry of activity.  A veritable whirlwind.  A non stop GO. 
My intended lazy, restful summer has been anything but. 
I’ve been so busy that I kinda forgot about my second book.  After the final edits were made, the photos taken - I just bid it farewell, and settled into “life after book.”
Well, life after bookS because I wrote this book immediately after finishing The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. 
When the UPS truck started down our long gravel road I paused for moment wondering what I had ordered.  And then it occurred to me — The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen is HERE!
Now, she doesn’t officially publish until October 29th and I am still a few weeks out from promotion, but I can’t help myself - it’s just so exciting to have this book in print.
This book turns a thoughtful eye towards the food we eat and rethinks our daily meals and special treats so that we are maximizing the benefits of those foods!  I will show you how to use flavor to inform better eating decisions to cook your way to better health!
Food is MEDICINE!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #author #cookbook #everydayfoods #foodismedicine #foodenergetics #eatingforhealth
  • Last weekend, I spent a really wonderful day hiking and foraging with my husband and the youngest of our kids.  One of the many highlights was the red huckleberries that were in full splendor in the coastal mountains.
Naturally, we foraged.
So, naturally, I wrote you all a new post.
Learn to identify red huckleberries and make a fabulous syrup with your harvest!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe and post.
#redhuckleberry #pnw #pacificnorthwest #huckleberry #vacciniumparvifolium #wildfood #wildfoodlove #foragedfood #foraging #forager #foraged #wildfood
https://nittygrittylife.com/red-huckleberry-syrup/
  • Today marks the first day of August - a month of warmth and sunshine throughout much of the northern hemisphere.  August 1st also mark the ancient feast day and celebration of Lammas.
In reverence to old world tradition, I have create a humble loaf of sourdough bread, braided and studded with calendula petals and sunflower seeds.
It is a delicious and enchanting way to celebrate the abundance of the season and the grain harvest.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#lammas #bread #sourdough #baking #traditionalfoods #baker #baking #homemade #herbs 
https://nittygrittylife.com/sourdough-braided-bread/
  • My property is full of plums -- beautiful old trees and young feral saplings.  I cannot wait to get a few batches of this yummy plum butter going this summer.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#plums #plumbutter #recipe #foodpreservation #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading 
https://nittygrittylife.com/plum-butter/
  • I confessed my love of Lady's Mantle the other day and shared a monograph extolling the virtues of this very virtuous plant.
Perhaps one of my favorite uses for lady's mantle is in the landscape.  She is a simple stunner.  Elegant in every way!
Tap link in bio for link to post on how to grow lady's mantle with this new post!
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #herbgarden garden #gardening #gardener #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinegarden
https://nittygrittylife.com/how-to-grow-ladys-mantle/
  • We went for a hike in the coastal range yesterday.  Some much needed change of scenery and a chance to stretch our muscles and relax our minds.  Our seven year old chattered incessantly and adorably about the fairy world that was hiding under every fern and fallen log, while big brother ran ahead reminding me that I am a little out of condition, ahem... 😑
There were many highlights of this journey through the cool and damp woods, but this specimen stopped me in my tracks. An Indian Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), maybe a bit past her prime (I can relate), but still such a remarkable example of nature.  A parasitic plant, ghost pipe grows in only certain conditions and is fairly rare.  Due to her rarity, we just observed the plant and talked about it’s uses and habitat - I had no intention of harvest.  Instead, this is a plant that teaches me restraint and  appreciation.  Look but no touch.  I hope it taught my kids a lesson, to observe mama being so excited about something but making no move to call it my own. 
Sometimes the best plant medicine isn’t ever consumed, just absorbed.
#indianghostpipe #ghostpipe #monotropa #monotropauniflora #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #pnw #pacificnorthwest #oregon
  • Confession:
I have a plant crush.  On Lady's Mantle.
Alchemilla mollis.
She even sounds lovely...
Folks, she is simple beauty, and moreover she is one of the most incredibly useful herbs in the home apothecary.
Tap link in bio for link to my new herbal monograph.
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #alchemillavulgaris #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs 
https://nittygrittylife.com/ladys-mantle-alchemilla-mollis/
  • 🍑 Is it peach season in your neck of the woods? 🍑
We are just coming up on it in the Pacific NW and I am DEFINITELY making a batch (or two or three) of this delicious peach butter with vanilla!
Give it a try!
Tap link in bio then click on this photo for link.
#peach #peaches #peachbutter #fruitbutter #jam #foodpreservation #foodpreserving #homestead #homesteader #homesteading 
https://nittygrittylife.com/slow-cooker-peach-butter/

Follow @nittygrittymama

×
shares