by erin stewart sm (800 of 2)

How to Make and Work with Rosemary Oil in Your Apothecary

You have probably heard that St. John’s wort oil is incredible for muscle aches and pains, but did you know that rosemary infused oil can also work wonders? Not everyone has access to fresh St. John’s wort when it’s flowering at just the right stage for making oil, but most people have access to rosemary. Even if you don’t grow it, you can find it in the spice or produce aisle at your local grocer. It won’t turn the oil that brilliant red color, but it will be effective! Let’s talk about how to make a rosemary oil that can really work.

To make your rosemary oil, you’ll want to first dry your rosemary. Strip the leaves from the stems and lay them out on a drying rack or towel-lined cookie sheet. Allow them to air dry until they feel brittle and will break easily when you try to bend them. Once dry, grind the leaves to a powder using your spice grinder, a coffee grinder reserved for herbs, or a mortar and pestle.

Add your rosemary powder to a clean, glass jar. Stir just a little bit of carrier oil into your rosemary powder until all of the powder looks like it is wet, then slowly stir in more carrier oil until the powder is completely covered by the oil, with about an inch of extra oil on top. Your powdered rosemary might float to the top or sink to the bottom of the jar. This is fine. Allow the oil to infuse for 4-6 weeks, giving the jar a little shake every time you pass by it. Strain after the allotted time and store the full batch in a mason jar; decant to dropper bottles for dosage bottles.

I prefer to work with double or triple infused rosemary oil. We talked a little about making double and triple infused oils in this blog post, but I’ll cover it briefly here. After you’ve completed your first round of infusing, strain out your plant material entirely. Then you add a fresh batch of dried and powdered rosemary to the already infused oil and allow it to infuse again. Essentially, you’re making a double-strength infused oil. If you want it even stronger, you would repeat the process one more time so you’d be left with a triple-infused oil. If you don’t want to wait 3 months for the process to be completed, you can use one of the quicker infusion methods I talk about in this blog post.

It’s important to note that we’re working with dried rosemary to make this remedy. Fresh rosemary actually carries a lot of water and can cause your carrier oil to go rancid or develop mold, so I prefer to work with dried plant material for this recipe.

Once you have your finished infused oil, you can use it on its own by massaging it into sore or achy muscles or you can use it as a carrier oil for your aromatherapy blends. You can also add it to your custom trauma oil blends. It will smell lightly of rosemary – add a bit of rosemary essential oil to the batch at a 1-2% dilution if you want the smell to be stronger or work with different essential oils to change the aroma profile of the base.

Rosemary infused oil is especially useful for sore or tired muscles, bruises, aches and pains, and minor injuries like sprains and strains.

Have you ever worked with rosemary infused oil? Have you tried a different double or triple infused oil? I’d love to hear 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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9 thoughts on “How to Make and Work with Rosemary Oil in Your Apothecary”

  1. This is great! I have lots of rosemary and never know what to do with it besides cooking in some dishes, but a little goes a long way. I also rub fresh rosemary on my dog, she loves it and it seems to help keep fleas away. This oils sounds great to have on hand. What kind of oil is best to use? I was thinking of trying it in some almond oil I have.

    1. Erin Stewart

      Whatever kind of carrier you like best on your skin will work fine. Almond oil would be lovely. I really love sunflower seed oil and olive oil works too.

  2. Lana Sajaja

    Hi Erin, I always infuse my Olive oil with dried rosemary to make soap I believe it gives it a natural anti-oxidant benefit, but the aroma dose not last long. I also use it on my hair to strengthen it. However I always use it as it is ( not powdered) and just one infusion, I’m going to try your method powdered in a triple infusion. Thank you great article

  3. Pingback: How to Make Incense with Aromatic Herbs – Floranella

  4. Hi I’m really wanting to try this for the first time! What ratio should I use as a guide? Also if I’m wanting to use it primarily as an air freshener is the single strength enough?

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Natalia,

      This won’t really work as an air freshener. The carrier oil would stain furniture and leave slick oil spots on the floor and it wouldn’t smell strongly enough to scent the room. I would use rosemary hydrosol instead if you’re after an air freshener.

      Much love,

    1. Erin Stewart

      I talk a lot about how to make infused oils in this post:

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