Home recipe for macerated oils: the secret of 2 methods

Whether for a relaxing massage or to hydrate and counter the dryness of your skin, the benefits of macerated oils when used in lotions or creams are endless. Here are two ways to go about it.

Home recipe for macerated oils: the secret of 2 methods

Macerated oils

  • The slow maceration of a plant in oil (for several hours or days) is used to extract soluble components.
  • The mixture obtained is applied locally or incorporated in a cream.
  • Macerated oils are comparable (but stronger) to flavoured oils used in cooking.
  • However, they are very different from the essential oils used in aromatherapy, usually extracted from plants by distillation.

1. Hot-macerated oils

Hot-macerated oils are prepared with the thickest and densest parts of plants as well as some spices, such as cayenne pepper, black pepper and ginger, used to relax muscles and relieve joint pain.

For dried plants, the proportion is one part plant to three parts oil. For fresh plants, it is one part plant to one and a half part oil.

  • Chop or reduce the plant to a powder. Pour into a pan or bowl and mix in the necessary amount of oil. Cover and place the pot in a pan half filled with water (or use a double boiler). Simmer for two to three hours. Do not boil the oil.
  • Let cool and pour into a pitcher through a fine cheesecloth. Press the cheesecloth to extract the maximum amount of oil from the plant. Pour the oil in a stained glass bottle. Close tightly and indicate on the label the name of the plant and the date of preparation.

Use

Apply locally or integrate into a cream or an ointment. Do not use oils made with spice plants on inflamed or sensitive skin. Avoid contact with eyes.

Conservation

Up to six months, in a cool area and protected from light. Dispose of the preparation at the first signs of rancidity or fermentation.

2. Cold oils

Cold maceration is suitable for the most fragile parts of plants, such as flowers, petals and leaves. The most used plants are the pot marigold (for eczema), St. John's Wort (for nervousness), lavender and rosemary (for muscle pain).

  1. Pack the fresh or dried plants in a clear glass jar, up to about one centimetre (1/2 inch) from the edge. Pour vegetable oil until the plants are covered by five millimetres. Mix gently.
  2. Fold a fine cheesecloth and place it on top of the oil. Close the jar tightly; shake vigorously. Place the pot in a sunny spot and let sit for three to 10 days. Shake the bottle several times daily. Filter the oil through a fine cheesecloth over a pitcher. Press the cheesecloth to extract the maximum amount of oil from the plant. If suspended material remains, cover and let stand until a deposit forms at the bottom of the pitcher.
  3. Pour the oil in a stained glass bottle, taking care not to spill the deposit. Close tightly and indicate on the label the name of the plant and the date of preparation.

Use

Apply the oil locally. It can also be mixed with a cream.

Conservation

Up to six months, in a cool area and protected from light. Dispose ofthe preparation at the first signs of rancidity or fermentation.

You can stop constantly rushing to the drug store or supermarket to get your preferred oils. As you can see, making your own herbal oils is simple, and super fun!

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