Long valued for its pleasant scent and appearance, lavender oil can also be used to relieve irritation or injury, help fall asleep, or simply create a relaxing massage oil. The infused lavender oil or balm that this article suggests you make are great choices to make at home because they are simple to prepare, you can use as much lavender as you want, and the result is ready to go. employment. You could choose to prepare a lavender essential oil instead, but be aware that it can be complicated to make and that you will end up with less concentrated oil amounts that you may need to cut with other oils. before using it.
Part 1 of 2: make an infused lavender oil
Step 1. Harvest sprigs of lavender or buy them dried
Cut the stem of the lavender to keep only the flowers and get the ends 15 cm long. You can use the leaves and young stems to infuse the oil along with the flowers, although you should avoid putting the thick, woody part at the base of the stem. You can use flower buds or open flowers that smell stronger.
You can harvest more lavender than you think you need. Then, if the oil you are preparing is not strong enough for your taste, you should not wait to dry other flowers to give your oil more flavor
Step 2. Dry the lavender
If you are using fresh lavender, dry it first to enhance its aroma and reduce the chances of your oil going rancid. Tie the strands with a rubber band or string and hang them upside down in a dry, warm area. You might make lavender dry faster by exposing it to the sun, but this will also degrade some of its aromatic oils. You will have to wait 2 weeks to dry fresh lavender sprigs. Some infusers allow you to dry them in 24 to 72 hours, until they become wilted without being brittle. This greatly reduces the chances of mold growth, but does not eliminate it completely.
Step 3. Lightly crush the lavender and put it in a jar
Crumble the lavender sprigs with your clean hands or gently crush them with a heavy, clean object to bring out the scent. If you are using flower buds, cut them open with your fingers or with a knife, then put them in a jar.
Wash your hands and clean the jar if they are dirty, but dry them properly before putting them in contact with the lavender. You might not get a good quality brew if you add water to it
Step 4. Pour oil on the flowers
Pour any odorless oil (or very little) in the jar to cover the sprigs of lavender while leaving at least 3 cm of space on the top of the jar. Usually almond, olive or safflower oil is used, but you may want to smell them first and avoid oils that smell too strong and could hide the scent of lavender..
Step 5. Let the lavender macerate if you have time and if the weather is nice
Close the jar with its lid and let the mixture macerate in the sun. It should only take 48 hours to start to smell, but usually the oil is left outside for three to six weeks. If you don't have enough sun or time for this method, go to the next step.
Step 6. If you don't have the time or the sun, heat the oil carefully
It is faster to heat the mixture of oil and lavender in a double boiler or in a casserole dish to a temperature between 38 and 49 degrees C than to wait while putting it in the sun. This is only recommended if you have a food thermometer and a low, well-controlled heat source, as too high a temperature could affect the aroma and longevity of your oil.
Step 7. Filter the oil
Place a piece of muslin or cheesecloth on a bowl and pour the oil and lavender over it. Throw the flowers and other pieces of lavender in a compost or in your garden.
Step 8. Repeat these steps if you want a stronger oil
You can put the same oil back in the jar and put some dried lavender flowers back in. As mentioned above, Leave the jar in the sun or heat it on a low temperature for a stronger brew. You can repeat these steps up to eight times if you want to get a strong oil.
Step 9. Add a few drops of vitamin E (optional)
You can add vitamin E at the end of the brew to increase the shelf life of the oil. This step is recommended if you don't have a cool, dark place to store the oil, or if the oil you used is old or does not keep well. Add a few drops of vitamin E and stir or open a capsule that contains powdered vitamin E and pour it into the oil.
Step 10. Store your oil in a dark colored bottle or jar
Squeeze the contents of the muslin to extract as much oil as possible into the bowl. Then transfer the contents of the bowl to a bottle or jar made with glass or opaque plastic to prevent the oil from being exposed to the sun for too long, which could distort its aroma. The length of time you can store the oil depends on the type and how fresh the oil you used, but in general you can store it for several months if you keep it in a dry, dark place.
Part 2 of 2: make a soothing lavender balm
Step 1. First of all, follow the instructions to prepare the infused oil
The method explained below turns infused lavender oil into a balm that you can then rub into your skin to calm inflammation or pain. To begin with, you need to prepare infused lavender oil as described in the previous section or buy it from a specialty store.
Step 2. Grate beeswax with a knife or cheese grater
You may want to use a cheap cheese grater, different from what you use for food, as the wax can be difficult to clean off. Measure the beeswax before grating it into small pieces, you will need about one part of wax for 8 parts of oil. Use more wax for harder balm and less wax for softer balm.
If the beeswax you bought was sold by weight, you can convert its weight to volume to get an idea: 30 grams of beeswax = 30 grams of liquid wax = one-eighth of a cup
Step 3. Heat the beeswax and oil over low heat
Put the pieces of wax in a saucepan. Pour over the infused lavender oil. Heat over low heat until both have melted. It may take 15 minutes or more for the wax pieces to melt. Mix every now and then with a wooden spoon or other heat-resistant utensil, preferably one that you don't care about, as wax could stick to it permanently.
Step 4. Pour the mixture into a container
Pour the melted balm into a glass or aluminum container, making sure it is clean and dry first. Close with an airtight lid.
Step 5. Let the mixture harden in a cool place
After 10 or 15 minutes in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in a cool room or cellar, check if the balm has hardened. If it is still liquid or if it is too hard to remove it with your fingers, you will probably need to put it back in the heat. Add more beeswax to make it harder or more oil to make it softer.
Step 6. Clean the pot and utensils you used
Boil soapy water in the saucepan until no traces of the balm remain, then turn off the heat. Let cool for a few minutes, then put on Mapa gloves so you can scrape off the wax while the water is still hot. Only put the utensils you used in the water after the water has stopped boiling so as not to damage the utensils. Scrape the utensils and the pan with a hard sponge or a metal sponge.
- You can mix lavender with other plants like witch hazel, peppermint, or orange or lemon peel.
- You should put a layer of waxed paper between the jar and its lid before closing it to prevent the rubber or other components of the lid from interfering with the scent of the lavender.
- Lavender essential oil (which contains certain aromas of the plant instead of the base oil) is usually made using a steam process.
- Do not prepare too strong an essential oil, as it will be unpleasant. If you are using scent oil, don't add too much or the lavender will disappear.
- Do not leave wax or oil on the fire unattended. They could start to smoke or even catch fire if you heat them too much.
One study suggests that repeated use of lavender oil may cause prepubertal gynecomastia in some boys who are not yet going through puberty, which develops breast tissue