Recently I’ve been researching how to make herbal extracts and infusions. I’ve made some glycerine-based extracts and it worked great. Maybe I’ll make a separate post on this subject in the future.
Next, I really wanted to make some oil infusions to boost skin loving properties of my anhydrous formulations.
anhydrous = no water or water-soluble ingredients (hydrosols, glycerine, water-soluble actives, etc)
aqueous = contains water, water-based.
Examples of anhydrous formulations:
As you can see, the possibilities are endless! The fun thing is that once the oil infusions are ready, you can substitute any oil in your recipe for a lovely herb-boosted one to add benefits to your product.
How should we start? Let’s take a few things insto consideration:
1. Choose your oil
Basically, you can use any oil for making infusions, but I highly recommend a lightweight oil with a stable shelf life.
– sunflower oil
– safflower oil
– fractionated coconut oil
– apricot kernel oil
-sweet almond oil
2. Choose your method.
There are many methods out there, and some are easier than others. So far, I’ve tried cold infusion and double boiler infusion.
- For the cold processed method, you need to weigh your dry herbs or flowers into a glass jar, add your oil and place the glass jar in a place where the sun can reach it (sun infusion). Then, shake it a few times per week. It takes about 4-8 weeks for the infusion to be ready. You can also leave the glass in your cupboard (room-temperature infusion). Well, that’s how I unfused my chamomile oil, and it worked great.
You need to weigh your herbs and oil into a jar or a glass beaker for the hot process method and place it in a water boiler for 2-3 hours. Your oils shouldn’t get too hot; 50-55C is enough. You can use a yogurt maker or slow cooker for this step too.
3. Choose your herb or flower.
- It is most important to make sure your herbs are completely dry. After that, you can infuse almost any flower, herb, or even spice that you want. The most commonly used herbs/flowers for oil infusions are:
– calendula (calming, soothing, healing)
– chamomile (anti-inflammatory, antiseptic)
– rose (may moisturize, reduce inflammation)
– plantain (soothing, reduces itchiness)
– dandelions (anti-inflammatory, toning)
– peppermint (antiseptic and antibacterial properties, soothes irritations)
– vanilla beans (rich in antioxidants, rejuvenating, and it smells amazing)
4. Add antioxidant (Mixed Tocopherols aka Vitamin E)
It will prolong the shelf life of your oils.
When making 100g of oil infusion, you’ll need
15g of herbs
0.5g Vitamin E
1) Weigh your herbs.
2) Add oil
3) For cold-processed infusion, you can add antioxidants right away. You need to add Vitamin E once your infusion has reached 40C or lower for hot proceeds infusion.
4) Once the infusion is complete, carefully strain your herbs into a clean, sanitized glass gar, and don’t forget to label your oils if you make multiple infusions like me.
My infusions are sunflower oils and:
I will be making many products with my newfound herbal love so stay tuned!