Lavender oil is highly popular to use as perfume or for medicinal purposes as it helps to reduce anxiety and accelerate the healing of wounds and burns.
If you already grow lavender, we encourage you to make your own lavender oil instead of buying. It’s a more sustainable option because you’re forgoing packaging waste and you’re making full use of your plants that may otherwise just sit there for ornamental purposes.
When do you start making lavender oil? When the lavender plants are in bloom.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own oil when the time comes to do so…
Step 1: Cut off the sprigs from the lavender
The very first step in making lavender oil is to cut the sprigs from the fresh lavender in a way such that each segment is 6 inches or shorter than that. It is important to note that you can make use of the leaves and the stems in the oil making process, but it is not advisable to use the thick stems that are near the base.
It is always better to pick a number of flowers than you think you need so that you can get the precise fragrance on your first attempt.
Step 2: Dry the lavender
After cutting the sprigs, it is important to let the lavender dry. It is necessary to dry the flowers to enhance the aroma of the flowers and reducing the chances of the oil getting dry.
To ensure the lavender dries quickly, you can place the flowers in bright sunlight but just bear in mind that strong sunlight can also breakdown the aroma of the flowers so it’s not as fragrant.
Step 3: Cut the fresh lavender
Next thing that you have to do is to start crumbling the lavender flowers with the help of any object. Once you finish crumbling them place them neatly in a jar.
Note: Before you place the cut lavender in the jar, it is advisable to wash the jar thoroughly and dry it completely as the mixing of oil and water might cause infusion.
Step 4: Pour oil over the flowers
After placing the fresh lavender in a clean jar, it’s time to sprinkle some almost scent-less oil such as almond oil or olive oil on the flowers in a way that the oil entirely covers the flowers.
Tip: Make sure to smell the oil before adding to the process of making lavender oil in case you don’t like it.
Step 5: Soak the lavender
After pouring oil on the flowers, it is better to place the jar along with the flowers in a sunny place. It is advisable to soak the flowers before you go to the next step as it will bring out the strong aroma from the flowers.
You can soak the flowers for almost 48 hours for a better aroma, or if you have enough time, then you can also soak them for as much as six weeks for even better aroma.
If you don’t have much time, skip this step and go to the next one.
Step 6: Heat the oil
If you don’t have much time to soak the flowers in sunlight, you can also opt for this alternative method which involves heating the oil and flower mixture either in a boiler or a crock pot, at a high temperature.
Make sure to have a cooking thermometer when performing this step as too much heat might destroy the aroma of the flowers.
Step 7: Strain the oil
After heating the mixture, the next step involves straining it by placing a cheese cloth or muslin over a bowl and then pouring the mixture into it. After the straining process, don’t throw the remaining flowers and other small pieces of lavender in the bin and send to landfill. Instead, use as compost in your gardens.
Step 8: Make the oil stronger
If you prefer lavender oil that has a stronger aroma repeat the above process as much as eight times in a row. Just add more lavender pieces and continue straining using the cheesecloth. Adding more lavender pieces will make the oil stronger and smell more powerful.
Step 9: Add some Vitamin E
The last step in the home-made lavender oil process involves the addition of some drops of vitamin E to the oil. Though this step is completely optional, the reason it’s important is that it will increase the shelf life of the lavender oil
Tip: If you don’t have a place at home that is dark and cool, you will need to perform this step, otherwise your oil won’t last very long. You can either add some liquid drops of vitamin E or you can cut a capsule of vitamin E and stir it into the lavender oil.
Step 10: Store the oil in a jar
After straining and adding vitamin E, squeeze the muslin as much as possible and then transfer the contents of the bowl to a tight jar. You may either store the oil in a plastic glass or an opaque glass that is dark enough. Your lavender oil is now ready to use.
Some extra tips for using lavender oil…
Lavender oil is one of the best oils for glowing skin as well as various medical purposes. You can also use lavender oil as a source of perfume by adding to your homemade multi-purpose cleaners or even for bathing. The uses of lavender oil are numerous and you’re really only limited by your imagination.