Sunday, October 14, 2012

Make Quick and Easy Homemade Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils

How to Make Lavender and Rosemary essential oils.
Source: Lanie Ricketts, CC-BY
I love essential oils but I don't love the price that's attached to them.  One of the great things about growing herbs in your garden is that it provides not only fresh herbs for cooking, but you can actually very easily make your own essential oils to use in soaps, candles, warmers, a few drops in your bath water, unscented lotions or home made laundry soap or using in potpourri.  If you make your own, you can make as much as you want.  I plan on making enough this time around to last until next year.

When I decided to do this, I was amazed at exactly how easy it is.  The most important ingredient is patience.  The oils have to sit for a month for the scent to completely meld.  The great thing about making them with olive oil is that they can also be used for cooking.  I imagine that the lavender essential oil will make for a really interesting salad dressing base.  I'm going to try it next month when the oils are finished steeping and will let you know how it turns out.

Here are the quick and easy instructions on making essential oil.  This will work for lavender and rosemary.  Although I personally have never tried combining them.

How to Make Essential Oils

What you need:

  • A handful of fresh lavender or rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • A plastic bag
  • A rolling pin or something to smash the herb with
  • A clean, dry canning jar or glass container
  • Coffee filters (a month from now)
  • Patience!  :)
You'll use both the stems and leaves of the plant.

Cut up the plant and put it all into the plastic bag.  Close the plastic bag.  Take your rolling pin or whatever you are using and roll and smack the bag around.  Don't pulverize it but you want to damage the plant pieces to get it to release the plant oil.  The bag will have a greenish film on the inside when you are finished.

Put the pulverized plant into a clean canning jar or other glass container that you have an air tight lid for.  Fill the jar with olive oil (I have to get more tomorrow, I thought I had more in the cabinet!).  Place the jar in a sunny windowsill and gently shake it every day.

Wait a month for the plant oil to meld with the olive oil.  I know, it's HARD to wait that long!

Once the month is up, you want to filter the oil through a coffee filter into the new jar to remove all of the plant bits that have been steeping for the month.  Once is enough but some people do it twice.

Your essential oil is ready!  You can use it to add scent to soaps, a few drops in your bath water, for scented candles and anything else that you want to add a bit of wonderful scent to.

Keep it in the fridge when you aren't using it because the real thing will eventually go bad if you leave it out on the counter.

Enjoy my friends!

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