Sunday, 11 October 2015

How to make an infused oil.

Firstly what is an infused oil? Basically an infused oil is a carrier oil that has had herbs or spices added. 

Culinary infused oils can be made using rosemary, garlic, chillies, thyme, peppercorns etc.

The oil/herb blend is left to steep so that the properties of the herb become infused into the oil. I use the "slow" method which means leaving the oil in a warm place for 6-8 weeks to do its thing, but if you wanted to speed up the process you can gently heat the oil/herb blend in a crockpot for a few hours

I prefer to use a light olive oil when making infusions. Sunflower, rice bran and sweet almond oils can also be used.

The steps I'm going to outline are for making calendula oil which has medicinal, rather than culinary uses.

To make calendula infused oil you'll need: 
  • olive oil
  • a large jar with a lid (I use a 1 litre agee preserving jar)
  • calendula flowers
  • a skewer
  • a sunny window sill
Start with a clean, dry jar. Fill the jar about two-thirds full with calendula flowers. You can use dried or fresh flowers. If using fresh it's best to pick them one day and use them the next. It's also important when using fresh flowers that they are completely dry as any moisture can cause the oil to become rancid.

The next step is to slowly fill the jar with olive oil (or the carrier oil of your choice). Make sure the flowers are completely covered by the oil and that there are no air bubbles. Use the skewer to push the flowers under the oil (as they will rise a bit as the oil is added) and to remove any air pockets that form.

Screw the lid onto the jar then place on a sunny windowsill for the next 6 weeks. It's a good idea to put a plate or bowl under the jar. As the oil heats you may get a bit of leakage.

After 6 weeks strain the flowers from the oil using a very fine sieve or cheesecloth.  You may need to strain it twice to make sure there are no "bits" left behind. Pour into a glass bottle, label and store out in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.





The oil can be used in soap-making, to make healing balms or can be rubbed into dry, chapped hands.

If you have dry skin you might like to try making Calendula Cleanser.


I link up here.

4 comments:

  1. This is great, such clear instructions, I'm totally giving this a go. I don't have any calendula, but I've got a bunch of lavendar, must be worth trying!

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  2. Sunlight and heat are detrimental to herbs. You should be infusing and storing in a cool place that gets no sunlight. Doing this on a hot, sunny windowsill will destroy all of the benefits that you are trying to get.

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    Replies
    1. This is the method I was taught many years ago and continue to use. I don't recommend a hot windowsill.

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