"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lavender Oil

I love lavender and have a lot of it growing around Cedar Pond. Not just in the herb garden either. We have it in many of the flower beds and some of my big pots of plant groupings. The bees around here love it too. I have always enjoyed cutting the long stemmed blooms and drying them for scenting my drawers, and using a bit for cooking, and used to add ground up lavender and oatmeal to my goat milk soap. Once I stopped making my own soap I forgot about using lavender for other things...until recently. I have very sensitive and dry skin and had been purchasing some special oils from a company in California. The oils were wonderful and did the job most lotions did not do so well, but they were very, very expensive. I noted that the base of most of the products was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it clicked, ANYONE can buy that at the supermarket, and I also realized I had baskets full of the many herbal ingredients these oils had. I could buy the best oils ( they're spendy) and use my herbs and make at least 10 times the oils for the same price as purchasing a 1 to 2 ounce bottle from the company in CA. The bottles above are Grape- seed Oil and Almond Oil that have had lavender from our garden crushed and steeped in them for at least 10 days. I filtered out the crushed lavender today and swiped the oil still clinging to the sides of the steeping jar and massaged it into my arms. I chose grape-seed and almond oils after reading about their benefits on-line, but Olive Oil would do quite well too. You need clean sterile canning jars or bottles with tight fitting lids. Oil of choice ( 32 ounces), and herb or herbs of choice, about 1 cup fresh or dried..put washed, dried, and crushed herbs of choice in the jar and then pour oil into jar. Put tight fitting lid on and place the jar in a sunny spot for about 10 days. You can add up to 20 drops of essential oil to this for fragrance, but when I strained the oil, I discovered it had a delicate lavender/ grassy smell and I like it fine. I can use this on my feet and legs too, just remember oil is, well..oily, and blot it after applying or wear cotton socks and gloves for special soothing and softening. It can be stored in a cool dark place for several months unrefrigerated, or indefinitely in the fridge. And you can cook with them too! I have filled the cleaned and sterilized old , antique cosmetic and medicine bottles with the oils for my facial needs, to be refilled with oil from the big jars when needed. There are so many fragrant herbs and herbal combinations you can use, and the supermarkets have such a wide variety of oils available. Do some research on-line and see which oils might appeal to you. Your cosmetic and skin needs are only as far away as your local supermarket and herb garden, at a very attractive price! "Almond oil, The most popular carrier oil, as it has little smell, is rich in protein and is emollient, nourishing, and slow to become rancid." "Grape- seed Oil,Very fine and clear; it gives a satin-smooth finish without a greasy touch."
The Complete Book Of Herbs by Leslie Bremness


Anonymous said...

Lavender was mama's favorite scent. She kept little sachets in her dresser drawers with dried lavender. Your bottles turned out beautifully. You must have perfect growing conditions for the herbs.

Karen said...

This sounds wonderful. You have many talents!

Susie said...

Aren't you creative Kathy! I bet the oils do smell lovely. I wish I was creative.

Debbie said...

Your containers look lovely. This sounds like a wonderful way to mix luxury with economy. Not too many ways to do that nowadays.
I'm going to plant more lavendar.

Shelley said...

I love Lavender! Is it easy to grow? That sounds wonderful that you add it to your soap! And what a great idea on those oils too!

Wobegon Cottage said...

Does this work for eczema? The boys in our family seem to have it ..Hunter light case ..Carter bad case. Hunter may get worse now that he is being cared for by someone else. I use to care for his skin faithfully but not sure what his new caregiver will do.

Anonymous said...

It goes almost without saying, I love your infused oils. The bottles are just as beautiful as the outcome, no doubt about it, and healthy to boot.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kathy~~that is wonderful that you have all of nature's scents there just for you!
I LOVE lavender too and have to purchase it from others for my sachets. Have been told it doesn't do well here in the Georgia clay.
LOVE your bottles...do you sell your lavender...email me!

Nancy M. said...

That is so cool that you're able to make it yourself! I would have never thought to do so. I'm glad it's working for you!

Southern Comfort said...

That is yet another great idea you have given us. I want to try it. Lavender is my mother's favorite scent also, but mine is basil. I like that you can cook with this oil as well. Thanks again.

Leslie said...

Thank you, that is a wonderful idea. Your picture is lovely. I have a large lavender bush and would like to make this with the blooms. It would make a nice gift too!

Deanna said...

This Lavender Oil sounds wonderful!!!
I have never tried to tackle this and I'd have to really work hard at convincing myself that I could do this.
You're very talented!

Glenda said...

oh my gosh, i like this post very much. i've been dabbling a little in perfume making, using only as close to natural as possible for ingredients (essential oils, organic pure grain alcohol, etc.). and i've been wanting to make oil-based fragrances / massage oils as well. i think i found my recipe - thanks for posting this :-) the only challenge is where to find grape seed oil or almond oil in my area. bookmarking you for now. =)

KathyB. said...

Mildred,Shelley, I am loving lavender more and more every year. It grows very well here, and next year we are planting a long row of lavender bordering the vegetable garden.

Karen, Susie,Deanna, thank you for your compliments , but really, I am not that talented, just wanting to not waste all the beautiful lavender we grow, and in need of skin soother.

Debbie, very much a good idea for luxury via economy. I think most people must have some old nice bottles or small cosmetic jars available in the basement, pantry, or thrift stores.

Alice, this does work for eczema and sensitive skin. There is nothing toxic in it unless one is allergic to the oil or lavender, and if lavender is the irritant, then just use plain old grape seed or almond, or olive oil.

Nancy, I am glad it works for me too, because I have been very much in need of a soothing lotion or oil.

Southern Comfort, I like the scent of basil too. If you google herbal oils, and uses, you can probably find some great basil recipes, and if you are careful with sterilization, and storage there is probably no reason basil cannot be substituted for lavender.

Leslie, you live in a perfect place for growing lavender! I have been thinking about using this as a gift item too.

Lynn, I will e-mail you!

Glenda, I have found Almond and Grape seed oil for sale at Fred Meyers, Safeway, and our local SAAR's markets.They cost a lot more than veg. oil and regular olive oil, but so much less that the 2 ounce bottle of same that I was purchasing from a company in San Francisco.I am also thinking of buying some essential oils to add to massage oil I make for gifts.

Mary, you motivated me ! I am also very much more a fan of your soaps. I use them to wash my face and love the way it makes my skin feel, and does not dry my skin out. The wonderful fragrance just adds to the attraction for me. Plus, I have given some of the soap I bought from you to family, and they want more!Thank-you!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

This is the kind of thing I am always "going to do!" I love the idea...will get around to it, I'm sure! C

Thistle Cove Farm said...

I am SO envious of your ability to grow lavender! I enjoy making lotions and potions but haven't done so in years. I'm making herb vinegars this summer but it's just not the same as lotions and potions -smile-. Basil and Bergamont scents are divine!
The photo is lovely and the bottles of scented oils beautiful. I've used hand made SOAP for years and refuse to use store bought stuff. It makes my skin crawl and itch...too drying even the "good stuff".
Thanks for this post...very enjoyable.

Lanny said...

I love this post!

I've been reading, well actually Bet reads to me while I work, about some of the "weeds" and their properties, and I've been thinking of doing up some special salves (excuse me, but does anyone hear the 'l' in that word? Didn't think so) with coconut oil or palm oil with a little liquid-at-room temp oils.

On the lavender side, I made a batch of 'cheater' glycerin soap and put in lavender buds and steel cut oats. I used sea shell and star fish molds and the bits of lavender and oatmeal really help them look even more sea shelly. Anne B. loves it and spends a great deal of time washing her hands when she comes to visit.

noble pig said...

That sounds wonderful. I can only imagine the scent. I have never cooked with lavendar oil...sounds interesting.

KathyB. said...

Stickhorsecowgirls, just planting lavender is a pick-me-up, if you can grow it. The fragrance in your yard and the beauty of it alone is worth it.And if you get the plants growing, maybe one of these years you will be able to get around to using your lavender for decorating, medicinals, or cooking.

Sandra, I might make some oils with rosemary or mint too, refreshing. I think most people can grow at least one herb, but really, just the oil alone works.

Lanny, will I be on the Christmas Gift list with some of those lavender glycerin soaps. HINT! And way to go, getting Anne B. interested in soap making and all things herbal.I remember talking to you about adding helpful skin vitamins to oils and soaps, have you done any more research on this?And hey, I try to pronounce the "l" in salve, but I think I come across as having a speech impediment when I do that.

Noble Pig, I am going to try!

Paula said...

What a neat idea.... you are so creative, Kathy! (And thrifty!)

Connie said...

How interesting, Kathy. I never would have thought to make oils at home to soften skin. You are very creative and a savvy consumer as well. :)