How To Make Peppermint Oil At Home
First I would like to clarify that this is not an article about how to make your own peppermint essential oil. Making peppermint essential oil requires setting up a distillery, and even though you can buy distillery kits, they are still expensive.
Any time you read a website claiming to make homemade essential oil without a cold press or steam distillation set up, then they are simply infusing the oils from the plant into a carrier oil. Except for cold-pressed orange or lemon essential oil, the only way to make essential oil is by distillation; you need to steam and condense away the water to concentrate the tiny amounts of oil found in the plant material. That’s why essential oil is sold in those tiny little amber bottles, not by the barrel.
Peppermint Oil Recipe
Harvest 2 – 3 good handfuls of peppermint leaves and stems and give them a quick rinse. I’m using regular peppermint as well as chocolate mint.
As with all infused oils, you should always dry your plant material beforehand. Introducing water into the carrier oil will only result in scum and mold forming on the surface and potentially harmful bacteria as well. The easiest way to reduce this risk is to make sure to ONLY use dried plant material.
Peppermint leaves and stems will take about 2 days to dry at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. I patted my washed leaves with some paper towel and then laid them out on a sheet of cardboard for two days on the table.
Now that your peppermint is dry you should weight it.
Next, stuff it into a glass jar and pour in about 10 times the amount of carrier oil of your choice over the peppermint; for example, I have 0.24 oz (6.7 g) of dried peppermint, so I am using 2.4 oz (67 g) of olive oil, but feel free to combine any plant-based oils that you like. This ratio is relatively standard for most infusions that use coarsely chopped herbs, but if you use ground or powdered herbs or spices, then you can drop the amount of carrier oil to 5 times the amount of herb.
Give the peppermint a bit of a mash into the oil to start the process and to remove any air bubbles and therefore oxygen.
Set up a double-boiler system by placing the jar of oil and peppermint in a pot of warm water (maximum 100 °F or 37 °C) for about 2 hours, stirring and mashing occasionally, making sure not to splash any water into your jar of oil.
Remove the jar from the pot of water and allow it to cool. You can strain it once it has cooled, but I allowed mine to sit for 2 days at room temperature for a stronger peppermint oil. And it smells delicious!
Your infused peppermint oil has a huge number of uses; on salads and for cooking, baking and even cosmetics and soaps.
Shelf life and Storage
Store in a cool, dark location for 1 year.
This method of making peppermint infused oil is straight forward and can be used for most herbs, so don’t limit yourself to making your own peppermint oil. Try any edible herb and experiment to suit your own taste. As long as you dry the herb first and remember the 1-part dried herb to 10-parts carrier oil ratio then you can’t go wrong!
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