Lavender Project: Part 1 – Lavender Herbal Infusion Oil

Curious about the Lavender Project

People all over the world love Lavender.  Lavender in its various forms, fresh buds, dried buds or essential oil offers a variety of uses for the spirit, soul and body.  Much of this has been lost in the urbanization of America.  Getting back to basics can be fun, educational and very healthy.

A few Lavender facts: 

Botanical Names: Lavandula officinalis, Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula vera

Botanical Family:  Lamiaceae; Labiatae  known as the mint family, which includes: basil, bergamot, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, peppermint and spearmint, to name a few.

Aroma:  Fresh and camphoraceous

Flowering Top Color:  range from pinkish all the way through violet with hints of indigo-blue

Grown: on every continent in the world

Essential Oil Color:  Range from colorless to pale-yellow or yellowish-green.

What is infusion?

Infusion is simply placing dried or fresh botanical in a medium (water, oil, alcohol, vinegar, honey etc.) to extract it properties. One of the simplest infusion done by millions of people every day is making a cup of tea.  Allowing the tea to steep in the water is called an infusion.

The aroma of the lavender being infused into the oil is awesome. The smell is earthy, warm and very relaxing.

Tips before Starting:

  • Make sure all equipment and workspace is sanitized
  • Set out all equipment and ingredients before starting
  • Read the recipe several times
  • Cut off your cell phone
  • Have Fun!

Equipment:

  • Crock Pot with Warm Setting
  • Blender or Grinder
  • Canning Jars or heat proof jars (these can be purchased at your local food store or Walmart)
  • Medium size glass or stainless bowl or paper plates
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer (both can be found in your local food markets in the cooking section)
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Measuring cups
  • Tablespoons
  • Jumbo wooden sticks or utensil for stirring
  • Clean glass bottle or jar for storing Lavender Infusion Oil
  • Small storage containers you can put in the freezer
  • Paper and pen or pencil
  • Blank Label
  • Rubber Band that can fit around the mouth of the canning jar

Ingredients/Recipe:

There are 28.394 grams in an ounce, to make things easier to compute we will use 30

To convert the recipe to grams, multiply number of ounces by 30

Grams are a more accurate measurement than ounces.

Ounces & Teaspoons

Grams

Ingredient
2 oz 60 Dried Lavender Buds
16 oz 480 Olive Oil –  You can substitute with a less expensive, different carrier oil such as Sweet Almond, Rice Bran, Sunflower, Apricot, etc., or use a combination that totals 16 oz. All carriers oils are not the same.
3 Teaspoons 12 Vitamin E – 1 teaspoon is approximately 4 grams

Directions:

  • Measure out dried lavender buds.

    • Grind dried lavender buds to a powdered like consistency
  • Three ways to infuse

  1.  Place oil and buds in the crock pot on the lowest (warm) setting, for 10 – 14 hours, stirring periodically, mixture should not boil. (Shown in picture)
  2. In an empty canning jar add oil and buds. Leave a 2 inch space at the top of the jar for breathing room. Cover the mouth of the jar with cling wrap. Put tap water in the empty crock pot. When the canning jar is placed inside the crock pot the water level  will be  1/2  way  up the side of the jar.  Use the lowest setting (warm), check the water level periodically, let mixture infuse for 14-16 hours.
  3. No crock pot?   Use a double boiler on the stove, lowest flame, for 8- 10 hours. Stir periodically and continuously watch water in the double boiler. Do not allow water to come in contact with the mixture.
  4. Allow mixture to cool, overnight is fine.
  • Separating the infused oil from the lavender buds

    1. Remove all jewelry, put in a safe place. Wash hands well. Because the oil is slippery gloves tend to fall off.
    2. Get a clean jar, weight the empty jar jot down the weight.
    3. Get a clean  glass or stainless steel bow or paper plates, set aside.
    4. Place the cheesecloth over the empty canning jar.  The cheesecloth should fit loosely over the mouth  of the jar sagging downwards like a filter. Use a rubber band to the hold the cheesecloth in place if necessary.  Taking your time, pour the infused oil slowly and carefully into the cheesecloth to drain into the empty canning jar. The oil will flow freely, the lavender buds will be sitting at the bottom of the jar. In the above picture I used a combination of a strainer and cheesecloth.
    5. Using a spoon, place manageable scoops of lavender buds from the jar into the cheesecloth. I like to call the residue from squeezing the oil out of the cheesecloth ” Lavender Herbal Goodness”.  Fold the cheesecloth making a pocket and squeeze the excess oil into the jar. This can get really messy (nothing a little Dawn Dish Washing Liquid cannot get rid of).
    6. Once you have squeezed out as much oil as possible  place the Lavender Herbal Goodness in the glass bowl or paper plates you set aside. If using paper plates use multiple plates because the remaining oil will seep through the plate. At this point you can toss, compose or save and try a few of the upcoming recipes.

  • Let the Lavender Infused Oil sit overnight. This will allow the residue to settle in the bottom of jar.

  • This is a good time to weigh your Lavender Infusion Oil. The equation is–
    (Weight of Jar with Lavender Infused Oil in it) – (Weight of Empty Jar) = Weight of Infused Lavender Oil
  • If you see residue in the bottom of the jar repeat the straining process again using  cheesecloth to ensure the oil free from  residue.

  • Weigh the oil again .  Do you see a decrease in the amount of oil?  You may need to repeat the straining process several times before the infused lavender oil is free from residue.

You should have approximately 8.5-10 oz ounces of Lavender Infused Oil

For every ounce of Lavender Infused Oil  add ½ teaspoon of Vitamin E as an antioxidant

Pour  Lavender Infusion Oil in clean glass bottle or jar. Label the outside of the jar with product name, date made and best to use by.  Date to use by will be the expiration date of the Olive Oil.

Keep oil in a dark cool place until ready to use.

Infused lavender oil  is green not purple. Are your surprised?

Rewards and Benefits

Lavender Infusion Oil makes a wonderful massage oil, excellent bath oil, and a great base for other natural products that we will discuss in future blog articles

 

What to do with the Lavender Herbal Goodness in the bowl?

Using the small freezer containers, place 1-2 tablespoons of the Lavender Herbal Goodness in the container, noting on the top or side  of the container, the date made and how much is in the container.

  • Refrigerate a couple of the containers if you plan on using within the month, after reviewing a few of the simple Lavender Herbal Goodness recipes
  • Freeze any leftovers for future usage. You will need to thaw out the Lavender Herbal Goodness before using it in a recipe

Stay tuned for recipes using Lavender Infusion Oil and Lavender Herbal Goodness

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