As the holiday season approaches, what better way to share the spirit of warmth and love than through handmade, aromatic herbal gifts?
In this DIY holiday gift blog, we've compiled a collection of some of our favorite herbal recipes that not only evoke the essence of the season but can also be crafted with ease and be ready just in time for the festivities.
These aromatic creations are a perfect way to add a handmade touch to your holiday gift-giving tradition.
Christmas Spice Herbal Tea Blend
This delightful blend of Peppermint, Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange peel, and Cloves perfectly captures the aromatic essence of the season.
Peppermint Leaves 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon Bark 2 teaspoons
Ginger Root 1 teaspoon
Orange Peel 1 teaspoon
Cloves 1/2 teaspoon
Makes 5-6 individual servings of tea
1. In a bowl, measure out the specified parts of each dried herb. Combine them and mix well.
2. Optionally, you can lightly crush or grind the herbs to release their aroma. Be cautious not to turn it into a fine powder.
3. Transfer your herbal tea blend into small, decorative jars or pouches.
4. Attach a label with the tea blend name, ingredients and brewing instructions.
Add one to two teaspoons to 8 ounces just boiled water. Let steep for 5-10 minutes with a lid or dish over the cup to keep the aromatics from escaping. Sweeten as desired.
Sandalwood Rose Face Serum
Treat your loved ones to a delightfully aromatic skincare experience with our Sandalwood Rose Face Serum. This warm, floral blend comprised of Jojoba oil, Rose oil, and Sandalwood essential oil nourishes the skin and uplifts the spirit; a thoughtful addition to anyone's beauty routine that you can easily make at home.
1 ounce of Jojoba oil
4 drops of Rose oil
4 drops of Sandalwood essential oil
6-8 drops of vitamin E oil (optional)
1 or 2 ounce glass bottles
Makes 1 ounce of oil. All recipes can be adjusted as needed according to your gift giving needs.
1. Combine and mix all of the oils together and store them in glass dropper bottles (1 or 2 ounce sizes make the perfect gift). Be sure to label them with all ingredients and instructions for use.
Shake well before each use. Gently dampen the face with water, put a few drops of the serum in your palm and rub your hands together. Apply the serum to your face once or twice daily.
Douglas Fir Honey Infusion
Capture the scents of the season with a Douglas Fir Honey Infusion. This cold-infused treat for respiratory and immune support utilizes raw local honey and captures the essence of the forest, making it a delightful addition to holiday teas, foods, or simply enjoyed by the spoonful.
Try to source and use raw local honey, which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and is naturally antimicrobial.
Fresh Douglas Fir needles - enough to fill a pint sized jar approximately ¾ full
12 ounces Raw Honey
Makes about 12 ounces of infused honey when using a pint sized jar
1. Properly identify and gather your Douglas Fir needles. Rinse with fresh water if necessary, pat dry with a towel, and allow to completely dry before use.
2. Place the needles into a mason jar until it is about ¾ full, leaving about 1 inch of space between the herbs and top of the jar.
3. Pour the raw honey into the jar, covering the needles. Use a spoon or chopstick to stir and remove any air bubbles.
4. Wait for the honey to settle, then top off with more honey until all of the needles are completely covered.
5. Cover with a lid and flip the jar several times to mix.
6. Let sit for 2 weeks, stirring every couple of days.
7. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, label it, and enjoy!
Add as desired to tea or food, or enjoy by the spoonful!
Ancient Soul Incense
A harmonious blend of Sandalwood, Frankincense, Agarwood, and Rose petals, this incense is designed to elevate the spirit and create a sense of sweetness in your space. Crafted with care and intention, it makes for a unique and thoughtful holiday gift. This loose incense recipe makes enough for a single gift for someone special.
2 1/2 tablespoons Sandalwood powder
2 tablespoons Frankincense resin
1 tablespoon small Agarwood chips
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed Rose petals
1/2 teaspoon wildflower honey (any honey will do)
1 teaspoon warm water
1. Use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to crush the Rose petals.
2. Add all dry ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, add the honey into the warm water until it’s
4. Add the honey/water mixture to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. When your mixture is ready, spread it out on a drying surface such as a baking sheet or parchment paper, and put it out to dry for a few days at room temperature. You can also use a dehydrator if you have one, or oven on the lowest setting. A slower dry is the best option if you can be patient; avoid heat over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Always avoid putting the incense to dry in direct sunlight.
6. Once completely dry, pour into a glass or plastic storage container (4 ounce might be the best fit).
Burn this loose incense on hot incense charcoal.
Rosemary Infused Apple Cider Vinegar
Inspire your loved ones to add a touch of herbal goodness to their culinary routines with Rosemary infused Apple Cider Vinegar. This infusion can be incorporated into dishes as a salad dressing, marinade, sauce ingredient, and more. Rosemary herbal vinegar can also be consumed like an herbal tincture to aid in digestion or support mental clarity.
Rosemary (see notes in recipe directions for amount)
Approximately 12 ounces of Apple Cider Vinegar
Makes 12 ounces of infused ACV, or approximately one gift.
1. Cut up the herbs using a knife and cutting board to maximize the extraction potential.
2. Place the herbs in a glass mason jar. For fresh herbs, fill the jar about ⅔ to ¾ full with plant material. For dried herbs, fill the jar ½ full.
3. Cover the plant material completely with apple cider vinegar and screw on the lid.
4. Label the jar with all ingredients and the date.
5. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks to infuse. Visit the jar and give it a good shake daily.
6. After about 2 weeks, strain the herbs out using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store it in the refrigerator to extend shelf-life and it should last anywhere from 1-3 months.
Add to marinades, dressings and sauces. For digestion; take one dropperful (about 30 drops) before meals. You can also pour it into a 1 ounce shot glass and consume that before meals.
Frankincense Massage Oil
For a gift that combines relaxation and holistic well-being, our Frankincense Massage Oil is a perfect choice. This calming blend of Frankincense resin and Sesame oil is perfect for relieving tension and nourishing the nervous system. Follow our simple steps for a thoughtful homemade present.
1/2 weighed ounce (about 14 grams) Frankincense powder
4 liquid ounces sesame oil
Makes 4 ounces of oil, or one gift.
1. Add your sesame oil and powdered Frankincense resin to the glass jar,
mix together, and place the lid on. Avoid filling the jar more than ¾ of the
2. Fill a small pot (or crockpot) halfway with water and place it on the
3. Place your jar with the oil and resin directly into the water. Make sure the
water level is high enough that it covers all or most of the ingredients in
the jar so the heat from the water will warm up the infusion thoroughly. If
the jar floats and doesn’t rest on the bottom of the pot, remove some of the
water or transfer your oil and resin into a smaller jar.
4. Bring the water to a boil, then immediately turn down to a simmer. (If
using a crockpot, place on high for 30 minutes or so, then turn the setting
down to low.) Use a candy or meat thermometer to make sure the water
stays between 190-210 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Allow to sit on low heat for 1-6 hours, checking on it every 30 minutes or
so, to stir and break up any clumps.
6. Once your resin is completely dissolved (with the same consistency
throughout and no lingering sticky strands as you stir), it’s ready to be
7. If you have sediment in your extraction, once you remove your jar from
the water bath, let it sit for a few hours (or even overnight), so it can settle
to the bottom and is easier to filter out.
8. To filter, use cheesecloth and a funnel. Using your hands, twist up the
sediment in your cheesecloth over your jar and squeeze out any remaining
oil. If there is leftover resin or sediment that didn’t dissolve, you can
9. Label it with all ingredients, date, and any other details. Store in a cool,
Apply as desired to clean, dry skin.
Easy to make at home, this blend of Dandelion root, citrus peel, and warming herbs is a perfect addition to holiday cocktails or as a post-meal digestive aid. Bitters are easy to make and can be added to cocktails, teas, or taken directly on the tongue. A thoughtful gift for those seeking balance and well-being.
½ cup Dandelion root (fresh or dried)
½ cup fresh Citrus peel (Orange, Grapefruit, or Tangerine)
1 tsp dried Ginger root (or quarter-size chunk of fresh Ginger)
1 tsp dried Fennel
1 Cinnamon stick
12 oz alcohol (we recommend vodka or brandy)
*Feel free to add in any other digestive herbs you want!
Makes 12 ounces. Typically gifted in one ounce bottles.
1. Place all plant material in your glass mason jar, then pour the alcohol on top. Make sure the alcohol completely covers all of the herbs.
2. Cover the jar with the lid and store it in a cool, dark place. Visit every couple of days to gently shake the jar. It’s ok to top off with alcohol if needed to cover the herbs.
3. Allow the bitters to infuse for 2-4 weeks, until you reach your desired flavor.
4. When it’s ready, strain it through a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve.
5. Transfer your finished product into tincture bottles using a funnel and label it with the ingredients and usage instructions.
Add 10 - 30 drops of your finished product into a cocktail, mocktail, tea, or sparkling water, and enjoy. You can also take several drops directly on the tongue to stimulate the digestive system before or after a meal. In general, it is recommended to take bitters sparingly, or as needed.
Jasmine Massage Oil
Whether for first aid, emotional healing, or a relaxing massage, Jasmine Body oil is a thoughtful and personal gift made with love and intention.
Jasmine essential oil - 36 drops for 3% dilution
4 ounces Jojoba oil
Makes 4 ounces of oil, or approximately one gift.
1. Carefully drop the indicated amount of essential oil into an amber bottle.
2. Using a funnel, pour the Jojoba oil into the bottle to fill the rest of the amber bottle.
3. Place the cap on and give the bottle a good shake. Be sure to label your jar with all ingredients and instructions for use.
Apply as desired for a relaxing, herbal massage.
This holiday season, go beyond the ordinary and infuse your gifts with the aromatic gifts of nature. These herbal recipes not only offer a sensory delight but also reflect the care and thoughtfulness that go into handmade creations.
Article Written by Summer Goon
© 2023 The Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine. All rights reserved.
*The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are for educational purposes only. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician before you use this information for health purposes.