Lavender Body Oil
Craft a wonderfully fragrant infused oil with just a few simple products you already have at home.
Photography: Gabriela Herman
Source: Martha Stewart Living, July/August 2014
Lavender is perhaps best known for its calming and relaxing properties. In addition to its use in aromatherapy, lavender is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and soothes headaches, bug bites, and skin irritations. It's the perfect ingredient for an infused oil to soothe sore muscles and irritated skin all while providing a scent that will relax both mind and body.
If you're growing lavender at home, cut the spikes in bunches—it makes it easier for the drying process. You can then tie bunches together using thick rubber bands. Dry lavender by hanging bunches upside down in a cool, dry, dark place for two to three weeks. (You can make a drying rack by installing hooks in the ceiling and attaching a single row of chain link to the hooks. Then, you can use paper clips to fasten your bunches to the chain link.) Once you have harvested and dried your flowers, store them in an airtight container. If you are using the lavender for body products like this body oil, place in air-tight freezer bags and store in the freezer until you are ready to use them. If you harvest lavender from the garden before sunrise and do not cut spikes too close to the plant, you can encourage new growth throughout the season.
Shelf life is between one and two years, depending on the carrier oil used.
Bottles or jars with lids
Place 1/2 cup dried lavender in a bottle. Pour in 2 cups oil, stopping just shy of top (to allow for expansion of lavender as it rehydrates). Stir with chopstick. Secure lid on bottle and leave in a warm, well-lit spot for 6 weeks, shaking bottle periodically.
When ready to use, place cheesecloth over mouth of bottle. Strain out lavender, then pour oil into second bottle.