DIY Laurel Bay Berries oil

DIY Laurel Bay Berries oil

Have you ever tried to make the laurel bay berry oil at home? I was looking for some kind of guide through different sources in English and French, but honestly did not find much. 

Laurus Nobilis or Bay Laurel or True Laurel historically was could be found in any country around the Mediterranean sea and laurel bay as evergreen shrub with aromatic waxy leaves is easy to find here in Cote d'Azur even in nature. But you can find it also as introduced plant in other part of the world.

Dried laurel bay leaves are commonly known far beyond the Mediterranean region for centuries and it is used for cooking, food preservation, and as an ingredient in various slim teas all over the world. Laurel bay leaves have also seen many other uses throughout history, including pest-repellent, air freshener, and even medicine. Dried and powdered leaves could be added to the salad dressing. It is possible to use dried and powdered berries for the same purposes, but they are much more stronger.

Somebody probably had heard already about use of Laurel Bay Essential Oil (Laurus nobilis), which is usually made from leaves, in aromatherapy. Emotionally Laurel Bay Essential Oil is a great supporter for building confidence and helps maintain focus and courage, especially when having to deal with new ideas or life changing challenges .

However In cosmetics and skin care products most valuable is saturated green laurel berry oil, made from fresh laurel bay berries. Modern scientists and researchers have already confirmed and verified the efficacy of Laurus Nobilis as an antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral agent, and as an effective treatment for many/most of the aforementioned maladies.  It is quite expensive oil and it has significant antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 

Laurel Bay Berry Oil should not be confused with Laurel Bay Leaf Essential Oil that is steam distilled from the leaves of the plant.  Laurel Berry Oil is produced through a time-honored, traditional process of boiling handpicked Laurel berries until the seeds and pulp separate.

This oil is used from 30 - 40% in one of the oldest traditional soap bars called Aleppo soap, still made in the traditional way in several countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean region. It has a natural light brown shade appearance from outside and bright green inside and has a strong spicy scent.

I was lucky to have access to a huge laurel shrub full with shiny black berries a little bit smaller than olives, with much larger seed or nut inside and just a thin layer of pulp around it. I was really intrigued to try to make this ancient healing oil and plant that literally spoke to me and called for action, but I had no clue how to do it.

One day I found the message in one of the soap forum members Faruk Boztas from Antalya, Turkey, who is making  laurel bay berries oil not only in Turkey, but also export it to Germany and other European countries, so I asked his help and guidance to make my first homemade laurel bay berries oil.

You can find his products here:


His first instruction was short:

1.Cold water


3.Cook and boil 1 and half hours boil

4.Then mix it with mixer

5.Then cook for 45 mınutes 

6.You wıll see that oil coming up

Sounds easy, isn't it? But instead of 2 hours cooking we ended with an extended online chat for next  few days.

Major mistake I made was grounding the berries in the blender as homogenous mass.     I wrongly assumed that oil should be in the nuts, not in pulp. But nuts are full with starch that made further process completely impossible.

I ended up with up to 4 kg of spicy smelling puree but still did not know how to get oil out of it. This mess ended up in compost and hopefully will give some essential nourishment back to plants one day.

In larger scale it all could be somehow usable, but even in Turkey, manufacturers do not use the nuts for any other purposes, just burn the nuts after oil is extracted. 

I was thinking that starch extraction could have some perspective.

Laurel bay berries contains approximately 30 % of lipids or oil in fruits. So I could to get out almost 300 gr oil by cooking 1 kg berries?  Actually in home conditions you should need more berries to get that amount.

I stared all over in following days and this time I was kindly guided by my mentor Faruk Boztas from start to end.

Unlike olive oil, which is cold pressed, laurel bay berries oil is extracted by heat.

So I started to boil the whole fresh berries, keeping eye on amount of water and mixing it to avoid berries burn on bottom of sauce pan.

After 1,5 hours berries are still quite whole. 

It seems to take more than 1,5 hour for me to extract any oil.

Home was fulfilled with spicy smelling vapor, but is is very good to keep good mood in lockdown conditions we had at that time.


I was quite confusing, but optimistic, even it still seems  does not work for me at all.

As it was late evening already and I decided to stop it and come back to continue in next morning.

Could you imagine my smile in face when I saw some oil in my sauce pan in next morning?

It was better feeling than after large morning cup of coffee.

Such a funny feeling with mysterious power of joy and kids mind in any new skill learning process.


As pulp from berries was not separated yet, I started heating again.

Berries started change the color and become darker, water at this stage was almost gone.

Probably I should add it earlier.

I added more water and keep heating, soon some first drops of oil also started to appear on surface of the water.

As I keep heating and mixing the more oil came out. I can't say exact how much hours I cooked, but it could be a long time ...

When finally pulp was completely separated from seeds, I feel little bit lightheaded as it was already end of my 2 day of 3 days fasting challenge. So I am not quote sure it was my empty stomach or fresh made oil that made butterflies flying in my belly:) I turn heat off and let it cool down. 

Wow, what a glorious shine ! I was so happy to see it. Next step is scoop the oil from surface of water. 

I finished oil scooping, sit beside the fireplace and closed my eyes to hear the sound of burning and sparkling wood until fire goes out. I was thinking probably next time I would put the pot in fridge what I did anyway in next day. When oil is solidify it is easy to drown the water out of jar and  leave solid oil behind. To clean the oil I repeated washing process several times and separated from water again and again like you could do with any other oil by heating and cooling.

Final filtration could be done using oil mesh or at least cheese cloth. It seems quite a time taking process to make this precious oil with miraculous benefits known to mankind for times far, far away.

I hope this information will give you inspiration to learn something new or maybe even make this oil? 


Summary tips and trick how to make Laurel Bay Berries oil.

Boil the berries in water for 8 to 8 hours in a large saucepan, adding more water as needed. Skim the oil off with a spoon as it rises to the surface of the water. Spoon the oil into a fine-mesh strainer or through cheesecloth set on top of a large bowl.

Let the laurel oil cool. Pour the oil into jars or bottles using a funnel and seal them tightly. Store the oil in a cool, dark place.

Laurel Bay berries oil is used in traditional folk medicine to treat the symptoms of:

  • Acne
  • Aging skin
  • Angina pectoris
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bacterial infections
  • Common cold
  • Dry skin
  • Ear aches
  • Eczema
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Rashes
  • Rheumatism
  • Tinea (fungal) infections
  • Viral infections
  • Wounds
  • Wrinkles

Feel free to read more about it, you will be pleased about latest research in use of Laurel Bay Berries oil to fight even very nasty viral infections.

Happy learning,

-Lita-                                                                                                                                                 Soap mentor, chemist, biologist and Liquid Plasma Crystals formulator


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