How to infuse herbs in oil?

Herbs infusion is a great way to get the effect of herbs into the oils. You can, then, use these oils for your body massages, soap making, hair treatment or even for cooking. I have even talked about infusing herbs to make a great hair oil which promotes faster hair growth. So, today, I am going to talk about how to infuse these herbs into the oils. There are actually two methods.

One, I have already talked about is the cold jar method. You fill the oil in a transparent glass jar and put all the herbs in it and expose the jar to direct sun light for two days to a week shaking the jar occasionally to ensure a uniform dispensing of the herbs. This is actually a time taking method. So, if you want a herbal oil infusion within some hours or, at max, just a day then go for the second method.
The second method is pretty easy. You just need to use double boiler. It is fine if you do not have one at home. Just follow these steps and your herbal infusion is made.
  • Place a big pot filled with water on the stove.
  • Now, place another utensil inside the bog pot.
  • Make sure that the water in the big pot is just enough to provide heat to the utensil inside but does not enter the utensil. The water should not enter the utensil, at any cost, otherwise the oil will get spoiled. A tip here is that fill the bog pot with only 1/5th water and pour more water to replenish the evaporated water as and when required and use the utensils which are next in size to each other so that there is not much space for the small utensil to get over turned in the large one.
  • Now, pour the oil you want to infuse with herbs in the utensil. Make sure that it does not get overturned or anything. Place the herbs into the utensil now.
  • Boil the water and keep it on simmer. This way the water will heat the oil and the herbs and let the herbs release their oils into the oil. Keep the heat on simmer and do not try to boil the oil or the herbs. That would ruin the infusion process.
  • Stir the herbs gently once in a while.
  • Let the oil simmer for an hour or so. Let the oil cool and you can again repeat the process. Do this for a few hours. Five times is a good idea.
  • Finally, after the last infusion process, let the oil cool to a temperature which you can handle and strain the oil using a strainer or a cheese cloth. Once the herbs gather in the cheese cloth, squeeze them hard to extract all the oil from them just like you would squeeze a tea bag for a strong flavor. Discard the herbs by burying them in soil in your garden or potted plants.
  • You can continue this infusion process by using a next batch of fresh herbs again for a double or triple strength oils. Make sure you do not burn the oil.
  • You can use this oil for anything. You can make your hair oil also in the same way. Infuse the oils two to three times with fresh batches of herbs and you sure would get a great hair oil.
  • Make such infusions in small quantities. Make a batch of oil which will last a month or two. Do not make a large amount of oil infusion to prevent the oil from going rancid. And, always check the expiry date of your base oil.
  • A caution: Do not, ever, try to infuse your oils in a microwave.  
  • Oh, I completely forgot to say that infuse only dried herbs and crush them little before you infuse them. Do not ground them. Fresh herbs will have moisture which will introduce bacteria into the oil which in turn will turn the oil rancid.  

How to dry the herbs?
Read this article to know more about drying herbs the right way.

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