How to make

How to Make Oil of Oregano: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Oil of oregano is a potent essential oil with a wide range of health benefits. It is commonly used for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Many people prefer to make their own oil of oregano at home to ensure its quality and freshness. This step-by-step guide from Mediterraneanbites will walk you through the process of making oil of oregano at home, including the benefits, uses, and safety precautions.

How to Make Oil of Oregano: The Ultimate Beginners Guide
How to Make Oil of Oregano: The Ultimate Beginners Guide

I. Step One: Assemble Tools and Ingredients

Essential Tools:

  • Clean, sterilized glass jars or bottles
  • Food processor or blender
  • Strainer or cheesecloth
  • Dark-colored glass or plastic storage container
  • Funnel (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves (packed)
  • 1 cup olive oil, or as needed
  • Optional: 1-2 cloves garlic (crushed)

See our article for how to make homemade oregano oil.

Step One: Assemble Tools and Ingredients
Step One: Assemble Tools and Ingredients

II. Step Two: Clean the Oregano

Before diving into the extraction process, it’s crucial to prepare your oregano herbs. This involves a thorough cleaning to eliminate any impurities or residues that could compromise the quality of your oil. Begin by removing any yellowed leaves, wilted stems, or other undesirable debris. Next, gently rinse the oregano under cool running water, taking care not to bruise or crush the delicate leaves.

To ensure the cleanest result, consider soaking your oregano in a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water. This simple yet effective technique helps remove stubborn dirt, pesticides, or any remaining debris. Allow the oregano to soak for about 15 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly to remove any traces of vinegar. For an even more thorough cleanse, you can employ a salad spinner to eliminate excess moisture.

Once your oregano is impeccably clean and free of any impurities, it’s ready for the next step: drying.

Step Two: Clean the Oregano
Step Two: Clean the Oregano

III. Step Three: Dry Oregano Herbs

Hang Oregano Bunches

Gather freshly harvested oregano stems and form small bunches. Secure each bunch with a string or twine. Hang the bunches upside down in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area. Ensure the bunches are spaced apart to promote proper air circulation.

Check the oregano regularly. Once the leaves feel dry and brittle, they are ready to be stored. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature.

Use a Dehydrator

Spread the oregano leaves evenly on the dehydrator trays. Set the dehydrator to a low temperature, around 95-115°F (35-46°C). Dehydrate the leaves for 4-8 hours, or until they are completely dry and crispy.

Once dehydrated, store the oregano leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Air Dry Oregano Leaves

Spread the oregano leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in a warm, dry place with good air circulation. Turn the leaves occasionally to ensure even drying.

The drying process may take several days or even weeks, depending on the humidity and temperature. Once the leaves are completely dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Drying Method Pros Cons
Hanging Oregano Bunches Preserves the natural shape and color of the oregano Requires more space and time
Using a Dehydrator Faster and more efficient May alter the flavor and aroma of the oregano
Air Drying Oregano Leaves Simple and cost-effective Takes longer and requires more attention

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Step Three: Dry Oregano Herbs
Step Three: Dry Oregano Herbs

IV. Step Four: Store Oil of Oregano

Preserve the Potency of Your Oil

To maintain the integrity and potency of your Oil of Oregano, proper storage is crucial. Store the oil in a dark, cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat. An amber glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid is ideal for preserving the oil’s quality. Avoid using clear glass bottles, as light can degrade the oil over time.

The optimal temperature for storing Oil of Oregano is between 50-60°F (10-15°C). A refrigerator is an excellent option for long-term storage, as it provides a stable and cool environment. If refrigeration is not possible, store the oil in a dark pantry or cabinet where temperatures remain relatively consistent.

  • Store in a dark, cool place.
  • Use an amber glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Avoid clear glass bottles.
  • Optimal temperature: 50-60°F (10-15°C).
  • Refrigeration is ideal for long-term storage.

Extend the Shelf Life of Your Oil

By following these storage guidelines, you can extend the shelf life of your Oil of Oregano for up to two years. However, it’s important to note that the potency of the oil may gradually decrease over time. To ensure optimal effectiveness, it’s recommended to use the oil within one year of preparation.

If you notice any changes in the color, smell, or consistency of your Oil of Oregano, it’s best to discard it and make a fresh batch. These changes may indicate that the oil has degraded or become contaminated.

Recommended Storage Conditions for Oil of Oregano
Factor Optimal Condition
Temperature 50-60°F (10-15°C)
Light Exposure Dark, away from direct sunlight
Container Amber glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid
Shelf Life Up to two years with proper storage

Step Four: Store Oil of Oregano
Step Four: Store Oil of Oregano

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