I get a lot of questions about the pine needle salve I make, and people want to know – how do you make pine needle oil?
Well, it’s really easy!
Why the interest in pine needles? Well, pine needles have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. They are excellent for respiratory health, and they smell really nice! Pine and other evergreen aromas are really popular in the winter months, and that’s often when we need the extra support that these conifers offer us.
What You Need to Make Pine Needle Oil:
Fresh pine needles (forage responsibly)
A carrier oil – fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil – your choice!
A clean, sanitized jar with a lid
Keeping it Clean:
Typically, when you make a herbal infusion, you want to use dried plant matter. Using fresh or wet plant products will potentially introduce water into your oil infusion, and this will lead to spoilage, mold, or a ruined infusion. Yuck! Dried pine needles can be used, but they don’t carry the same aromatic strength that fresh needles do. There are some things that you can do to use fresh pine needles without the risk of spoiling your oil:
- Allow your pine needles to air dry before using, or harvest them on a dry day when there has been no rain or humidity.
- Sterilize the jar you will be using, and make sure there are no water droplets in the jar. Ensure all of the utensils you will use are clean and dry (including your hands).
- When you seal the jar after making your pine needle oil, place a piece of waxed paper or parchment between the jar and the lid. This will prevent any residue from the lid from getting into the mixture.
Okay, Let’s Get Making This:
- Grind up your needles with a mortar and pestle, or use scissors to cut them up a bit. You’re going to release some of the natural oils this way. Put the needles into a clean, dry jar (remember that you don’t want any water in there).
- Pour your carrier oil over top of the needles, and make sure that the oil covers the needles completely, with some extra space. Use a dry spoon or a chopstick to push the needles down and make sure there are no air bubbles.
- Seal your jar up! Give it a little shaky shake.
- Place your jar in a dark, warm spot – away from direct sunlight. Your goal is to let the oil infuse for 4-6 weeks. Every few days, visit your jar, pick it up, swirl it around, and set it back in its spot.
- After 4-6 weeks, put a fine-mesh strainer in a big bowl and line the strainer with cheesecloth if you have it. Pour the oil (the needles will come, too) into the strainer. Press the needles with a spoon to get all of the oil out, or gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze any oil out. Get every last drop of piney goodness!
- Pour your pine needle oil into a clean glass jar, take a whiff of your delicious creation, and cap it tightly. Store your oil like you would any other oil. The shelf life of your pine needle oil is equal to the shelf life of the oil used.
Ways to Use Pine Needle Oil:
- As a nourishing body oil for dry winter skin.
- Make a wintery body scrub by combining with sugar.
- Create a salve, see my Pine Needle Salve recipe here.
- Use as a base for an essential oil roller bottle. This would make a great respiratory support roller with Eucalyptus and Peppermint.