Let’s face it, the world of herbalism is vast, still somewhat mysterious, and even straight-up intimidating. In a sea of complex botanical undertakings, herbal body oil is an easy and accessible project even for the most amateur herbalist. It requires very little equipment to make, most of which you already have in your home kitchen. Also, body oil is relatively quick to prepare since 2 out of 3 of the methods we discuss here follow a set-it-and-forget-it kind of procedure. So let’s get into it!

All about carrier oils:

Carrier oils are extracted from the oils and fats in seeds, nuts or fruits. When you’re choosing an oil for your infusion, it really comes down to a few key factors: your skin type, your budget, and what you want to use it for. If you really want to get into it, you can use the ayurvedic practice of choosing an oil based on your dosha(s), or unique constitution. This will make your oil extra special and tailored to you!

  • If you have oily skin or struggle with acne/blemishes  – try lighter oils like sunflower ($), grapeseed ($) and apricot ($$). 
  • If you have normal to dry skin – try almond ($$) or jojoba ($$). Jojoba closely mimics your skin’s natural sebum so it makes a wonderful face oil as well.
  • If you have dry or mature skin – try heavier oils such as avocado ($$), olive ($), coconut ($) or argan ($$$). Note: coconut oil is comedogenic so stick to using it only on your body

Note, if you plan to use the heat extraction method to infuse your botanicals into your oil of choice, do NOT use a super expensive cold-pressed carrier oil because the heat will damage the oil and you’ll be wasting your money! Instead, gently heat these more sensitive oils or opt for the cold infusion method. 

The best herbs to use:

While most herbs can be used to make an infused oil, ideally you’ll want to use plants that are high in essential (volatile) oils (think: lavender). These herbs will impart a really delicious smell to your oil and will give you all of the aromatherapy benefits while also making it feel just plain luxurious. Because the water content in fresh herbs can reduce the shelf life of infused oils, it’s much easier to use dried herbs or fresh herbs that are slightly wilted/half dried. 

Some of our favorite herbs to use in oils are:

  • Calendula
  • Lavender
  • Rose petals + hips
  • Arnica
  • Chamomile
  • Yarrow (leaf and flower)
  • Plantain leaf 
  • St. John’s wort (note: use fresh)
  • Comfrey leaf
  • Lemon balm
  • Thyme 
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Orange peel
  • Gotu kola
  • Spices like anise, cinnamon, dried ginger

This is where we encourage you to take inspiration from the season you’re in and play around with combinations. For instance, in the winter months it’s really lovely to use grounding, warming herbs and spices like anise, ginger, cardamom, juniper, orange peel and more moisturizing oils like avocado or hemp. In the summer, harness the energy of bright, blooming flowers by opting for chamomile, calendula, rose petals, yarrow and lavender. If you can harvest the blossoms yourself and dry them out, that’s even better! 

Different methods to try:

#1: The simple sun method (easiest, but longest)

What you’ll need:

  • Glass jar with a lid
  • Carrier oil(s) of your choice
  • Dried herbs (pulsed in the blender is best!)
  • Strainer – cheesecloth or mesh strainer 
  • Glass jar or bottle for finished product
  • Label


  1. Fill your jar with dried herbs about half way
  2. Cover with your carrier oil
  3. Place the lid on the jar and shake to ensure it’s mixed thoroughly
  4. Place in a slightly warm (NOT hot), sunny spot and let sit for 3-6 weeks
  5. Shake whenever you can remember 
  6. Strain into a clean, dry storage vessel using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer
  7. Label and enjoy for up to a year!

#2: The double boiler method 

What you’ll need:

  • Small saucepan
  • Medium glass bowl (that can withstand head)
  • Dried herbs
  • Carrier oil(s) of your choice
  • Strainer 
  • Glass storage jar/bottle


  1. Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down heat
  2. Place the glass bowl on top of it, ensuring it’s not touching the water 
  3. Pour 3 parts of oil and 1 part of dried herb into the bowl
  4. Gently + slowly heat for 1.5 hours, making sure the water doesn’t boil or burn off entirely (keep topping off if needed)
  5. Once the 1.5 hours is up, the oil should have taken on the color of the herb(s) used
  6. Strain into your clean, dry storage jar using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer 
  7. Label and enjoy!

#3: The crock pot method

What you’ll need:

  • A crock pot with a temperature dial or a “keep warm” setting 
  • Glass mason jar with lid 
  • Carrier oil(s) of your choice 
  • Dried herb
  • Small rag or small mason jar lid ring
  • Cheesecloth or mesh strainer
  • Glass storage jar/bottle


  1. Place a small dish rag or mason jar ring on the bottom of your crockpot (this prevents the oil/herbs from touching the heat directly)
  2. Cover with a few inches of water 
  3. Fill the glass jar about halfway with dried herbs
  4. Pour carrier oil over the herbs until fully covered
  5. Place jar into the crockpot, ensuring the water level is beneath the lid so absolutely no water can get in
  6. Set the crockpot to the lowest setting or “keep warm” and let it do it’s thing for 8-24 hours
  7. Remove the jar and wipe bone dry with a dish cloth
  8. Strain into your clean, dry storage jar/bottle using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer 
  9. Label and enjoy!

Note for methods 2+3: Water is the enemy of oil when it comes to herbalism and even a drop of water in your infused oil can cause it to turn rancid. It’s super important that your jars/bottles are bone dry before using!

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