How to Make Rosemary Oil

by Amy Stafford on January 8, 2013

I am at it again!  Using up that Rosemary that keeps on surviving and going and going!  This time I decided to make Rosemary Oil because I have been reading about how wonderful it is to treat respiratory conditions and with us in the swing of flu season I thought it might be nice to have on hand.
Plus I just *LOVE* the smell of Rosemary!   This is a completely simple craft that anyone can do.  All you need is Rosemary, Mason Jars, and bottles to hold oil.  I found 1 ounce glass bottles with droppers at the Container Store for $2.99 each.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary oil is one of the most popular oils. It has become important to us due to its various health benefits including its ability to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity, relieve respiratory problems and reduce pain.
In “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy,” Valerie Ann Worwood writes that the benefits of rosemary include relieving muscle soreness and pain. It also helps treat respiratory conditions, such as the common cold, sinusitis and flu. It also stimulates the central nervous system, thereby affecting the brain and promoting mental clarity, says Patricia Davis in her book, “Aromatherapy, An A to Z.”
How to use your Rosemary Oil:

  • Add two to three drops of rosemary essential oil to your bath water.
  • Add to your body moisturizer.
  • Add to shampoo.
  • Use as an oil for massage (Think Valentines day)
  • For flavoring food (breads and pizza dough)  I found an amazing recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread from the Prudent Homemaker
Directions:
  • Cut enough fresh rosemary to fill your Mason jar.Wash the rosemary in water, and allow to completely dry
  • Pack the clean Mason jar with the clean rosemary.
  • Fill the jar with olive oil, until the rosemary is completely covered. Secure the lid on the jar.
  • Place the jar in a sunny window for about a month (with the Holidays mine sat a little longer)
  • Strain the infused oil into a clean jar. Throw away the pieces of rosemary plant that have been separated from the oil during the straining.
How to Make Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Fill 1 ounce bottles with eye dropper
  • Print custom labels to place on your bottle and give that personal touch.  I found these two different labels on My Own Labels
  • Keep Rosemary Oil for yourself, or give to a friend.  Place in a basket of goodies that you give your sweetie this Valentines, with a free coupon for a massage.  I found these cute DIY love coupons you can print off at home from Sarah Hearts.
  • I also found these adorable matchstick coupon books you can buy on line from Rachel Wiles, she gives you the complete instructions on how to make your own.

If you keep bottles tightly closed and out of direct light your oil should last up to 6 months.

FUN FACT:

The Virgin Mary is said to have spread her blue cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting, and the flowers turned blue. The shrub then became known as the ‘Rose of Mary’

Precaution:
Rosemary oil should not be used during pregnancy and is unsuitable for people with epilepsy or high blood pressure. 

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You can usually find me in my garden, the kitchen, at the gym or spending time with my family. I love sharing recipes, gardening and exercise tips and stories of my backyard chickens and beekeeping.
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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Stafford January 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Hey Emma, I have not heard of ravensara oil, but I love the smell of eucalyptus. I hope you try the oil, let me know if you do and how it turns out!!xo amy

Reply

Christie January 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

This is fabulous! I’ve made rosemary infused olive oil for cooking, but it didn’t occur to me that this was essentially (ha) the same thing. Another awesome rosemary use? Simple syrup. I’ve been making rosemary-lavendar simple syrup that is seriously amazing. Add it to fizzy water (or to fizzy water and vodka), and life is good. Thanks for the post – I am definitely going to be doing this!

Reply

Amy Stafford January 14, 2013 at 7:33 am

Hey Ms. Christie, Hope you and your space chicks are doing well :) Rosemary-Lavendar with fizzy water and vodka- genius. I will definitely give it a try! xo Amy

Reply

sara April 13, 2013 at 2:55 am

nice article and great way to make an “infused oil”. but, in the interest of fact and not perpetuating false inf0, this is not how you make an essential oil.

this is an infused oil, which is great for cooking, making salad dressing, bread dips, etc.

essential oils are extracted via steam or water distillation processes where the oil of the herb or other aromatic botanical is extracted and then infused into carrier oils, which can be olive oil or any other vegetable oil of choice. (Essential oils will evaporate.)

It takes tons of the herb to get the precious oil and is why essential oils are rather expensive.

fyi you can see a steam distillation of rosemary – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io-Gv4xeOAg

anyway, just thought you’d like to know. I’m enjoying your website and what you’re doing! God bless!

Reply

Sandra April 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

What you are making is not an essential oil. You are infusing olive oil with rosemary. Essential oils are the pure oils from the plants, they are not mixed with any other oils. When you do that, they are no longer essential oils.

A lot of people get this confused.

Reply

May Loera May 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

So, how can you get the plant to make essential oil or it’s own oil?

Reply

Elizabeth June 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm

You can find a basic guide here:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Essential-Oils

As you’ll see, it’s a far more difficult/involved process than the oil infusion process described in Amy’s blog. To actually produce essential oil from a plant or flower requires a great deal of time, work, and raw material — for example, you need 200 pounds of fresh lavender flowers to create one pound of essential oil, and that’s considered a cheap and relatively easy one. Many other oils are so difficult that thousands of pounds of original plant (translating to millions of individual flowers) are needed to produce one pound of essential oil. That’s just one reason essential oils are expensive, and are typically sold in small bottles. (Also, genuine essential oils have a strong, true scent — only a small amount is needed.)

As others have noted, the instructions Amy provided are for making an oil infusion, but they have nothing to do with essential oil.

Reply

argiro June 18, 2013 at 7:10 am

Hey Amy. i want to ask something. Is the Rosemary essential oil helps to cellulite problems? I red it recently. Thank you for your time.

Reply

Amy Stafford June 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Argiro,
Yes, I have heard that it is good for cellulite. Though it is not scientifically proven, many people say that they have great results using oils. Let me know if you use it and see any results.
Amy

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Kae October 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Would this work with coconut oil? I know coconut oil is very good for the scalp too, so I thought I’d put the two together.

Reply

Amy Stafford October 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Kae, Do you mean mixing the two together to put on the scalp? I wound put it on a small spot first to test. You never know if you will have a reaction, but they are both great for your hair and scalp health.
Amy

Reply

Virtual Virgo November 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I am from Trinidad and Tobabo, as a child my grand-mother used to infuse coconut oil with rosemary when we have a head-cold she would sap the center of our head with the oil, and also rub our chest and back. Be prepared for SNATTY NOSES as the oil draws the cold from the head, definitely no nasal congestion.

Reply

Christina. October 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

http://umaine.edu/publications/4385e/

“Although we do not advise making oil infusions with fresh additives at home, refrigerating this kind of oil infusion immediately after preparation will reduce your risk. Refrigeration will slow bacteria growth. Refrigeration will also slow the process by which oils go rancid. After one month, the number of bacteria in the product can become a food-safety hazard and it should be thrown away.”

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Suzanne Appel January 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Thanks Amy! I have my mason jar with rosemary sitting in my window. I can’t wait until 2/21 when I can start testing it in my soaps! I’ve heard crock pot process can make extraction quicker. How do you feel about that? Also wanted to ask if you use the Rosemary flowers for anything? I have them drying and was thinking of topping my soap if they don’t turn brown. Thanks for any advice.

Suzanne

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Amy Stafford January 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Suzanne,
I have never used the crock pot process, so I don’t really have an opinion, give it a shot and compare the two at the end of February, it is hard to wait.
I have not used Rosemary flowers, my Rosemary has never flowered. If the flowers dry like Lavender, I would think the process would be the same and they would not brown.
Best, Amy

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Deedee April 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

I’m not sure this can be labeled (other than for one’s own use) as essential oil. It’s my understanding that this recipe would be a rosemary infused olive oil. Essential is; to my understanding, steam distilled rosemary leaves /plants in which the natural oils are released as an essential oil. I’m sure that the recipe above is a really nice infusion, but not really “essential oil”.

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carleen May 30, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Hi Amy, I have a question. Is the rosemary oil good,if the rosemary leaves turned black after soaking them in the oil? I didn’t have all the rosemary fully covered in the oil. The rosemary at the top turned black. Is the oil still usable?

Reply

Amy Stafford June 3, 2014 at 7:21 am

Carleen,
Are you planning on digesting the oil? Does the oil smell rancid? If you plan on using it as just a lotion, hair remedy, etc. and do not plan on digesting, your oil is fine.
Amy

Reply

pure essential oil guide June 9, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Hello I am so happy I found your blog page,
I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Aol for
something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say
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when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great b.

Reply

fariba June 11, 2014 at 2:27 am

Hi, Thanks for the instruction but I think it is better to put the jar in a warm and dark place, because as you know sunlight is not a good thing for the olive oil and things like that.

Reply

Hilda Mukisa September 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

Hello Amy, thax for this. With a group of little ones that I’m teaching to make kidy money, saving and giving we have taken to growing rosemary. We’ve just packaged our first stuf for the market, simply organic, simply whole for cooking. I’m excited to read about another way we can make our rosemary make money. But I have read elsewhere that the oil needs to be heated first before mixing it with the leaves. You do not mention that. Did you just forget or yours is just another way to do it? And if the oil is to be heated, to what temperature? and at what point does one add the leaves?

Reply

Amy Stafford September 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Hilda,
To make Essential Oil you need to heat it, this is just Rosemary oil. Thanks for your interest. Amy

Reply

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