I use essential oils as medicines for my family. The stronger ones, like wild Oregano oil or Lavender oil I buy from the health food store, but some I make myself. I love the flavor of herbs in my food, and enjoy using my herbal oils for beauty and health as well. The commercial oils are difficult to produce without investing in a still or distillery. They work on a process of steam extraction. Commercial oils are generally not for internal use, but these home made oils can be used safely in food because they are not as strong.
Basil oil is great for hair, Lavender oil is good on the face, Oregano oil is famous as a health tonic for colds and flu, Calendula oil is wonderful for soothing burnt skin, Spearmint cools down fevers and Gardenia oil makes me happy. You can also enjoy these in your favorite dishes or salad dressing.
Here is how we do it...
Take a nice handful of fresh herb leaves and remove the stems. Wash them and let them dry thoroughly; I often dry them with a towel, as you don't want them out too long so they brown. Pound them in a wooden mortar and pestle until they are mushy. If you don't have one you can use a zip lock bag with a towel over it and a hammer pounding the herbs until they are bruised. Place them in a clean glass jar and fill to the top with extra virgin olive oil. I mash it a bit with a fork to get the oils out. Next, leave it in the sun for the day. In the evening strain the oil into a clean class container and refrigerate. The oil keeps a long time this way. My Basil oil from last year is still good. If you are nervous about germs you can add a clove of garlic, but it may change the taste. Make sure to write a label to identify the herb and the date.