Thursday, 14 August 2014

Work in Progress - Homemade Lavender Oil

Wiss and I have been making some lavender oil and although it takes a month or so to properly infuse it's really easy to do, and has loads of uses once it's ready.

You will need:
  • A carrier oil (pale in colour and with little or no fragrance) We used light olive oil
  • Fresh lavender flowers on their stalks (2 handfuls)
  • A glass jar with a stopper
  • A sunny window ledge
  • Fine sieve/Muslin
  • Jug
  • Patience

Using half of the lavender, cut the stalks so that flowers heads are still attached but with no woody stems. You need to bash the flowers up a little so either crush them in your hands or use a pestle and mortar (but don't pulp them!). Pop the flowers into your glass bottle then cover with the oil of your choice. Ideally there should be no air left in the bottle, as this could cause the oil to become rancid later. Close the bottle with the stopper and give it a good shake - Wiss loves this bit!

Leave the bottle in a sunny spot for a few days to infuse in the warmth. You can upturn it and give it a shake daily to help it 'brew'.

After two or three days you will need to refresh the flowers so that the oil can get more lovely lavender fragrance. Using a very fine sieve or some muslin, drain the oil into a jug, making sure not to spill any. Give the flowers a really good squeeze to extract as much oil as possible as this will be the strongest scented.

Put the new flowers into the original bottle and cover with the oil from your jug. Now repeat the process as before: leave in a sunny spot and give a good shake daily. Check on the scent of your oil after a week or so. You can drain and add new flowers as you wish to get the desired strength. When you are happy with your oil keep it in a dark cupboard to preserve it's shelf life, and it can be decanted into smaller bottles to make great gifts.

Lavender oil can be used to soothe itchy skin, aid sleep or just as a massage or bath oil. It can be used on pot pourri or even be sprinkled onto bicarbonate soda, which is then scattered on the carpet before hoovering to scent your home.

Wiss has been waking during the night with really bad growing pains recently, so it was suggested that a massage before bed with lavender oil could help. The lavender will help to relax the muscles as well as helping Wiss to sleep more deeply, and the massage will soothe and stretch his legs. We are yet to try out our new oil so can't say if it helps but I am looking forward to incorporating the massage into our bedtime routine and think it will be a great way for us both to relax and reconnect at the end of a busy day (especially once school starts!)

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