Herbal Bath Oils – Handmade Holidays

beth December 19, 2012

herb infused bath oils

In the very first class I took about how to use herbal remedies I was taught how to infuse herbal oils. These oils are divine. Infused oils are used to nourish and heal the skin using the benefits of the whole herb, not just the essential oils.

Last Christmas I made herbal infused oils as gifts. My dad loves taking baths after a hard day at work or out in the yard. I made a soothing bath oil for him that he loved.

Herbal bath oils are an easy gift anyone will love.

This year I am making several infused oils as gifts. You see, this year at our home we have committed to having a handmade holiday. When I was growing up we didn”t have a lot of money. We were raised with the mindset that Christmas was about giving. Giving to others in need, giving to others without them even knowing our name. No thanks needed. Giving a well thought gift with love is what we had to give.

Now people have a big case of the gimmies. I am saddened by all the parents spending thousands of dollars on their children every year for toxic junk their kids will play with once and toss aside. The only effort involved being paying down the credit cards for the rest of the year. Where is the meaning of Christmas? What ARE we celebrating anyway?

So this year we made the commitment to make handmade holiday gifts. Most of them are inexpensive, but from the heart.

How to infuse oil

The first thing you need to know is how to infuse oil. Every herbalist has their own spin on how they infuse their oils. I stick with two simple ways.

Infuse over time:

  • Add dry herbs to a mason jar and cover them with oil of choice having 1 inch extra oil above the herbs.
  • Cover with a lid or cheese cloth and place it in a warm, sunlight filled area.
  • Shake the mason jar every day for 6-8 weeks and your oil is infused!
  • Strain through cheese cloth and squeeze out every last morsel of oil from the herbs. There are lots of nutrients in that last few drops that cling to the plant.

This is online slots the most medicinally beneficial way to infuse herbs. It can be done with fresh herbs too but requires caution because botulism can fester because of the moisture from the herbs. It also requires a lot of patience.

Infuse with heat:

  • Place the herbs and oils of your choice into the mason jar or pyrex dish as before.
  • Put the glass container with the herbs and oils into a hot water bath in another pan on medium/low heat. The water should be level or almost level with the oil.
  • Keep the water evaporating but not boiling for 2-8 hours adding water occasionally to keep the level high.
  • Strain through cheese cloth once the oil has cooled and squeeze out every last morsel of oil from the herbs. There are lots of nutrients in that last few drops that cling to the plant.
  • Decant oil into container you are using as a gift.

This is the method I use most often. It still has great medicinal benefit, smells divine and works great. Some people use a crock pot instead of water of a stove. My crockpot is too hot and burns the oil so be sure you are not frying your herbs.

Oils you can use

You can infuse just about any oil. You can even make oil blends specific to skin issues. The most common oil to use is Olive Oil. I would go through the most popular oils with you but Axiom at Home already did a lot of the work for me. Part 1: Almond, Coconut & Avocado, Part 2: Meadow Foam Seed, Jojoba Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Part 3: Grapeseed, Kukui Nut and Olive Oil. I would also like to mention apricot seed oil is wonderful for sensitive highly allergenic skin. Mix and match as you please!

Calming Herb Blend

This blend is soothing to the body and soul. It is perfect for anyone with a stressful job, nervous tension, or who is high strung. This blend is great for children too by replacing the lemon balm with catnip.

  • 1/2 C Chamomile
  • 1/2 C Lemon Balm
  • 1/2 C Lavender
  • Enough oil to cover the herbs with an extra inch above them (about 3 C)

Sore Muscle Blend

This is perfect for someone who works hard with physical labor or who suffers from pain.

  • 1/4 C Yarrow
  • 1/2 C Arnica
  • 1/4 C Rosemary
  • 1/4 C Ginger
  • 1/4 C Basil
  • Enough oil to cover the herbs with an extra inch on top

Dry Skin Blend

This blends feminine aroma may be off-putting to the manly man but it is wonderful for dry skin.

Infuse your oil and decant into a container of your choice. I have given people I know will love the oils a re-purposed wine bottle filled with the fragrant oil. For smaller gifts an amber bottle with a pump top is perfect for easy application.

Infused oils are good for the shelf life of your base oil. This is usually from 3 months to 1 year.

For other great homemade gift ideas see the other posts in my series:

What herbs do you love to use in an infused oil?


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  1. This is so great!! I never knew this. Can you use just a single herb? I thought about using the heat method with coconut oil and chamomile, then when the coconut oil hardens, whipping it for body lotion. Would this work?


    • Yes! I use this method to infuse coconut oil with calendula for my body bars and body butter! IT is wonderful. You can use as many or as few herbs as you want.


      • thank you!! that takes care of the rest of my Christmas gifts!! And I am about to run out of body lotion so this is super exciting! thanks!


      • one more question…if a certain herb is not safe to take during pregnancy, is it still safe to use topically in something like this? just for future reference…or if I give to to a friend. thanks Amanda!


        • Short answer, it depends on the herb and why it isn’t safe. For example Chamomile essential oil is not recommended during pregnancy but I have no issue using chamomile infused oil. I would say most herbal infusions are safe during pregnancy, taking herbs internally and the essential oils would be where I would encourage caution.


  2. Hi Amanda, thanks for sharing this! I love the idea of repurposing bottles, I have a ton of olive oil bottles that are too pretty to throw away. A couple questions; Where do you get an amber pump bottle? And, what do you think of using these as a daily body oil? I don’t use lotion and I would like to try one of these as a daily moisturizer but I don’t take baths very often.

    Thank you!


  3. […] To see my directions on how to infuse herbs into oil and some great recipes for Calming Herb Bath Oils, Sore Muscle Bath Oil, and Dry Skin Bath Oil check out my post over at Modern Alternative Health. […]


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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