I love herbal oils. They’re one of my favorite (most healing) forms of skincare to make. The process of making an herbal oil is uncomplicated, and it produces a product that will not only support the health and beauty of your skin – but being so nutrient-dense – it also supports and strengthens your overall health and wellbeing.
In this article, I’m going to share with you a resourceful recipe – using pantry ingredients to make your own herb-infused oil – specifically for relieving stress in the body.
In times of stress, overwhelm or anxiety – you might find yourself reaching for an herbal tea, like Chamomile tea to help yourself relax, or a Sleepy Time blend to help yourself rest. You might notice that drinking Chai, makes you feel comforted.
And that’s because these herbs have properties that help to smooth frazzled nerves, relax tension in the body and calm inflammation. When you infuse the herbs into water to drink as a tea, the herbs help to calm your body, from the inside.
And we can also infuse those same herbs into OIL, and help bring calm to your body, from the outside.
I love the idea of using your herbal teas (or more accurately, tisane) – to make your skincare with, because its something that you already consume as food. And that’s important for two reasons:
- You know that your body responds well to this herb
- You can easily find it in your supermarket or better yet, in your pantry.
Here’s a list of common herbal teas, that can be used topically and help to reduce the negative effects of stress in your body:
- Lemon Balm
- Holy Basil
Just like in cooking, the quality of your ingredients truly matter. If you’ve had that box of chamomile tea in the pantry for a couple of years now, or if its a “flavored” tea – it’s not going to give you the results you’re looking for.
The best option is to use herbs that you’ve gently dried yourself. You could purchase fresh herbs, or if you grow fresh herbs, simply dehydrate (link) them and that will produce an herbal oil that’s incredibly potent.
Your next best option is to purchase herbal tea, which is dried herbs, from a reputable brand. When you smell the tea, it should be fragrant, the color should be vibrant and this tell you that it’s still fresh and potent.
Making Herbal Oil with Herbal Tea
The process of infusing herbs into oil takes 4-6 weeks. You can speed that process up by applying controlled heat. For that, I use my sous-vide machine – which I LOVE.
But I want to share this recipe for a slow infusion – because it’s important to engage with slow things… to be in nature’s pace. Especially when we’re making these things precisely because we’re feeling stressed.
I love the anticipation and hope it gives me, having this jar of oil and herbs, becoming stronger and more potent with each day.
Herbal Tea Body Oil Recipe
Start with a single tea, a blend of teas – or make your own blend. All of the herbs that I listed above have similar actions in the body – so the final product is going to have a “coherent” story – in that it will promote rest, relaxation, and help you to restore.
Use what you have and let yourself be creative – smell the herbs and combine what feels right to you. You can use fresh herbs, but you must dry them first, in a dehydrator or air-dried in a ventilated and sunny spot.
- 1/2 cup of dried loose leaf herbs (if its in a sachet, tear it open and pour out the herbs)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup Olive Olive oil
- Pour the herbs into a clean glass jar. Repurpose a jam jar, or use a mason jar.
- The volume of herbs should only fill the jar up to 3/4 of the way because the herbs can expand in the oil.
- Pour in the olive oil, until the herbs are fully saturated and covered by the oil, with a little extra on top (about 1 inch) to give room for the herbs to move and expand.
- LABEL your jar: The name of your infusion, and the date.
- Every day, visit your jar and give it a shake to encourage the infusion process. Notice the color of the oil, notice the herbs. There’s medicine in those moments too.
- 6 Weeks Later: Strain out the oil and store the herbal oil in a labeled jar.
- This herbal oil can be used directly on the skin or used to make a balm.
Tips for using a body oil
- Store the oil in a bottle that is easy to pour out for easy application. You can use a spray or pump bottle too.
- Massage herbal oil onto your body DAILY.
- Herbal oil can be used on the face as an oil cleanser to remove makeup.
- Herbal oil can be used on the face as a moisturizer – but only use a few drops to moisturize.
- If you have acne: olive oil may be too rich for daily use, instead, you can use grapeseed oil, which is also found in supermarkets. Or Jojoba oil is a good choice.
Please share what blend you’ll be making! #littlegreendot