While rosemary essential oil can be purchased through specialty stores and online, it is fun and easy to make your own version at home. Rosemary can be easily purchased or even grown at home, making it a great money saving alternative to purchasing oils. Making essential oils at home can turn into a fun hobby that is beneficial for the entire family. A fresh bottle of homemade rosemary oil even makes a great gift, especially for anyone who loves to cook. This oil is a great ingredient for salad dressings, marinades or as a sauteing liquid.
Keep in mind that no homemade oil is as potent as a purchased oil. This is because it is near impossible to duplicate the complicated process with at home materials. As long as you use quality ingredients and are patient, your homemade oil will be strong enough to use just as you would a commercially produced version. Always follow safety guides when working with any essential oil, purchased or homemade.
What You Will Need
It is very important to make sure that all of your materials are clean and sterile, otherwise your final oil product may spoil. If you have a sanitizing option on your dishwasher, sanitize your glass bottles. If you don’t have this option, consider boiling the bottles to ensure that there will be no risk of the oil developing bacteria.
Try to use fresh rosemary. If you use the herb dried, there will be very little rosemary oil present in your final product. If you are harvesting from your own garden, pick the rosemary in the morning hours, after any dew has evaporated but before the afternoon sun gets too warm. If you are purchasing your rosemary, look for the freshest and healthiest looking leaves. Avoid any wilted or brown rosemary sprigs.
-Large Glass Container
This is what you will make the oil in so make sure that it is big enough to hold all of the rosemary and oil. It should also have a tight fitting lid. You can use an old food container as long as it has been cleaned thoroughly and is made of glass. A canning jar would be ideal.
Olive oil is recommended for making rosemary oil, especially if you will be using it frequently in your cooking, but any carrier oil will do. Make sure that its scent doesn’t mix strangely with the smell of the rosemary, which is quite strong on its own.
-Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
A cheesecloth is ideal but a coffee filter will do in a pinch. You can use a regular mesh strainer as well as long as the slots are small enough that the rosemary will not be able to pass through.
-Dark Glass Bottle
This is what you will be storing your essential oil in. They store best in dark glass and will stay fresher longer this way. Try to use one with an eyedropper attached to the lid to make distribution easier. Be cautious if using a bottle that previously held a different essential oil. It can be difficult to completely clean the bottle and remove all the residue and fragrance from the previous oil, which can affect the new oil that will be placed in it.
Wash your fresh rosemary well and allow it to completely dry.. Place in a jar, filling it up about halfway, and fill up the rest of the jar with olive oil. Give the jar a little shake and place in a safe spot where it will receive enough sunlight to warm up a bit. A sun-room or the kitchen windowsill is a great option. Let the jar sit for about a month, remembering to shake the jar on occasion. The jar may sit for longer but keep an eye out that the rosemary leaves don’t begin to change, increasing the risk for spoiled oil.
After the soaking time has passed, open the jar and begin to strain the mixture. You will want to not only remove all of the rosemary leaves but also try and get all of the oil off of them before throwing them away. Once the straining has been completed, the oil that is left is your essential oil. Transfer the oil to a dark glass bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
If you would like to make a stronger oil, don’t bottle up your essential oil just yet. Instead, start with another fresh batch of rosemary and repeat the process, using your essential oil as part of your carrier oil. This can be repeated several times, leaving you with a stronger oil after the end of each batch. This is an ideal method for when making the oil for cosmetic uses, especially for hair stimulation.
If you are short on time, you can try a sped up version of this method. You will need plenty of rosemary though. After washing the rosemary, add it to a slow cooker and cover with olive oil. Turn the cooker on low and let it sit for as long as possible but at least five hours. Strain and store as previously described. Your final product will not be as potent but is a great option if you are using your oil in the kitchen.
You can try to make your own oil blend by adding a few other ingredients. Try adding a bay leaf, which will work great with the rosemary in the kitchen. Oregano, sage and fennel are also great options to try that will add a twist to your rosemary oil.
Your rosemary oil should be used within six months. Try adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to extend the life of your the oil, if you are using cosmetically. If you are using the oil for cooking, feel free to store it in a decorative glass container to store on your kitchen counter. Just check the oil before each use to make sure that it has not spoiled.