Lavender Oil

elvinchic323June 14, 2005

I want to know if I can make my own lavender oil to use for massages and things like that. I have a young lavender plant, and am going to start drying very soon. What part of the plant do I use? How do I get/make the oil? What are the full instructions?

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Heathen1(10a)

What kind of lavender plant do you have? I thing that English lavender buds are the best, but I am not sure... the buds are the part to use...
All you need to do is google "How to infuse oils" I put a certain amount of dry herb in oil and keep warm for several weeks, shaking occasionally. Sometimes molds get in there and sometimes the oil starts smelling "Old"...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 10:53AM
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elvinchic323

I have Lady Lavender

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 12:17PM
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habitat_gardener(z9 CA/Sunset15)

You can make an infused oil, but this is not the same thing as the "essential oil of lavender" you can buy, which is a distilled oil (much more involved process). I have known herbalists who distilled an oil, just to say they had done it once, but it requires Equipment....it can be done if you like playing with chem-lab stuff, AND if you have enormous quantities of the herb, because bushels of herbs don't yield much essential oil (which is why it's expensive).

Infused oils, however, are easy to make at home, and this is what you'd want to use as a massage oil in any case.

Basically, if you like the fragrance of the lavender you are growing, then you can make an infused oil with very little effort. If you want, you can look into different varieties of lavender to try next year, but if you like your lavender, by all means use it!

One way is to almost fill a jar with the lavender buds, pour in the oil so it is an inch above the buds, and weigh down the buds so that they are entirely below the surface of the oil (for instance, you can use a strainer with a washed and dried rock on top). Let the oil sit for a week or a month, and strain. The main things to watch out for are (1) keep the herb totally immersed in the oil at all times -- if it's partly exposed to the air, that's the part that will grow mold and infect the entire batch. (2) if there's any water in the oil after you strain out the lavender, let it sit for a few days so that the layers can separate, and then get a dropper and remove the water/sediment layer thoroughly. You can still use this if it is mixed with oil, but use it first. The oil that you store will keep best if it is totally free of oil and sediment.

The gold standard for herbal preparations is Michael Moore's method: Grind the dried lavender buds (1 part by weight), moisten with rubbing alcohol (1/2 part by volume), and let sit in a covered container for several hours or overnight. (The alcohol extracts more of the chemical constituents.) Blend the moistened herb with olive oil (7 parts by volume) at high speed until the sides of the container get warm, about 2 to 5 minutes, holding the top while it blends. Practically speaking, 3 ounces of herb, digested in 1.5 ounces of alcohol, then covered by 21 ounces of olive oil, will fit in a standard blender without splashing all over the room or burning out the blender's motor. Drape some cheesecloth or coarse muslin over the top of a large strainer or colander, which is in turn sitting in a larger bowl, then pour the warm slurry into the cloth and allow it to drain. After a few minutes, gather the corners of the cloth and squeeze out all possible remnant oil.

If you use olive oil, the best grade to use is extra virgin (and I would not use any other grade of olive oil, because other grades involve solvents and heating, to some degree, which lower the quality of the oil). Some herbalists recommend other oils, such as grapeseed or almond, which are "lighter."

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 1:42AM
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bob1943

I have been distilling lavender oil from a 10 liter alembic for 2 years now. question: does a re-distillation of the oil have a beneficient value? Can I remove some of the camphor thus?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 12:41PM
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Heathen1(10a)

My understanding of distillation is... the more times you distill it, the less flavor, color and whathave you will be in the product. If you kept distilling, you'd get a, albeit tiny amount, of white lightning...pure, no smell, no color.
But I could be wrong.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 3:14PM
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sharondval

Check out http://everything-lavender.com as they have some very useful information.

Here is a link that might be useful: everything-lavender,com

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:23AM
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apollog

>> Can I remove some of the camphor thus?

Better to start with lavender that is low camphor to start with ... distilling twice will result in significant loss.

It might be possible to do fractional distillation - not sure offhand what the different boiling points are of the various notes in lavender are.

Wikipedia on fractional distillation

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 3:36PM
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mgervass2001_yahoo_com

What is the best Lavender to use for infusing into oils. and get the best fragerance??

Thank you, Mary

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 1:53PM
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