Of all the “natural DIY” recipes out there, herbal infusions are the EASIEST ones you can create.  SO easy that your two year old could do it for you.  You could throw an apron on her if you’re feeling extra fancy, but even that isn’t entirely necessary.

There are three different ways to create herbal infusions (for use in personal care products or by themselves) in your own home, and each one will take you less than five minutes to prepare, including gathering your materials and ingredients.

This post is going to cover:

  1.  What infusion is
  2.  The types of herbs and oils you can use to infuse
  3.  How to use your infused oil
  4.  Three different infusion methods
  5.  Where to purchase your oils & other natural ingredients
  6.  An amazing resource that has over 400 herbs & essential oil recipes that you can easily make at home

Short on time? 

Save this article on your favorite Pinterest board to read for later. 

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

What IS an infusion?

An infusion is when you soak a plant or herb in a liquid (in our case, oil) to create a drink, extract, or remedy. Even if you’re just now starting on the natural-everything path, you know about infusions. Promise.  Any of these things ring a bell?

  • coffee
  • tea
  • flavored olive oil
  • adding fruit or mint to your water or lemonade

See?  It’s like you’re an expert on infusion already.  In my pre-baby days, there was a downtown vodka bar that had an entire WALL of different things infusing in bottles of vodka…peppers, cucumbers, herbs, carrots…some of them were bizarre.  Point being, herbal infusions are so many places (even the unexpected!) once you know what to look for.

Why would you infuse anything? What does it do?

All of the examples above are of consumable nature.  Herbs, fruits, and other plants are infused into something because it tastes good.  And that makes us happy.  No secret there.

But why infuse oil for use on our bodies?

In a Nutshell, herbal infusions in personal care products:

1) Smell good and provide a way for individuals with sensitive skin or allergies to have natural fragrance in their products.

2) Provide vitamins to the skin that are absorbed and delivered to the rest of our body through The Bloodstream Express.  Choo choooooo.

3) Moisturize and nourish dry, sensitive, and itchy skin better than just a carrier oil alone.

 

WHAT TYPES OF HERBS AND OILS ARE USED FOR INFUSION?

There are few rules on what ‘can’ be infused (seriously though…if vodka can be infused with carrots, your imagination is the limit!).  However, do some research on the actual PURPOSE of your infusion.  Do you just want something that smells good?  Or are  you looking to treat a specific condition, such as acne or eczema (or hello, cradle cap…holler if you hear me, my fellow mamas!)?

As there are literally countless herbs and carrier oil combinations, let’s narrow it down to the most common in each category:

 

Carrier oils to use in herbal infusions:

Olive Oil

Olive Oil (Olea europaea) is made from cold pressed olives. A natural moisturizer that includes strong antioxidants. These nutrients stimulate cells to become firmer and smoother.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus) is a compressed oil from the seeds of sunflowers. Used in cosmetics and skin care as an emollient (softens/soothes the skin).

sweet almond oil

Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) is an oil that is extracted from the dry kernels of sweet (edible) almonds. Rich in Vitamin E, proteins, and numerous minerals and vitamins. This oil is easily absorbed and can be used on sensitive skin without blocking pores.

Apricot kernel oil

Apricot Kernel Oil (Prunus armeniaca) is a carrier oil made from the seeds of apricots. A light oil that provides moisture to sensitive skin; spreads easily and quickly absorbed (great for babies and mature skin).

***IMPORTANT STORAGE INFORMATION:

Choose your carrier oils knowing that the shelf life of your final product depends on the shelf life of the carrier.  If you decide to mix two carrier oils together, it will have the shelf life of the shortest-life oil.  Most carrier oils will last a year, but others, such as Borage or Evening Primrose Oil, need to be refrigerated and only last about 6 months.  Do your research!

Popular herbs to use in herbal infusions:

Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is dried petals of (nonornamental) marigold flowers. It is said to reduce inflammation and minor skin abrasions.

Chamomile

Chamomile, German (Matricaria chamomilla) is used for the flowers and buds of a German Chamomile plant.  Smells sweet, fruity, and herbaceous, and most often used in skin care formulations and muscle ailments.

Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is used for its leaves and buds.  Smells floral, fresh, and somewhat camphorous. The most commonly known essential oil and herb and is incredibly versatile (read: five million uses). Lavender has a strong reputation of calming stress, promoting sleep, reducing birthing discomfort, relieving itching, etc. etc. etc. Lavender is amongst the safest of herbs and essential oils and is able to be used in recipes for children (a must for our growing family!).

***NOTE!!!: Make sure you’re using dried herbs rather than fresh ones you picked out of your garden. You don’t ever want to introduce water to carrier oils or it will go bad in no time.

Repeat after me:

I will only use dry herbs for infusion, I will only use dry herbs for infusion, I will only use….

Are you ready to turn your hobby into a business?

Whether you are just getting started selling handmade natural products online OR you just can't seem to get the sales you know you should be getting...this free resource guide is for you.

Ten ESSENTIAL categories to create professional personal care products, learn ecommerce tips, and get repeat business.

BUT…WhAT DO YOU EVEN DO WITH INFUSED OIL?

Let’s pretend you already infused your oil (worry not, we’ll still explain how to do that in a sec), it’s sitting in front of you smelling good and being all vitamin-y.  Now what?

You’ll probably want to have an idea of what you are going to use your infused oil FOR before making it so you know how much to make and what method you’ll use.

Apply infused oil ‘neat’ (by itself)

  • on legs after shaving to reduce bumps and dry patches
  • on your baby after bath time as a natural replacement for lotion
  • on hands after a brutal gardening session to combat inflammation and small cuts
  • as a massage oil
  • all-over skin hydration

Use infused oil in place of any ‘plain’ carrier oil in your favorite DIY product recipe

  • Make sure you’re still using the same carrier oil base it calls for…meaning, don’t use calendula-infused apricot oil in place of fractionated coconut oil if you are not familiar with substitution guidelines.
    • facial serums
    • salves
    • body butters
    • lotion bars
    • cold process soap
    • aromatherapy rollers
    • etc. etc. etc.

      Take a look at our best-selling products below for some inspiration!

POPULAR Herbal Infusion PRODUCTS AT TREESNAIL NATURAL ESSENTIALS:

LANOLIN-FREE ORGANIC NURSING BALM

ALKANET ROOT ORGANIC TINTED LIP BALM

WARMING MUSCLE BALM WITH ARNICA

Alright!

So how ’bout it?

Let’s infuse some stuff!

Helpful tools that are Used in each type of infusion:

The Three Types of Herbal Infusions:

 

Time Infusion

Prep time: 5 minutes    Wait time: 6-8 weeks

Benefits of this method:  The time infusion method leaves you with the most vitamin-rich oil.

Best things come to those who wait! If you have time on your side, this is the method you’ll want to use if you are creating an oil to treat a skin condition.

Materials/Ingredients:

How-to:

  1. Clean and dry mason jars before use.
  2. Put herb(s) into mason jar
  3. Add carrier oil(s) on top of the herbs, adding enough to cover them entirely plus an additional 1-2 inches over the top of them.
  4. Screw lid on as tight as you can, as you will be flipping this throughout the wait period.
  5. Write date somewhere on your jar (it’s easy to forget after a few weeks how long its been!) and store somewhere that is a consistent temperature and easy to access for the next 6-8 weeks.
  6. Flip jar every other day or so (personally, I have a system of having it resting on the lid on even days and then flipping to rest on the bottom on odd days, but I’m OCD and sell products for a living, so consistency is important…you do you!).
  7. After 6-8 weeks, strain herbs out of the oil with the cheesecloth or mesh strainer. I triple strain mine, but again, I am incredibly particular about the end product for my customers’ experience. If you’re using this for your family, you may not mind a few pieces of herbs in your finished oil. Make sure to squeeze any excess oil out of the herbs too, as they will absorb quite a bit.
  8. Pour oil into amber glass bottles or other glass bottles that will be kept out of the light.
  9. Store and use for as long as the shelf life of your particular carrier oil allows. Generally speaking, about a year.

Heat Infusion

Prep time: 5 minutes    Wait time: 1-5 hours

Benefits of this method:  Heat infusion is by far the fastest method, so it’s a good option for the last-minute needs (or if you’re infusing to naturally color an oil).

If you are infusing mostly for an aromatic or tinted oil and aren’t too concerned about therapeutic properties, then this method is a great time-saver.

Think of it like cooking vegetables…you’ll receive greater health benefits if you steam your carrots, but sometimes you don’t have forty minutes. And it’s better to have boiled-in-water-for-10-minutes-carrots than no carrots at all, right?

Materials/Ingredients:

How-to:

  1. Clean and dry mason jars before use.
  2. Put herb(s) into mason jar
  3. Add carrier oil(s) on top of the herbs, adding enough to cover them entirely plus an additional 1-2 inches over the top of them.
  4. Screw lids on tightly.
  5. Place jars in crockpot and fill crockpot with water as high as you can.
  6. Turn pot on the lowest setting (you want to keep the water between 100-140 degrees Fahrenheit).
  7. Keep jars in crockpot for 1-5 hours (you’re looking for the oil to take on the color of the herbs you have inside and also for the aroma to transfer to the oil…this will take some practice and experimentation to see how long your particular combination takes).
  8. Once you’re a happy camper with the scent, remove jars (carefully!!) from the crockpot and set aside to completely cool to room temperature.
  9. After the jars are cooled down, strain herbs out of the oil with the cheesecloth or mesh strainer. I triple strain mine, but again, I am incredibly particular about my end product for my customers’ experience. If you’re using this for your family, you may not mind a few pieces of herbs in your finished oil. Make sure to squeeze any excess oil out of the herbs too, as they will absorb quite a bit.
  10. Pour oil into amber glass bottles or other glass bottles that will be kept out of the light.
  11. Store and use for as long as the shelf life of your particular carrier oil allows. Generally speaking, about a year.

Solar Infusion

Prep time: 5 minutes    Wait time: 2-3 weeks

Benefits of this method:  Vitamin-rich oil in less time than the time-infusion method

Best of the other two methods combined together. If you live in a warm climate and you have a couple weeks to spare, this should definitely be your go-to. Those of us that live in areas where it is very seasonal, this method can be used from late spring to early fall (solar infusion needs sun AND warmth).

Materials/Ingredients:

How-to:

  1. Clean and dry mason jars before use.
  2. Put herb(s) into mason jar
  3. Add carrier oil(s) on top of the herbs, adding enough to cover them entirely plus an additional 1-2 inches over the top of them.
  4. Screw lid on as tight as you can, as you will be flipping this throughout the wait period.
  5. Write date somewhere on your jar (it’s easy to forget how long its been!) and place on a windowsill that gets the most direct sunlight for a long portion of the day. They two keys here are SUNNY and WARM.
  6. Flip jar every day (personally, I have a system of having it resting on the lid on even days and then flipping to rest on the bottom on odd days, but I’m OCD and sell products for a living, so consistency is important…you do you!).
  7. After 2 (or preferably 3) weeks, strain herbs out of the oil with the cheesecloth or mesh strainer. I triple strain mine, but again, I am incredibly particular about my end product for my customers’ experience. If you’re using this for your family, you may not mind a few pieces of herbs in your finished oil. Make sure to squeeze any excess oil out of the herbs too, as they will absorb quite a bit.
  8. Pour oil into amber glass bottles or other glass bottles that will be kept out of the light.
  9. Store and use for as long as the shelf life of your particular carrier oil allows. Generally speaking, about a year.

Whatever your infusion method, that was EASY PEASY, am I right???

This DIY tutorial has been consolidated into a ONE PAGE PDF that you can download for free…just fill out the form below:

ARE YOU READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN NATURAL PRODUCTS?

If you are a maker with newfound inspiration, the information I provided above is just the tip of the iceberg. Now that you know what infusion methods to use for what, you need proven, accessible recipes to use your oils in.

The 2018 Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle (by Ultimate Bundles) has 444 recipes in an AMAZINGLY awesome set of 22 eBooks, 4 eCourses, & 2 membership sites. With lifetime access. Absolute GOLD MINE.

There’s a little bit of everything natural in this bundle, so you’ll get extreme value even if you only can use a couple of the resources (it honestly was kind of overwhelming to me when I downloaded ALL of it, there’s so much…but awesome to know I have an ebook or printable for anything natural I want to tackle):

 

  • Aromatherapy Roller Recipes
  • Herbal First Aid Kit
  • Green Cleaning Recipes
  • Cooking with Herbs & Essential Oils
  • Essential Oil Journal
  • Pregnancy & Postpartum Care
  • Growing Herbs
  • The. List. Keeps. Going.

Click the button to learn more and see if this is for you!

Spoiler alert: if you’ve read through to the bottom of this article, then YES.

This IS DEFINITELY for you!

Free Natural Living Resource Guide

from Treesnail Natural Essentials

WHAT TYPES OF INFUSIONS HAVE YOU TRIED AT HOME?

WHICH Infusion METHOD DO YOU PREFER AND WHY?

 

SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

(Pin this post to your natural living and DIY boards to spread some TREESNAIL LOVE!)

Related Posts:

Pin It on Pinterest