Tuesday

Make Lavender Oil

Lavender OilYou don't have to buy essential oil to get the fragrance and benefits of lavender oil in your bath, sachet, and even in your cooking. Use  lavender buds to make an olive oil infused mixture you can use for anything from a sleep aid (topically) to a moisturizer that will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Lavender Oil Recipe

  • 1-1/2 to 2 Cups Lavender buds or flowers
  • 1-1/2 Cups Olive Oil
  • 7 Capsules Vitamin E (Pierced and drained, 400 IUs or adjust quantity)
  • Jar with a tight fitting lid (about a two cup capacity, sterilized)
  • Non-reactive pot (glass, ceramic or stainless steel)
  • Non-reactive bowl
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer
  • Coffee filter

Directions for Making Lavender Oil

Heat olive oil till it starts to bubble at the edge of the pot.

Add lavender and simmer for half an hour on low.

Cool to room temperature

Strain in batches through a large strainer and then through a coffee filter.

Pierce vitamin capsules and add vitamin E oil to the mixture.


Pour into a decorative, sterilized jar.

Refrigerate

The mixture will become cloudy when it's cold but clear up again as it reaches room temperature. It should last about six weeks in the refrigerator. You can also freeze a portion for later use.  Frozen lavender oil will stay fragrant for four to six months.

Uses For Lavender Oil

You can use the oil as a moisturizer, mild antibacterial, bath oil, or dry hair treatment. You'll smell great with a touch of the oil at your pulse points, and it will last longer than many water-based colognes.

If you have potpourri around the house, decorative herb wreaths, lavender wands or other decorative lavender crafts, you can refresh them with lavender fragrance by applying a drop or two of oil.

Special Notes on Using Lavender Oil:

Lavender Essential oil is distilled and very concentrated. This mixture is not an essential oil. It's less strong, but has a good fragrance and can be applied directly to the skin.

Don't use lavender that has been treated with pesticides.

Lavender can cause allergic reactions in some people. If you experience a rash, sore throat, or nausea, discontinue use. If you are having trouble breathing after using a lavender infused product or homemade concoction, seek medical help immediately.


17 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:20:00 PM

    "If you want to use dried lavender, go ahead."

    Do you mean just the dried buds & flowers, or can this be the stem & leaves too?

    Thank you so much for this post, I think this is the recipe which I'll be using from here on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The buds and flowers are very fragrant, but there's fragrance in the stems and leaves too. At harvest time, I use everything but the roots.

    Hope this helps.

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  3. quick question,
    I steeped the lavender for longer than suggested. The resulting oil was not very fragrant, and actually smelled much more like olive oil than lavender. Any advice? Perhaps too much oil, not enough lavender? or does leaving it too long have a negative effect?
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read from another blog post regarding this that they prefer jojoba oil, this is because olive oil has its own scent. They suggested if you like that mixed scent, go ahead, but jojoba is better. A blogger on starkinsider.

      Delete
    2. Hi Austin,

      I like olive oil because it's relatively inexpensive, plentiful and has benefits as a moisturizer. One nice thing about using it as a carrier oil is that the less expensive an olive oil is, the more likely it will have little or no scent. Give it a try.

      Sara

      Delete
  4. Dear DLo,

    It's most likely the type of lavender or olive oil you're using. Try for a clear olive oil (cooking olive oil) with little or no fragrance. Make sure the area where you're curing the mixture is warm too. Increasing the amount of lavender could help, but it shouldn't be necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sara! Saw it. Looks like a simple enough process. What does the Vitamin E do? Does it help with the scent?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Chris,

    I think vitamin E acts as a stabilizer. So, in a way it helps fix the scent and keep the oil viable and smelling nice longer. I'm no chemist, though. :)

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read the remarks about botulism being a problem with making homemade oils, so once I make the lavendar oil, I must refrigerate it and for how long is it good? The botulism thing really worries me, how would I give some of this as a gift with this concern?

    Thank you, Sharon

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sharon,

    Sharon, I've thought about your comment for a while, and I understand your concerns. Botulism isn't something to fool around with.

    I've been making aromatic and culinary oils for a lot of years without a problem. I've kept lavender oil in my fridge for a couple of weeks at a time. If I make a big batch, I freeze it in small containers. Botulism won't develop in freezing conditions (the temp has to be 0 Degrees F or less). It's a byproduct of spoilage. If you freeze fresh batches of herbal oils, before they've had a chance to deteriorate, then thaw them as you need them, botulism won't develop while the batch is frozen. If botulism is present, freezing won't kill it, though.

    There are also canning methods you can use, and chemicals, that can create a bacteria free product with a longer useful life.

    Hope this helps.

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sara,
    Nice site! I've put up about a gallon of lavender olive oil, and recently purchased about 5 pounds of shea butter and 2 pounds of Cocoa butter. I was thinking of makeing a soap or massage bar, or a skin cream. Any great suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  10. A. Peters,

    I love herbal massage creams, moisturizers and soaps! Watch in the next couple of weeks for some recipes. I'm trying to carve out some time to post a few of my easy favorites.

    Hint: Some lanolin and beeswax would be a good investment too.

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous10:54:00 PM

    Lavender oil is a natural antibiotic. I have a bottle for pets and a bottle for family. Perfect for cuts, scrapes or wounds.

    Chanel

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm in the process of making the infused oil as you recommend here. For the past two years I have made mine with putting it on the window sill, what other sites call the cold method. I have seen this method on ehow and some other sites, what is the percent chance of getting bad bacteria?
    Also this site has you put the herb in hot oil and then remove from the stove, is there a difference in the results or is letting the herb cook helping to kill this bacteria? I am planning to write up my results in my blog. Thanks!

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Homemade-Infused-Olive-Oils&id=4622039

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Glutenfreegrama-Godseeker,

    I can't really guess the likelihood of bacterial infection when infusing lavender oil using a cold infusion method. I can tell you what little I know about botulism, which is, I think, the worst culprit to watch out for.

    Botulism exists in most soils as a dormant spore. The right conditions have to exist for it to start to grow and produce the deadly toxin. 1) It needs an airless environment (like in water or oil); 2) The temperature has to be above 39 degrees F; 3) The pH has to be higher than 4.6 (relatively non-acidic).

    One of the dangers as I understand it is that botulism is very hard to kill, and once it develops and creates the toxin, even of it dies off, the toxin will remain. It's odorless and tasteless too, so there's no way to really tell if the toxin is present or not. The instances of botulism poisoning in the U.S. every year are very small, but there have been reported cases from cold infusions of garlic oil.

    I think many herbal enthusiasts may believe they can cold infuse a product for a few weeks and then put it in the fridge. The problem with this approach is that a few weeks at room temperature is plenty of time for the toxin to develop. After that, dropping the temperature to 39 degrees F or below won't help.

    For more information, you can search the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) site for material about botulism, salmonella and other threats. The U. S. Department of Agriculture has some useful material too.

    As a side note: I used cold infusions for years, including garlic oil, with no problems at all. I don't do it anymore, though, and won't ever again. Botulism is potentially fatal, and it's just not worth the risk.

    I hope this helps.

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can I use mineral oil as a carrier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beverly,

      You can use mineral oil as a carrier, but it may be lighter than the vitamin E and require vigorous shaking to integrate. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

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