I’ve just made two herb-infused base oils, Marigold and Lavender. Base oils are great for making your own creams, massage oils, salves, liniments, plaisters and even suppositories for your first aid kit. You can also make your own skincare products like moisturisers, cleansers and lotions with these base oils.
I prefer to make my oils rather than buy them, at least I know the herbs are good quality with the therapeutic properties I expect. To make the base oil, use a light vegetable oil like sweet almond oil, jojoba or sunflower oil.
I use Lavender oil for calming hot red and inflamed skin. It has antiseptic properties and can be used for the relief of mild burns. It can also be used in the relief of muscular aches and pains, headaches as well as cuts, sores and varicose ulcers. I also use it to make facial creams and moisturisers to relieve eczema and acne.
Marigold is anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I use it to help wound healing or where there is eczema, acne and psoriasis. Marigold is great used in creams for burns, cold sores, sunburn, bee stings, bug bites and rashes and dry itchy skin.
To make the oils, Fill a clean jar with an airtight lid with a handful of marigold flowers and add the oil. Make sure the oil covers all the plant material otherwise you might get mould growth.
If you want specific measurements then use:
Dried herbs: 50-75g / 2-3oz.
Fresh herbs: 75-100g / 3-4 oz).
Vegetable oil: 300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups.
It’s important to get the best quality ingredients (especially the herbs) to get the best results, so please don’t skimp on this. Use organic or wild-crafted herbs. Steer clear of herbs treated with pesticides. Make sure the marigold flowers you use are bright orange-yellow in colour. They should also have a sweet, pleasing odour! If you’re making lavender oil, the flowers should have a strong scent of lavender. I always use dried flowers, but if you are using fresh you need twice the amount (see above for measurements).
I had run out of the slender, dark-green bottles I’d bought for my oils, so just used an old jam jar with an airtight lid instead for the marigold oil.
Leave the jar on a windowsill in direct sunlight until the oil changes colour. I left mine for about six weeks (be patient!). Strain the oil through a muslin cloth. Decant into a dark bottle if you have one – dark bottles are best as they protect the oil from degrading through sun exposure, otherwise any airtight glass jar will do. Label the jar with the date the oil was bottled. Store in a cool place away from sunlight until needed. The oil will keep in these conditions for about a year.