How to Make Lavender Oil

Updated on November 12, 2019
Suzie HQ profile image

Suzanne is a qualified beautician and has worked for many leading fragrance houses over the years.

How to Make Lavender Oil at Home
How to Make Lavender Oil at Home | Source

The Beauty of the Lavender Plant

The aromatic and visually breathtaking lavender plant is one that I have grown up with as far back as I can remember. The long, slender stems of purple, blue, pink and white hues flowing in the gentlest summer breeze grew in great quantities in our garden and provided a very dramatic Mediterranean feel.

Grown for medicinal and decorative reasons, lavender is the best example of a multi-purpose plant there is. Its distinctive heady aroma is instantly recognisable. Beauty lotions, creams, gels, soaps, incense sticks, insect repellent, potpourri, oil burners and candles are just some of the many popular cosmetic and beauty products that feature this medicinal and aromatic plant thanks to its numerous therapeutic benefits. It is widely used and available in many other forms.

Practical Uses for Lavender

  • essential oil
  • infusion
  • extract
  • tincture
  • tea
  • dried

Source

The History of Lavender

Lavender is a member of the mint family and classified as an herb with 25 to 30 known flowering species. Native to the Mediterranean countries, it can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans who both used it to scent their bathing water. It is believed the word 'lavender' stems from the Latin word lavo, meaning to wash. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Arabs and Phoenicians were known to use lavender in their traditional mummification of the dead and in perfumes.

The Arabs are credited with spreading the domestic plant through Europe—with conquerors and voyagers during this period, it is believed that the plant was reintroduced to France, Italy, England and Spain. It was not until the 17th century that lavender made its way into the Americas with the pilgrims.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lavender in bloom.A pop of colour.Lavender BloomLavender Fields
Lavender in bloom.
Lavender in bloom. | Source
A pop of colour.
A pop of colour. | Source
Lavender Bloom
Lavender Bloom | Source
Lavender Fields
Lavender Fields | Source

Lavender Essential Oils vs. Infusions

Firstly, there are two types of lavender oil: essential oil and infused oil. Another product made with the flowers of the plant is lavender water.

Essential Oil

This oil is primarily extracted from the flowers of the plant through the distillation process. This is not recommended for the home gardener as the quantities of flowers needed to produce a small amount of oil is vast. Essential oils are primarily produced in large quantities by commercial growers and end up in perfumes, oils and cosmetics. English lavender, in particular, Norfolk lavender, is reputed to be the best producer in the world. Fields upon fields of stunning flowers grow here and are well worth a visit.

Infused Oil

These oils are easy to make at home, requiring no distillation process and only two ingredients. The oil can be used in many beneficial beauty applications such as in massage oil, bath oil, body moisturiser and hair treatments. If you grow lavender, an infusion is the best way of utilizing your flowers into a multi-purpose product.

Aromatic Water

This product is produced by combining lavender oil with alcohol and additives. Through the centuries, this was used as a restorative tonic to combat fatigue, giddiness and fainting.

Lavender Allergy

Caution should always be taken when using lavender in any form if an allergy is suspected. Medical advice should be sought before using this herb.

This shows the distillation equipment that is at the Norfolk Lavender farm and nursery for making essential oils.
This shows the distillation equipment that is at the Norfolk Lavender farm and nursery for making essential oils. | Source

How to Make Lavender-Infused Oil

Ingredients

  • A large bundle of lavender
  • Good-quality oil (olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil)

Note: Amounts will vary depending on the size of the glass jar or container that is used.

Supplies

  • 2 glass jars with lids
  • Cling film (saran wrap or food wrap)
  • 1 rubber band
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Mesh sieve (for later)

Instructions

  1. Sitting at a table, lay down a sheet of newspaper or about three attached sheets of paper towels.
  2. Start removing all the flowers and leaves by holding the plant between your thumb and index finger and gently running along the stem.
  3. When you have removed all the flowers and leaves, lightly crush them to release the oil.
  4. Fill your clean glass jar with the flowers and leaves nearly to the top of the jar.
  5. Pour in the oil until the flowers are covered.
  6. Cover the top with a lid OR use cling film and place it over the top and secure it with a rubber band.
  7. Leave the jar for at least two weeks, shaking daily to mix the blended oil. A month is recommended for maximum infusion.
  8. Pour contents into a mesh sieve, and using the back of a large spoon, press the oil through into the second glass jar. The oil in your jar is now ready to keep and use.

Additional Tips

  • Recycle any used glass jars in the kitchen for this project.
  • Gift this to friends, family members or work colleagues for special occasions.
  • Stir the oil once a week to infuse the lavender more evenly.
  • Consider making your own fresh, dried lavender for infusions.

Dried Lavender
Dried Lavender | Source

Culinary Use

Lavender is popularly used in cooking and offers exceptional flavour to dishes and desserts. Care must be taken to use the herb in tiny amounts for flavouring due to its highly pronounced fragrance and taste which can be easily overdone, rendering the dish overwhelming to the senses.

Popular Lavender-Infused Foods

Biscuits
Garnish
Herb Blends
Cookies
Bread
Ice Cream
Desert
Vinegar
Stew
Jellies
Sorbet
Salad
A lemon-lavender bread loaf using the edible flowers.
A lemon-lavender bread loaf using the edible flowers. | Source

Medicinal Use

Lavender has analgesic, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties and may be used to reduce the following:

  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Rheumatism
  • Migraine headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Acne
  • Damaged hair
  • Head lice
  • Scalp infections

Household Use

Lavender can be used for a variety of household applications:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dried lavender has many uses and can be incorporated into potpourri or sachets and can neutralize pet odours.Dried Lavender
Dried lavender has many uses and can be incorporated into potpourri or sachets and can neutralize pet odours.
Dried lavender has many uses and can be incorporated into potpourri or sachets and can neutralize pet odours. | Source
Dried Lavender
Dried Lavender | Source

Fun Facts and Trivia

  1. Bulgaria is the world’s biggest producer of lavender oil.
  2. Queen Victoria of England requested that her furniture be polished with a lavender solution.
  3. Lavender was used in water to bathe the wounds of soldiers during World War I.
  4. Used during the Bubonic Plague, glove makers would scent leather with the flowers as it was said to ward off the plague.
  5. Cleopatra is thought to have seduced Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony with a lavender-infused perfume.
  6. The Romans used to scent their linens with the flowers.
  7. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse (1881–1950), a French chemist, was the founder of aromatherapy of which lavender plays a major part in.
  8. Irish brides traditionally wore a garter of lavender to ward off witchcraft.
  9. Rubbing yourself with a drop of lavender is claimed to entice suitors.
  10. English and French lavender is reported to be the best in the world.
  11. The lavender plant does not have seeds.

Rows of Flowers
Rows of Flowers | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Suzanne Ridgeway

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    • profile image

      sarabjeet kaur 

      8 months ago

      nice blog

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Cathy!

      Hard to beat Lavender fragrance and peppermint is lovely too!! Delighted you enjoyed this and have pinned! Hope you give it a try, as a fan of lavender it is ideal for you!! Thanks Cathy for stopping by!! :-)

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 

      7 years ago from NJ

      Lavender and pepperment are my two favorite essential oil, I never go out without them.

      Thanks for the lavender oil recipe and such a beautiful post.

      Another one to pin for future reference.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vox vocis,

      Thanks very much for your comments and visit. Glad to hear your a fan of lavender, your handmade soaps sound divine! Appreciate you voting up!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 

      7 years ago

      I had no idea that Bulgaria was the world’s biggest producer of lavender oil, either, and I'm surprised that English lavender is thought to be the best considering it's not even native to England. Dried lavender flowers and lavender essential oil are my favorites against clothing moths and in making handmade soap. Voted up!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan!

      Great to hear you enjoyed this! I love Lavender and making the infused oil is so easy so hopefully you will be giving it a go! Appreciate your votes and pin on this, thanks so much!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      Voted up, interesting and beautiful! Lavender is one of my favorite scents and all your info here is fascinating. I had no idea that the largest producer is Bulgaria. I have always thought it was France. I bet my house would smell good if I tried to do this. Thanks for a great hub. Pinned.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Oh Paula, I hadtears in my eyes with the laughing! You are something else! Brilliant history lesson of St Pat, Christy and the Native Americans all enjoying a tipple or 2 of the black stuff! What an interesting dinner party guest list that would make!! Thanks for the connection clarification!!! :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      For the love of St Patrick! What the hell was I thinking when I wished you a happy thanksgiving!? I have such a time with those History lessons!.......

      But I do remember now......Christopher Columbus and his men wound up shipwrecked in Ireland the fist time out......right? They trekked on in to the first pub they came to and never did discover a thing except some mighty hefty hang overs.......yes, it's all coming back to me now.....

      They loaded back onto their trusty ships, each with a case of Guinness....and eventually found that damned elusive Plymouth Rock, where the American Indians had dinner waiting and were most appreciative for the GUINNESS, so they called it Thanksgiving Day! Thank you for jogging my memory!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Paula, my good buddy!

      How are things in NY - cold no doubt! Thanks for popping over here, thrilled you enjoyed and learnt something. Lavender is wonderful in breads, biscuits, cakes even drinks! Use sparingly as it can overpower if used in high quantities. Candles of lavender I too love and have one Mike gave me actually so I will be lighting it soon for Christmas. Many thanks for your comments, you have a great thanksgiving. Even though we don't celebrate it, my thoughts and good wishes go to all my US friends who do!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Suzie....Lavender.....one of the most peasant and relaxing fragrances of all......I had NO idea it had culinary uses!...You have taught me something. Thank you.

      I keep a lavender Candle in my bedroom at all times....

      Have a great Thanksgiving Suz!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi roc6,

      Many thanks for stopping by, lovely to hear of a white lavender owner. It is usually the purple varieties that are most widely known.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      Lovely to see you and I am very glad you found this useful. Do give it a go it is so easy but so fragrant and good for you! Now is a good time if you are thinking of gifts too and happen to have lavender growing now. Here it is gone for another season unfortunately!

    • roc6 profile image

      Rose 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Thank you interesting hub, I even have a white lavender bush, smells similar to the normal lavender.

    • Mary Merriment profile image

      Mary Roark 

      7 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      Awesome! I've always wanted to make my own lavender oil. Thank you for all the great lavender information and for the simple table top recipe for making lavender oil.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi tipoague,

      Great to have you visit and for your lovely comments! Hope you give the oil a try to using other flowers and herbs as alternatives is easy too. Appreciate your support!! :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vespa!

      So glad you enjoyed this, it is hard not to like lavender and I can imagine some fabulicious recipes coming from your kitchen including lavender! Infusing oil is easy if you have some quantity of the flowers and a bit of patience. Many thanks again for the interview!! Appreciate all your support and enthusiasm as always my friend!!

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 

      7 years ago from USA

      I have always wanted to know how to make my own Lavender oil. Thanks for sharing this information. I will be sure to use it in the future. Great job!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      7 years ago from Peru, South America

      What a great idea! Lavender is one of my favorites, and I often use the essential oil. How great to have instructions for infusing olive oil. The history of lavender is also fascinating. Thanks for another great one, Suzanne! Now I need to catch up on your other hubs. You're publishing faster than I can read! : )

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Eddy,

      Many thanks for the read and lovely comment. Your support, votes and shares are so appreciated! :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi joanveronica,

      What lovely comments to receive, thank you most sincerely! I love Lavender and it seems to have followed me to the different homes I have lived in. The amazing benefits are long and I have used it to help my migrane attacks, in particular, which can be severe. Appreciate all your votes and sharing, have a good day in Concepcion!! :-)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      7 years ago from Wales

      What a wonderful hub which I vote across/up and share.

      Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      7 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      This should definitely be HOTD! So beautiful, also well written and well presented! In every place I have lived that had a garden, we would always plant lavender. I love this plant! Voted up, ABI. Also shared! Have a good day!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Irc7815,

      Many many thanks for your lovely comments, it is great to know you enjoyed so much!

      Yes, Lavender is definitely a head turner on many levels for me too! I am thrilled you enjoyed the photos used and found Bill's site. Had to link it here it was so appropriate and he is an awesome friend. Appreciating all your great words, votes and shares you made my day by calling this YOUR hub of the day!! :-)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      7 years ago from Central Virginia

      Lavender, lavender, lavender, everywhere lavender and I am in lavender heaven with this hub. Beautiful photos, packed with ideas for lavenders usefulness, and right in the middle, a link to my friend Bill's site that he had kept hidden from me. This is my favorite hub of the day and I will share, share, share.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vocalcoach,

      So glad you stopped by! Delighted you found so many interesting facts on Lavender. I am a big fan too!

      Hope you will be trying out your own DIY oil with it. Appreciate your kind comments, votes and shares so much. many thanks!! :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Lavender is a scent I can't live without. When I looked at the title of your hub, I had to investigate. I'm so glad I did as I have learned some interesting facts about lavender and how to make an oil. And your layout is excellent with the beautiful photos. I'll be back soon to visit, meanwhile voting up and across with some sharing. Thanks so much!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi tillsontitan!

      Your very kind, thanks soooo much for your lovely comments! Lavender is a plant I love for many reasons. I used to love seeing it come into bloom and the smell wafting through the air. Hopefully you will get to plant it again. Appreciate your welcome votes and shares, cheers!!:-)

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi randomcreative,

      Thanks very much for the visit and glad you found interesting! Lavender is definitely one little flower that packs a punch!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      You picked a beautiful plant to write about and you more than did it justice. You covered it so well with all your facts, trivia, oil recipe and breathtaking photos! I had lavender growing for a while but it got trampled and disappeared...now I know I want to plant it again. Great job.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and sharing.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had no idea that there were so many uses for lavender. What a comprehensive resource!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carter!

      Lovely to have you stop by! Thanks sincerely for those wonderful comments, glad you enjoyed this as a lavender fan! Appreciate all your votes, shares tweets . . . It makes all the writing and head scratching at times so worthwhile when I know it has been well received. Many thanks again Carter! :-)

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 

      7 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Gosh Suzie your photos are spectacular!!! Love Lavender & this well written beautiful hub about it's uses...VUUABI, shared & tweeted...

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      hi Bill,

      Well I had to do a hub for my 2 Bill's, didn't I?? LOL . . .

      Thanks so much for the lovely comments, I must go and do that!! Forgot it could be used in every hub. Appreciate your kind words on the layout etc . . . Glad you are finding appealing! Lavender is such a special little herb I'm not surprised you got hooked after seeing the farm in the San Juan island!!

      Appreciate your votes, shares and constant support - you are truly a great inspiration.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      LOL, thought you must have missed it (bloody charming, you write a hub on a topic you KNOW will interest your major fan in Olympia . . . and whada know! He doesn't even SEE IT) Glad it was ok to use. Thanks for brightening my Weds morning!!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      LOL . . . all true I have to say though!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Suzie. Now lavender is definitely something I can relate to. Love it. Years ago we stumbled onto a great lavender farm out in the San Juan Island of Washington and we were hooked. Did not realize that it had so many medicinal uses.

      Your hubs have always been top notch but you are taking things to a new level, this is just fantastic. Love the layout, the pictures, everything. You should add the rating capsule so it can be entered into the contest. Bill H. enlightened me to this a week back.

      Congrats, great job, VU, sharing, etc......

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      OMG...Suzie I didn't even notice the link to my site. I'm so sorry for spacing out...thank you for that kind gesture! I am so dense some days.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Too funny! Love it and it is perfect!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Hope the link was ok to your site! Would you believe I looked at your products sometime ago and when I was thinking of a title . .you were the inspiration for the hub!!! TRUE STORY.

      Hope it went down well!! Appreciate your loyalty as ever my friend!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well my dear, you finally stepped in it this time. I'll have you know that Bev and I make our own lavender oil, and other lavender products, through our lavender business. LOL The basic Law of Averages said you were going to write about something I understood sooner or later. :)

      I will go to bed tonight with a huge grin on my face. Great hub in so many ways.

      bill

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