Making Macerated Oils

by Penny Price May 10, 2020 3 min read

Making Macerated Oils

Macerated oils are vegetable oils to which other matter, such as herbs, have been added. The base oils commonly used are Olive or Sunflower and the process is quite simple. The verb to macerate comes from Latin macerat- ‘made soft, soaked’. In today's terms it is to make soft by steeping in a liquid. To get the oil-soluble elements, including the volatile molecules, the colour etc from plants that don’t give us EOs. To use herbs and plants we grow in our gardens for use topically or as salad dressings. To help use up any amounts of fixed carriers that may be leftover from ordering in large quantities.

Arnica oil (Arnica Montana)

The flowers of this alpine plant are macerated in organic sunflower to give a macerated oil. It is beneficial to the circulatory system and can be used for angina, tired hearts and coronary artery disease. It is best known for its ability to help bruising and pain. Arnica can be used on its own or mixed with other carrier oil and essential oils. The oil will keep for 2 years in a cool, dark place.

Calendula oil (Calendula officinalis)

Macerating the calendula flowers in sunflower oil produces this carrier oil as the flower heads contain too little essential oil to make distillation commercially viable. Calendula oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and wound healing. It can be used on bedsores, bruises, ulcers, wounds and varicose veins, It is also effective on eczema, dermatitis, rashes and cracked skin.

Hypericum oil (Hypericum perforatum)

Hypericum flower buds are macerated in olive oil to produce rich red oil. Hypericum oil is anti-inflammatory, particularly to inflamed nerves, making it useful for treating neuralgia, sciatica and fibrositis. It is also useful on wounds with nerve tissue damage and is effective on sprains, burns and bruises.


Dried lavender flowers are macerated in grapeseed oil makes a good massage oil, grapeseed is a good massage base and lavender will help with musical aches and pains. Lavender is calming helps with headaches and benefits eczema and acne. Dries Lavender flowers macerate in coconut oil makes a great oil for adding to skincare or used on its own.


Rosebuds macerated in a mix of grapeseed or jojoba. Rose has a pleasant fragrance and is beneficial for the skin and Helps to nourish and regenerate the macerated oil can be also used as ingredient in skincare.


Step 1

The raw material is picked and chopped up which breaks the plant cells releasing the lipophilic molecules (including essential oil compounds).The drier the raw plant material the better

Step 2

This material is put into a base fixed carrier oil and into an airtight container. (Kilner jars are ideal for this) Add 5% wheatgerm to help preserve the oil.

Step 3

This container is then stored in a warm place (traditionally sunny) so windowsills are ideal and frequently stirred for up to three weeks. The sunshine will gently heat the oil and extract many of the plant’s properties.

Step 4

After about 3 weeks you can then strain off and filter the oil. Then put into a fresh jar and label. The oil-soluble elements from the plant material including colour and essential oil compounds are now in the fixed oil base and have created a ready blended massage oil.

Most macerated oils will last up to 2 years if kept airtight. These oils can be used like any other carrier oil when strained i.e. added to creams or used as bath oils/ applied topically.


Penny Price
Penny Price

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