- Take a jar and fill it with herbs of your choice.
- Fill the jar with oil of your choice. Be careful to not overfill it (leave some space below the top of the jar), just fill it enough (there should be at least one inch of oil above the herbs).
- Keep closed the jar in a dark, warm place for three weeks. Occasionally shake the jar.
- Strain your oil and store it in a dark glass bottle.
And that’s it!
On to “fine tuning”
Should you choose dry or fresh herbs?
If in doubt – chose dry.
Fresh herbs contain water, therefore, your infusion could become moldy. Some herbs are already kind of dry, like immortelle (Helichrysum arenarium). Herbs like those can be placed in oil without drying, but to be on the safe side – chose dry herbs.
What type of oil to choose?
Preferably food grade, cold pressed, organic. Temperature can damage some type of oils or degrade good ingredients in them, so cold pressed would be the best choice. If you can get your hands on one with controlled origin, the better.
What oil to choose?
That depends on your preferences and current supply. Also, on herbs you’re choosing: some plants, like marigold (Calendula officinalis), that are prone to getting spoiled need to be placed in stable oils. The major ingredients in marigold are so sensitive that the plant has to be placed in stable oil, which is resistant to spoiling and high temperature. Like olive oil or sesame for instance.
After some time, you’ll probably discover the art of matching herbs with oils, based not just on their performance but on their usage too.
For example, if you’re making infused oil that will be used on your eyes, you will probably use a light oil like apricot kernel oil.
Should herbs be in one piece, crushed or fine grained?
Well, that would depend on your preferences and the plant you’re using.
Some of the plants are better to be grained, that way you get more from them. Then again, some herbs are just fine as they are. Crushing them a bit will make a better infusion.
How much should a jar be filled with herbs?
According to some books and different schools, there should be 1 part of herbs to 6 or 10 parts of oil. Some prefer to fill the jar almost completely with herbs, but be careful: herbs should always be topped with oil. So to be on the safe side – there should always be at least one inch of oil over the herbs and one inch of free space to the top so you can shake ingredients in the jar.
What to do with leftovers after straining?
Use them as a peeling: they are already very oily, so all you have to do is add some more peeling ingredients, like salt or sugar, fine grained or coarse, to your choice.
Keep in dark tinted bottles in a cold dark place to prolong usage and don’t forget to enjoy playing with combinations.