How to Make Your Own Essential Oil from Flowers in Your Garden

herbs and oil bottles
(Image credit: botamochi)

If you're like most people, you love the smell and appearance of flowers blooming in your garden. But flowers aren't just pretty to look at. They also offer medicinal benefits that can help improve your skin and overall health. One of the most effective ways to reap the health benefits of flowers is through the use of essential oils.

Essential oils are volatile oils extracted from herbs, flowers, and other plants. They are potent and highly concentrated. Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat a number of different ailments and conditions. They are an age-old remedy that have become popular in recent years.

Making your own essential oils is easier than you think. In fact, you could even make your own essential oil from flowers and herbs in your garden. We're going to talk about how to make rose, rose geranium, and lavender essential oil.

How to Make Rose Oil

Stop and smell the roses. Rose essential oil contains several therapeutic components that can help you fight acne, slow down the aging process, and improve mood.

Rose essential oil consists of the concentrated essences of rose hips and petals. It is a highly sought-after oil because of its timeless, floral scent. Cleopatra was said to have used rose and jasmine scents to seduce the Roman politician Mark Antony.

To make your own rose oil, spread four cups of fresh rose petals and hips out on a 12-inch by 12-inch muslin cloth. Avoid using rose petals that are wilted or bruised.

Wrap the muslin cloth up like a sack around the rose petals and hips and secure it with a rubber band. Place the sack into a 16-ounce jar containing organic carrier oil.

For the best results, use rose hip carrier oil. If you can't find that, coconut carrier oil is a good alternative.

Use a potato masher to apply pressure to the sack, bruise the contents, and help draw out the essential oils.

Secure the lid of the jar and place it in a cool, dark place for two weeks. After two weeks, open the jar and smash the sack again with the potato masher to extract more of the rose essences. Remove the sack from the jar and squeeze it to extract as much oil as you can.

Replace the contents of the muslin sack with another four cups of fresh rose petals and hips and repeat the same process. Discard the used rose petals and hips.

Do this a total of four to five times, leaving the sack in the same carrier oil solution for two weeks at a time. The final result will be a rich, rose-infused essential oil.

How to Make Rose Geranium Oil

Not to be confused with rose essential oil, rose geranium essential oil has a rose-like aroma and is often used as a substitute for rose oil but it comes from a different plant. Rose geranium isn't actually a rose at all. It is a perennial shrub. The leaves of the shrub are used to make essential oil.

Rose geranium is commonly used to treat poor circulation, PMS, and stress. It is also known for minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, tightening facial skin, and slowing down the effects of aging.

To make your own rose geranium oil, you first need to collect five handfuls of rose geranium leaves.

The best time to harvest the leaves is just before the plants flower, up until the time the flowers are partially open. Harvest the leaves before the sun is up and just after the dew has dried. Rinse the leaves to remove dirt and bugs and leave them out to dry. 

Place the leaves into a wide-mouth 500 ml. glass jar and add about two cups of an unscented carrier oil like sunflower or jojoba, until the leaves are covered. Use a wooden spoon to press down the leaves and ensure that they are submerged.

Close the jar and shake it to mix the ingredients. Leave the jar in a warm place for a week, avoiding direct sunlight.

After a week, place a funnel into a clean glass jar and line it with four layers of cheesecloth. Pour the leaves and oil into the cheesecloth-lined funnel. Make sure that no plant matter stays in the oil because it can cause the oil to sour.

How to Make Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is the most commonly used essential oil today. It is a versatile oil with powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, and anti-depressive qualities.

Gentle enough for most people to apply directly to the skin, lavender oil can be used to help prevent and treat breakouts. Lavender is also anti-inflammatory, so it can be used to reduce redness, blotching, and dark age spots. Because it is rich in antioxidants, lavender protects the skin from damaging free radicals and prevents aging.

To make your own lavender oil from fresh lavender, put two to four cups of fresh lavender flowers into a large glass jar. You can also include cut up lavender leaves and stems but fresh lavender flowers are more fragrant.

Fill the container with your chosen carrier oil, such as jojoba or sunflower oil, completely covering the plant material and leaving about a half an inch (1.27 cm) of free space. 

Put the lid back on and place the jar in a warm place, avoiding direct sunlight. Allow the jar to sit at least 48 hours. Shake the jar up periodically to mix the contents.

Use a cheesecloth to strain out the plant material into another jar. Repeat this process two to three times, until you achieve the desired potency. Store the finished oil in a dark, glass bottle in a cool, dark place.

To make the oil stronger, repeat this process of infusing a fresh batch of leaves in the oil several times.

How to Use Your Homemade Essential Oil

Your homemade essential oil infused with flower essences can be used in a multitude of ways. You can use it as massage oil, add it to your bath or foot bath, use it to scent potpourri or a sachet, or even add it to your own homemade beauty products, such as soap or lotion. Apply the oil directly to the skin to treat various ailments, like rashes, bug bites, and sunburnt skin.