- Use dried herbs and botanicals. The water in fresh plants may allow bacteria to grow and spoil the oil.
- The longer the shelf life of the carrier oil, the longer the shelf life of the herb infused oil.
- Refrigerate finished oil infusion to retard oxidation, slow rancidity and prolong shelf life.
- Infused oils may be re-infused to make double and triple strength brews.
Hot Infusion Method
Hot Method #1. Fill a jar with selected dried herbs. Cover herbs with carrier oil. Place the jar in a saucepan of water up to the neck of the jar. Simmer for up to 3 hours on low-medium temperature (no higher than 120-130 degrees F, frequently monitor the water level in the saucepan).
Hot Method #2. Alternatively, place herbs in a crock pot, covering herbs with carrier oil. Stir gently. Simmer for up to 12 hours on the lowest setting (no higher than 120-130 degrees F), monitoring and gently stirring frequently so that the herbs do not scorch on the bottom of the pot. If the temperature control of the crock pot is not reliable, let simmer for an hour, then let cool, then simmer again, and repeat until desired infusion strength is complete.
When simmering is complete, cool a bit but not completely before straining. Strain cooled brew through a filter paper or filter cloth (cheesecloth) into a seal-able amber or cobalt blue glass bottle. Use a rubber band to secure the filter over the opening of the jar.
Note - Hot methods lose some of the natural perfume fragrance and if overheated during the infusion process, some of the volatile medicinal properties of the herbs are lost.
Cold Infusion Method
Place dried herbs in a jar. Cover herbs to approximately 1-2 inches above the plant material with a lightly warmed carrier oil. Cover jar tightly with lid and place in a sunny spot for 24-48 hours (up to a week). After the infusion time is complete, strain sun brew through a filter paper or filter cloth (cheesecloth) into a seal-able amber or cobalt blue glass bottle. Use a rubber band to secure the filter over the opening of the jar.
Note - When using the cold method, make sure the herbs are covered completely with carrier oil and that there is as little air space as possible in the top of the jar to prevent the plant material from molding.