How to Make Lemon Balm Infused Oil

 

 

Lemon Balm Infused Oil Recipe

  Lemon balm infused oil is the volatile oils of lemon balm constituents extracted through the process of soaking lemon balm materials in carrier oil or fat. Lemon balm infused oil is useful in treating insomnia, mild depression, digestion problems and improve relaxation. It can apply directly to our skin to treat cold sores, other herpes virus infections, insect and animal bites and to dress wounds. It can also be used as a base for making lemon balm salves, lip balms, lotions, ointments or creams.

What is carrier oil?

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Carrier oil is also called as base oil, fixed oils or vegetable oil is used to extract constituents from herbal material and to dilute essential oils before we apply to the skin. For example, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, sunflower oil, camellia seed oil and etc. Among factors that might influence type of carrier oil chosen are healing and moisturizing properties, stability of oil, cost and availability, shelf life of infused oil, allergic to nut oils and etc. When select for carrier oil, is best to choose for virgin cold pressed oils and the longest dated product.

Below are some of the more popular carrier oils:

  • Olive oil (heavy weight) – is the favorite choice for many herbalists. Olive oil has a great conditioning effect and is useful for for hair and dry/ mature skin. It can easily obtain with affordable pricing. It has a long shelf life but some might dislike its distinctive smell.
  • Coconut Oil (light weight) – is a carrier oil that odorless, colorless and has a long shelf life. It is an excellent and safe moisturizer for skin. If combine with other carrier oils, it will help to extend other carrier oils shelf life.
  • Jojoba Oil (light to medium weight) – is increasing in popularity and has the longest shelf life. It can nourish the skin and work well for oily and sensitive skin. However, it is very expensive.
  • Grape Seed Oil (light weight) – is fragrance-free oil. It contains antioxidant properties and can tighten and tone the skin. Grape seed oil is able to purify and cleanse the skin. However, it is a bit expensive.LB infused oil Carrier Oil
  • Camellia Seed Oil (light weight) – is also known as tea oil. It is great for skin penetration, anti-aging and rich in anti-oxidants. However, it is a bit expensive.
  • Sunflower Oil (light weight) – is affordable multi-purpose carrier oil and is good for dry or damaged skin. It is rich in vitamin E and helps to retain skin moisture.
  • Sweet Almond Oil (light weight) – is the favorite choice for skin care and an effective emollient. It is good for dry, sensitive or inflamed skin. Almond oil is non greasy and able to soothe and nourish skin. It is good as a massage oil but a bit expensive.

Lemon Balm Infused Oil vs. Essential Oil

 Lemon balm infused oil should not be confused with essential oil which is completely different. Essential oils are processed through distillation and involve more sophisticated equipment. They are highly concentrated and need to be used with care. Essential oils should not be taken internally and they should be diluted to about 1% (children or elderly) or 2% (adults) in carrier oil before apply to skin. Direct apply essential oils to skin can cause burns, rashes, pain, itch and other acute skin irritation and sensitization. On the other hand, Infused oils can be easily made at home. It is gentler, more user friendly and can directly apply to our skin.

How To Make infused oil

1) Dried Herbs Preparations

  • Harvest lemon balms and remove the dirt by washing thoroughly using cold water. Repeat washing for few times to ensure all the foreign matters have been removed.
  • Lay your lemon balms in a single layer on a paper sheet or paper towel for couple of days to let it dry. Please ensure the lemon balms are completely dry. Do not dry lemon balms under strong or direct sunlight to avoid volatile oils or other heat sensitive components been destroyed by sunlight.
  • Alternatively, you can lay lemon balms in a single layer and bake them in the oven. Use VERY LOW TEMPERATURE for around 25 minutes. If your lemon balms not fully dry, bake for longer times until it turns dark and crispy.
  • If you do not have any lemon balms, just purchase dried lemon balm from reputable online store or any nearby organic herbs store.

Dried lemon balms are preferred in making infused oil because:-

  • The moisture content of lemon balm might cause microbial growth in the oil. This might causing the infused oil go rancid or has much shorter shelf life. Using dried lemon balm can helps to reduce the risk.
  • Lemon balm plant contains high moisture. Removing its moisture enable the carrier oil easily penetrates into plant material and extracts more oil soluble components.

2. Lemon Balm Infused Oil Methods
You can make lemon balm infused oil using Cold Infused Oil Method or Hot Infused Oil Method.

A) Cold Infused Oil Method
This method is simpler and is recommended for beginner. But, it will take longer times (about 3 to 6 weeks).

  1. Cut or crush lemon balm gently into small pieces.
  2. Get a medium size sterilized glass jar with screw top cap.
  3. Filled in the dried herbs about 1/3 full.
  4. Pour carrier oil of your preference into the jar to cover the herbs.
  5. Use wooden spoon to push down the herbs and to gently stir it to get rid any air bubbles. Do not shake the bottle vigorously as this will create more air bubbles. The oil need to be direct contact with all part of herbs. Air bubbles will increase the possibility of microbial growth.
  6. Top off the jar with more carrier oil if the herbs are not totally submerged.
  7. When all the lemon balms have completely submerged in the oil, cover the glass jar with a cap.
  8. Please make sure to label the name and date.
  9. Place the jar at cool location for 3 to 6 weeks.
  10. To assist the infusion process, shake the jar gently two times per day.
  11. After six weeks, strain out the herbs as much as you can using muslin or cheese cloth.
  12. Pour it into a clean and sterile glass bottle and cap it.LB infused oil strain herbs2
  13. Please make sure to write the bottle with label “lemon balm infused oil”and date.
  14. Store infused oil in a dark, cool and dry area or in the refrigerator.
  15. Generally, it has one year shelf life but try to use within 6 months.

B) Hot Infused Oil Method
This method is quicker and straight forward way to extract herbs in oil. But you need to be very careful not to overheat your herbs and oxidize the oil. To avoid overheating, you can use double boiler which glass bowl or ceramic bowl set on top of pan with boiling water. The double boiler only allows the steam of the boiling water to heat the glass bowl above not the boiling water itself.

  1. First, cut or crush lemon balm gently into small pieces.
  2. Add in dried lemon balms into the top bowl of your double boiler.
  3. Pour carrier oil of your preference into the bowl to cover the herbs.
  4. Boil the water in pan and place the bowl on top of it. Please ensure the bowl is not directly touching the water and only the steam is heating the bowl. Cover bowl with the lid and steam it gently for 2 to 3 hour.
  5. Let the herbs cool down.
  6. Strain out the herbs as much as you can by using muslin or cheese cloth.
  7. Pour it into a clean and sterile glass bottle and cap it.
  8. Please make sure to write the bottle with label “lemon balm infused oil”and date.
  9. Store infused oil in a dark, cool and dry area or in the refrigerator.
  10. Generally, it has one year shelf life but try to use within 6 months.
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