Written by Beth and updated by Sarena-Rae Santos in December of 2023.
In my first herbal remedies class, I was taught how to infuse herbal oils. These oils are divine. Infused oils are used to nourish and heal the skin using the benefits of the whole herb, not just the essential oils.
Christmas 2011, I made herbal-infused oils as gifts. My dad loves relaxing baths after a hard day at work or in the yard, so I made a soothing bath oil for him — and he loved it!
Herbal bath oils are an easy gift option that anyone will love.
I love making infused oils as gifts. We have committed to having a handmade holiday at our home. When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. We were raised with the mindset that Christmas was about giving. Giving to others in need, giving to others without them even knowing our name. No thanks needed. Giving a well-thought-out gift with love is what we have to give. So, we committed to making handmade holiday gifts. Most of them are inexpensive but from the heart.
Now people have a big case of the give-me’s. I am saddened by all the parents spending thousands of dollars on their children every year for toxic junk their kids will play with once and toss aside. The only effort involved is paying down the credit cards for the rest of the year. Where is the meaning of Christmas? What ARE we celebrating anyway?
Herbal Bath Oils
First, you need to know how to make an oil extraction. Every herbalist has their own spin on how they infuse their oils. If you read our blog, How to Make an Oil Extraction (With Almost Any Herb), you know we recommend two oil-infusion methods.
Method one (hot-infused oil) is the most common oil extraction method because it’s the fastest. This method uses a double-broiler method to simmer dried herbs in oil for a certain timeframe (usually 2-3 hours). Although hot infusions have a one-year shelf life, they perform most optimally when fresh.
Method two (cold-infused oil) is made by soaking dried herbs in oil for a certain timeframe (usually 4-6 weeks). Many believe the best method for making cold-infused oils is to keep them on a windowsill for sunlight. Sunlight warms the herbs slowly (like the hot-infused oil method) and encourages the release of herbal constituents. Others prefer to steep their herbs in a cool, dark place. I prefer the sunlight method because it makes the most sense to me. Whichever cold-infused oil method you use will yield a product with a one-year shelf life.
Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for, my herbal bath oil recipe blends.
Calming Herb Blend
This blend is soothing to the body and soul. It is perfect for anyone with a stressful job, nervous tension, or high-strung. This blend is great for children, too, by replacing the lemon balm with catnip.
- 1/2 cup chamomile
- 1/2 cup lemon balm
- 1/2 cup lavender
- Enough olive oil (or other carrier oil) to cover the herbs with an extra inch above them
Sore Muscle Blend
This is perfect for someone who works hard with physical labor or suffers from pain.
- 1/4 cup yarrow
- 1/2 cup arnica
- 1/4 cup rosemary
- 1/4 cup ginger
- 1/4 cup basil
- Enough olive oil (or other carrier oil) to cover the herbs with an extra inch on top
Dry Skin Blend
This blends feminine aroma may be off-putting to the manly man but it is wonderful for dry skin.
- 1/2 cup rose petals
- 1/4 cup chamomile
- 1/4 cup lavender
- 1/4 cup calendula
- 1/4 cup nettle or plantain leaf
- Enough olive oil (or other carrier oil) to cover herbs with an extra inch of oil on top.
Infuse your oil and decant into a container of your choice. I have given people I know will love the oils a re-purposed wine bottle filled with the fragrant oil. An amber bottle with a pump top is perfect for easy application for smaller gifts.
Infused oils are good for the shelf life of your base oil. This is usually from 3 months to 1 year.
For other great homemade gift ideas? Check out our Holiday Gift Giving and DIY Guide for the Naturally Minded!