by erin stewart sm (713 of 17)

How to Make (and Customize) Your Own Trauma Oil

For many aromatherapists, trauma oil is the first herbal remedy to which they are introduced. It is an herb-infused carrier oil that can be used on its own or as a base for aromatherapy blends meant to help relieve pain and inflammation. Trauma oil can be expensive when you purchase it ready-made, but it’s so easy to make if you have the right ingredients and it can be easily customized.

The Classic Combination

The classic recipe for trauma oil calls for equal parts St. John’s wort-infused olive oil, calendula-infused olive oil, and arnica-infused oil. The calendula and arnica oils can be made with dried plant material, but the St. John’s wort oil needs to be made with freshly harvested flowering tops of the St. John’s wort plant picked at just the right moment when the buds stain the fingers. (Click here to see what I mean.)

To make your trauma oil, you would infuse each of these herbal oils separately for 4-6 weeks, strain out the plant material, and bottle the finished oils. You could then combine them in equal parts to create your trauma oil.

To customize your trauma oil recipe, you could add in other herb-infused oils that are helpful when you’re dealing with pain and inflammation in the muscles and joints. Herb-infused oils that I like to add in different formulas include:

  • Rosemary-infused oil
  • Yarrow-infused oil
  • Self heal-infused oil (especially for skin issues)
  • Cayenne-infused oil (to enhance circulation)
  • Pine, spruce, or fir-infused oil
  • Chamomile-infused oil
  • Lavender-infused oil

I also like to change up the classic recipe a bit by using organic sunflower seed oil instead of olive oil. It gives me a lighter base to work with when I’m blending.

Trauma oil helps to relieve pain and inflammation associated with injury, sore muscles, achy joints, and skin ailments. It makes a wonderful base for massage oils (it’s effective with or without essential oils), salves, balms, ointments, lotions, creams, and butters. You can also double or triple infuse the individual oils in it to make an extra potent trauma oil.

What do you like to include in your trauma oil blends? have you ever made your own? Tell me about your experience in the comments below.

Much love,


Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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7 thoughts on “How to Make (and Customize) Your Own Trauma Oil”

  1. Hi Erin–When infusing the St. John’s Wort, do you wait until the blossoms have opened up or can you use the yellow buds. Thanks so much!

  2. I like to infuse Plantain in oil sometimes I use olive or sunflower and this last time I used coconut oil I use this infused oil in a salve for healing scrapes , wounds, nicks and scratches as well as sunburn, Speeds up healing. I sent some to my grandson while in Iran when he was in the service.

  3. I have just harvested some calendula flowers (it is winter here in beautiful South Australia) and they are drying in the window sill ready to be infused in olive oil. I experimented with sunflower petals infused in olive oil (using a slow hot cooking process rather than drying them) and the result was beautiful. The balm I made came out looking like a soft cream colour and my skin felt amazing. I use it on my dry hands after being in the garden.

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