Herbal Oils – A Complete Guide

Herbal oils – An Introduction

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal practise that focuses on the use of natural herbs and plants for preventing and treating various health issues. It’s also a part of the traditional Indian medicinal practise, the Ayurveda.

Herbal oils or herb infused oils are one of the agents used in ayurvedic treatment. Single or various combinations of herbs are added to carrier oils to prepare herbal oils. The healing properties of the herbs are infused in the oil. Special herbal oils can be prepared for treating and managing skin and hair conditions. Herbal oils are also used as home remedies for treating a number of ailments.


Herbal oils – An Introduction
What is the best oil for infusing herbs?
What are the benefits of herbal oils?
How long does herb infused oil last?
Best herbs to infuse in oil for skin
  Carrier oils that are good for skin
  Best herbs for preparing herbal oils for skin
  Herbal skin oils that you can prepare at home
Best herbs to infuse in oil for hair
  Carrier oils that are good for hair
  Best herbs for use in herbal oils for hair
  Herbal hair oils that you can prepare at home
How to make herbal oils?
Tips to keep in mind while preparing herbal oils
How to store herbal oils?
Herbal hair oil price

What is the best oil for infusing herbs?

The oil in which we infuse the herbs is known as carrier oil. While selecting carrier oils, it’s best to go for oils that are locally produced rather than select exotic oils not sourced from your region. The carrier oil also depends on your body type. Ayurveda classifies body types into vata (dry), kapha (oily), and pitta (overheated /sensitive).

The best oils for infusing herbs for

  • Vata – Bhringraj, almond, avocado, sesame
  • Pitta – Coconut, castor, ghee, sunflower, olive
  • Kapha – Mustard, sunflower, safflower, canola

What are the benefits of herbal oils?

  • Herbal oils are prepared using natural materials and don’t have any harmful chemicals.
  • They’re eco friendly
  • Herbal oils have no harmful side effects. However, it’s recommended to do a patch test to ensure that you’re not sensitive to the oil
  • These oils treat from the root of the issue, giving you long-lasting results
  • Herbal oils are easy to make and quite affordable in the long run

How long does herb infused oil last?

The shelf life of an herbal oil depends on the ingredients that you’ve used in the oil. On average, the shelf life is from 3 months to one year. If you use fresh herbs or fruits in the oil, then they may get cloudy in a month or so. Using dried herbs, powders or essential oils could give the herbal oils a longer shelf life.

Best herbs to infuse in oil for skin

Get healthy and glowing skin with regular use of herbal skin oils. These natural oils nourish your skin from inside to reduce the effects of aging and enhance skin elasticity and suppleness. You can prepare herbal skin oils using the right blend of herbs and carrier oil depending on the results that you are looking for.

Carrier oils that are good for skin

  • Coconut oil – It softens and smoothens the skin
  • Almond oil – It’s great for dry skin as it thoroughly hydrates the skin. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties and repairs sun damage
  • Castor oil – It’s beneficial for treating sun burnt skin
  • Sesame oil – It reduces the effect of hyperpigmentation and tanning
  • Olive oil – It moisturises and nourishes the skin. Plus, it protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays
  • Neem oil – It’s used to treat acne and fungal infections. This oil also improves skin elasticity and makes your skin look supple and younger
  • Shea butter – It deep moisturises your skin

Best herbs for preparing herbal oils for skin

  • Lavender – It soothes skin inflammation, reduces wrinkles and treats acne
  • Lemon grass – Its antiseptic properties help combat skin infections. It also detoxifies the skin and removes oil and dirt build up
  • Cinnamon – It helps remove dead skin cells and moisturises the skin. It also reduces itching caused due to rashes, dry skin and inflammation
  • Tea tree – It reduces acne and skin breakouts
  • Peppermint – It has antibacterial properties and helps combat skin infections and acnes.
  • Bergamot – The oil obtained from bergamot roots have antibacterial properties and help reduce acne and related skin problems
  • Rose Hip Seed – It hydrates the skin and improves texture
  • Rose – It contains vitamin C and E that nourish your skin. It also hydrates the skin, making it supple. Frankincense – Its anti-aging properties make your skin look younger.

Herbal skin oils that you can prepare at home

  1. Coconut oil + honey + apple cider vinegar + tea tree oil face mask

    Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 3 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 20 drops of tea tree oil. Pour the blended oil mix in a bottle and store it in a clean dry place.

    This clear face mask offers a natural remedy for pimples, acnes and eczema. It also soothes sunburns. Apply this herbal oil mix to your face and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Wash with cool water.

  2. Coconut oil + peppermint oil foot scrub

    Foot calluses and cracks look ugly and can get painful. This homemade foot scrub helps soften the rough feet and moisturises the dry skin of your feet.

    Take about 125 grams of virgin coconut oil in a glass jar with lid. Add ¼ kilogram of powdered sugar. To this mix, add 5 to 10 dry mint leaves and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.

    Coconut oil softens and moisturises the skin. It also has anti-fungal properties.

    Peppermint essential oil has a soothing and cooling effect, which will help relax your feet muscles

    Sugar acts as a scrub that removes the dead cells and dirt

  3. Lavender +Aloe vera face mask

    Mix a few drops of Lavender essential oil in a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and apply it on your face for about 20 minutes. Wash with cool water. This herbal mix helps reduce skin discoloration and skin irritation. It helps revive your original skin tone.

Best herbs to infuse in oil for hair

Herbal hair oils add health and shine to your hair. The herbs in the oil nourish the hair from the root follicles, making them long and strong. Herbal hair oils can be easily prepared at home by adding selected herbs and essential oils to carrier oils.

Carrier oils that are good for hair

  • Coconut oil – It nourishes your hair from the root and prevents dandruff.
  • Sesame oil – It’s rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and nourishes your hair from the roots. Plus, sesame oil softens the hair and makes it more manageable.
  • Mustard oil – This oil prevents premature greying of hair.

Best herbs for use in herbal oils for hair

  • Brahmi – It aids hair growth
  • Hibiscus (shoe flower) – It stimulates hair follicles and improves hair growth
  • Amla or gooseberry – It contains many antioxidants and strengthens hair strands from the root
  • Aloe vera – The gel from the leaf helps moisturise dry scalp and improve hair growth
  • Holy basil – It prevents growth of dandruff and itching caused due to hormonal changes
  • Fenugreek – It reduces hair loss and increases hair volume
  • Gotu ka – It increases blood circulation in the scalp and improves hair growth

Herbal hair oils that you can prepare at home

  1. Sesame oil + Lime herbal oil

    Take about 1 litre of sesame oil and the juice of one medium-sized lime. Heat the sesame oil till it starts frothing. Slowly add lime juice to the hot oil. Let it cool and pour it into a bottle.

    Sesame oil softens and conditions your hair while lime strengthens the hair and makes it more lustrous.

  2. Coconut oil + curry leaves + neem leaves + fenugreek seeds + hibiscus

    Grind curry leaves, neem leaves, hibiscus petals and soaked fenugreek seeds. Add the ground paste to coconut oil and heat in a low flame for about half an hour. Cool, filter and bottle.

    Coconut oil moisturises and conditions your hair while the neem leaves help prevent any scalp infection. Curry leaves prevent premature greying of hair. Hibiscus flowers strengthen the roots of your hair and soften the hair strands.

How to make herbal oils?

The common methods used for preparing herbal oils are:

Low heating

In this method, you need to add all the ingredients to the carrier oil and heat it over a low flame.

Solar infusion

Take a glass jar and fill it with the carrier oil. Add all the ingredients required to prepare the herbal oil to the oil in the jar. Place this glass jar in direct sunlight or near a window (depends on the type of herbal oil). After a few days in sunlight, the herbs release their essence into the oil.

Countertop method

Add all the herbs in a glass jar. Pour the carrier oil into the jar such that it’s about an inch higher than the top layer of herbs. Close the lid of the jar and leave it on a shelf or a countertop. You should shake the jar every day. After around 4 weeks, strain the oil using a cheese cloth, squeezing out excess oil from the herbs.

Slow cooker method

You will need a slow cooker to prepare herbal oil using this method. Add the herbs and the oil into a glass jar and tightly close the lid. Place a small towel at the bottom of the slow cooker and place the jar(s) inside the cooker. Fill the cooker to three-fourth with water. Set it on low heat for up to 12 hours. Strain the oil into another bottle.

Must-haves for preparing herbal oils

Make sure you have these items handy when you are planning to prepare herbal oils at home.

  • Glass, amber and ceramic jars with lid
  • Funnel
  • Cheese cloth or muslin cloth

Collect all the ingredients before you start preparing the herbal oil. Remember to keep tissues or hand cloths nearby to mop up any oil spills.

Tips to keep in mind while preparing herbal oils

  • Wear gloves while straining oil as it can get messy. Sometimes, the colour of the oil may stain your hands and the stains can be difficult to remove.
  • You may not be able to reuse the cheese cloth after straining once, so stock up on cheese cloths for straining.
  • You can prepare the second infusion by adding the herbs left from the first infusion to some more oil. However, the herb concentration will be less in the second infusion than the first infusion.
  • Do a patch test of the oil before using it on your skin or hair.
  • If the infused herbal oil needs to be kept away from sunlight, cover it with a brown paper.
  • Sometimes, herbs may float to the top of the oil or start to decay or mould. In such cases, simply remove them and reseal the bottle.

How to store herbal oils?

  • Use a transparent or amber jar depending on the type of herbal oil that you’re preparing.
  • Sanitize the jars before filling them with oils to remove any odours and contaminants.
  • Always leave about an inch of oil above the herbs to allow for swelling.
  • Tightly close the lid and label the bottle with the name of the herbal oil and date. You can also add ingredients list to the label if you need.
  • Always store the herbal oil in a clean and dry place.
  • A few oils need to be kept away from sunlight. In such cases, use a closed shelf to store the herbal oil.

Herbal hair oil price

The price of the herbal hair oils depends on the carrier oil, herbs and essential oils. Carrier oils are available in a price range of Rs 100 to Rs 1000 per litre. You can buy dried herbs from Ayurveda shops. Their price depends on the type of herb. However, if you grow herbs at home, then you can dry them and use them, which will reduce the cost incurred. Plus, you can be assured of the quality of the oil. Essential oils are a tad expensive. The cost of pure essential oils starts at around Rs 200 for 10 ml. However, you may have to use just a few drops for each batch of herbal oil you prepare. Most essential oils have a shelf life of up to 2 years. So, they are worth the price.


Nature offers a wealth of healing herbs and oils. These natural herbal oils give you long-lasting results with minimal or no side effects. Moreover, these oils are safe for your body and friendly on the environment as well. When we have such miraculous medication from nature, why go for artificial substitutes? You can prepare herbal oil for skin, hair and home remedies right at home itself. Start exploring herbalism and discover astonishing solutions to your hair, skin and body ailments.

Herbal oils from DermisLove give your hair natural care. Each product from DermisLove is a labour of love, passion and ingenuity. They are under the care of proven industry experts using high quality herbal ingredients.

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