Homemade Body Butter Recipe with Evergreen

My husband and I bought our first home this past August and each month we are getting more and more settled. I am especially looking forward to cozying up with the wood stove this winter and enjoying the many gifts of the season.

Our new home is over 30 minutes away from our old cabin, but we are still very much in the same forested ecosystem. Tall ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees tower over our new home and fill in the landscape as far as the eye can see.

For me, winter is a time to simmer in gratitude for the trees. Their wood keeps us warm, both from the fire in the wood stove as well as the logs used to build our house. The fresh evergreen needles make a delicious and crisp tea. The resin seeping out of the injured bark can be made into salves.

Last year for the holidays I made a rose tinted evergreen lip-balm. This year I decided to use evergreen needles in another luxurious body care item – evergreen homemade body butter.

Body butters are thick mixtures that leave your skin feeling unbelievably soft. They are perfect for the winter months when dry skin can be especially prevalent.

This homemade body butter makes a great holiday gift!

You can use practically any evergreen needles (leaves) for this body butter, with a few cautions. While most evergreen needles are safe to use, the needles from the yew tree (Taxus spp.) are not. Be sure to know the identity of the tree where you are harvesting your needles to make sure they are safe. If you would like to use the needles from your Christmas tree or holiday wreath, check with your supplier to make sure the trees or boughs weren’t sprayed with any harmful chemicals or colorings.

This body butter recipe calls for both infused evergreen oil and fir needle essential oil. These are two different preparations with different benefits. By infusing the needles into a carrier oil, you extract many of their antioxidant properties, while also extracting a very mild scent. If you would like your body butter to smell strongly of evergreen, then I recommend adding the essential oil as well.

Jojoba Oil

You can use any carrier oil to infuse your needles. I prefer jojoba because it is so silky soft and it is very shelf stable. It’s also expensive. Almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and grape seed oil are other possibilities. Olive oil can also be used but it may be a bit heavy and leave more of a greasy residue on the skin.

The mango and shea butters are hard butters. To accurately measure them I recommend weighing them with a kitchen scale.

Homemade Body Butter

Evergreen Homemade Body Butter Recipe

This decadent winter body butter recipe will leave your skin feeling soft and silky. Homemade body butter is also a 100% natural way to support skin health with natural fats and antioxidants.

What you’ll need…

  • 3/4 cup carrier oil (jojoba, almond, apricot kernel oil, etc.)
  • 1 cup fresh evergreen needles, chopped finely
  • 100 grams shea butter
  • 100 grams mango butter
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary antioxidant extract (optional, has preservative action)
  • 40 drops fir needle essential oil (optional)
  • 10 drops clary sage essential oil (optional)
Homemade Body Butter

Place the carrier oil and evergreen needles into the top of a double boiler or into a metal bowl perched atop a small saucepan. Place a few inches of water into the bottom half of the double boiler or saucepan or crockpot.

Homemade Body Butter

Heat the ingredients until they are fairly warm to the touch. Turn off heat and let stand. Every couple of hours, re-heat the oil, and then let stand. Continue this for 24 to 48 hours. Be sure to heat the oil slowly and avoid letting the temperature get overly hot.

Homemade Body Butter

Strain off the evergreen needles from the warm oil using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Compost the needles. The oil should have a light citrusy evergreen scent. You will need 1/2 cup of the oil for this recipe. Any extra oil can be used as a simple body oil or for another recipe.

Homemade Body Butter

Homemade Body Butter

Place the shea and mango butters in a double boiler and heat until melted. Remove from heat.

Homemade Body Butter

Homemade Body Butter

Homemade Body Butter

Add 1/2 cup of the infused evergreen oil and the optional rosemary antioxidant extract and essential oils. Stir well.

Set aside in a cool location until the mixture begins to harden and looks opaque. Don’t let it get too hard.

Homemade Body Butter

Whip the mixture vigorously using a cake mixer, immersion wand, or other immersion-type blender. It should be light and fluffy when done.

Homemade Body Butter

Transfer the mixture to jars. Store in a cool place. If it gets too warm the mixture will decrease in volume but will still be fine to use.

Yields: Approximately 2 cups.

Homemade Body Butter

How to Use and Shelf Life

Spread the body butter on warm skin, preferably just out of the shower or bath. It may feel oily when you initially apply it, but let it soak in for a few minutes. You’ll know you’ve used the right amount for your skin when, after a few minutes, your skin feels soft but not greasy.

The mixture should last for at least a year, especially if kept in a cool location. The optional rosemary extract will help prevent the oils from going rancid and can prolong shelf life.

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72 comments
  1. Yolanda says:

    I truly enjoy everything you do and appreciate the time and effort you give to us. I would love to make this body butter, are there any suggestions for substitute pine needles?

  2. Donna Roberts says:

    For the evergreen needles for the body butter, will dried needles work just as well? Just confused about using fresh versus dried. Thank you, Donna Roberts.

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      Because they are so diluted I assume the essential oils in this recipe would be okay during pregnancy. However, I am not a trained aromatherapist and can’t answer that with complete certainty. You could omit them to be safe. All the other butters and oils are safe.

    • Dottie says:

      According to American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook, rosemary crosses the placenta so caution is warrented. It was not shown to cross into breast milk. Fresh or dried leaves may be ok, but essential oil is very concentrated.

  3. Nadia Harper says:

    Thanks for this beautiful recipe! And for always sharing such great content. There is such a special joy and connection that I feel any time I make my own body care or cleaning products.

  4. Janet Gutierrez says:

    I made a salve and combined cedar and pine. Infused with Olive oil. Only added bees wax and it is divine!!

  5. Ellen Homeister says:

    Will gathering fresh pine needles off the my pine hurt the tree? It’s winter and this week it will go down to 8 degree F on one night. Ellen

    • Anne says:

      Shannon, I’m not an expert, but clary sage is sometimes used to induce labor. I believe it can cause uterine contractions. I looked into it at the end of one my pregnancies because I was getting close to 42 weeks and I was trying to avoid a hospital birth (I bought it but never had to use). If you search safety during pregnancy you’ll find a lot of information. Blessings to you and your little one!

  6. Delilah Waldner says:

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe. I love making herbal homemade stuff as gift, I’ve been working on stuff since after thanksgiving, and I will definitely give this recipe a try! Thank You:))

  7. Rachael Jean Harper says:

    Yet another wonderful recipe. Thank you so much Rosealee! I am looking forward to purchasing your new book when it comes out :)

  8. Nancy says:

    Do NOT make or use if you are pregnant!!! Clary Sage is contraindicated in pregnancy, May cause abortions, and EO is so very potent. Rosemary is questionable in pregnancy. Just wanted to add this warning for those who may not know, :-).

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      Whether or not an EO is contraindicated during pregnancy is complicated. Rather than a black or white issue it comes down to the route of administration and the % of dilution. Here’s a very thorough article looking at EOs during pregnancy: https://aromaticstudies.com/aromatherapy-pregnancy/

      Keep in mind that EOs are in practically all natural body products including deodorants, soaps, shampoos, etc. Because they are so diluted, such as in this recipe, most EOs don’t pose a risk to women during pregnancy.

  9. Hilda says:

    Hi! I love that recipe but I can’t use my hands most of the time
    Can you sell the bottle to me
    it sounds sooo good for my skin
    Hilda in La Junta CO

  10. Pam says:

    Thank you John and Kimberly and family and to Rosalee too! I have been following HerbMentor and Learning Herbs since the first year it started and I LOVE IT! I love what you do, and so happy that you are doing it. I love that it is approachable, in that I mean, that your family uses the things you talk and teach about, so it is doable for the average person and overall the herbs you teach are safe! Thank you! I tell as many people as I can about your work and website. I am in Canada and spreading the word up here about your work :)
    All the best in 2017!
    A loyal fan and student,
    Pam

  11. bellavistafarm says:

    Thank you for this lovely recipe! I have been following Learning Herbs since 2011-ish. Love you guys and all that you have become. I look to you for my inspiration and as an herbalist and teacher, I share what I learn with others in classes that I teach from my farm in GA.

    Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.
    Hugs,
    Anne-Marie
    Bella Vista Farm

  12. Helena says:

    Pine needles have exceptional Vitamin C value. If you can find forest pine trees, a little pruning is fine or wild-craft the pine needles that have fallen fresh on the ground. If you’re concerned about abortive essential oils, leave them out. The needles will have the natural aroma. Everything in moderation when it comes to EO’s; I would be more concerned about the GMO processed foods we eat and drink

  13. Piya says:

    Hello Rosalle, My name is Piya, I’m following you past 7_8 months now.Hats off to your nice work.May god bless you.Soon I’m starting an online store with the name Nature’s Perk.And specially we are focussing on Herbs and treatments based on herbs.
    Thanks for your knowledge and support.Piya Sharma,Australia.

  14. Anne Wilson says:

    Wow this sounds heavenly! Thank you for the recipe. I am about to wrap and send the Wildcraft game to my granddaughter Emily for her 5th birthday. I’m excited about that too! I look forward to the day when I am close enough to play it with her, and do Herb Fairies with her too.

  15. Karen says:

    This butter sounds amazing…I’m looking forward to making it. Can rosemary EO be used as a preservative instead of the rosemary extract? No pregnancy concerns with me… I will definitely be adding the clary sage EO for peri-menopausal support!

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      Rosemary essential oil and rosemary antioxidant extract are two very different substances. I’m not sure how they compare – you could ask Mountain Rose Herbs to see if they have an explanation. Keep in mind that using the EO is going to give a strong scent to your end product.

  16. alli says:

    I’ve been following you guys for 2-3 yrs now, haven’t been able to take advantage of anything you have on sale or for sale (not even classes due to single income & extremely tight budget), but I save all of the recipes. Finally started to use some EO’s for sleeping help (just one) & now to help with reducing illnesses due to bronchitis, sinusitis & i swear allergies too. :)

    The only question I had on the recipe is on the time……it says 24 to 48 hrs we have to reheat the oil every 2 hours……please don’t tell me i have to get up in the middle of the night to heat up the oil every 2 hrs? Can we let it sit over night or do we have to set our alarm to wake up constantly to take care of this? no chance in using a warmer to keep it warm during the night while i try to sleep is there?

    I enjoy learning what all you guys share (for free) & am going to work on taking a class or 2 this coming year. I want to learn more & become a more confident herbalist as well as take classes to be a more confident aromatherapist. I use herbs for myself, family & livestock. Would like to extend my herb use out to my parents, so the more i know the more i can convince my dad that MD’s aren’t the only one’s who know stuff :)

    Thank you both (John & Rosalee) for all that you share with us.

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      No worries! You can get a good night’s sleep and still make this recipe. There is no need to heat this overnight. You can also use some type of electronic device such as a slow cooker to maintain the temperature at 100 degrees, then you don’t have to heat and reheat.

  17. Karin in Alaska says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your passions and enriching our lives! You are so generous and inspiring. My daughter and I have been a part of the Learning Herbs/Herb Mentor community for about 4 years (and my husband reaps many benefits from our explorations!). I’m excited to hear more about the BOOK!

    • Rosie says:

      Susan, try Mountain Rose Herbs. I know for a fact they have the butters and oils that you need for this, and although I haven’t checked, I would imagine they also have the rosemary antioxidant extract, as well.

  18. manou says:

    as always rosalee your recipies , explainations and photos are wonderfull.alors merci beaucoup pour tout cela…………………………..

  19. girlfarmer2 says:

    Hello Rosalee and John, I’ve been following you both for a few years now and have been a member for two. I just wanted to tell you both how much I appreciate all the time and love you put into learning herbs for all of us to enjoy and learn from. This recipe sounds delightful. I have several kinds of evergreens on my property, can a mix of different needles be used, or all from one species?

  20. Alberta parker says:

    Hello to the Learning Herb group! I have been following your website for a couple of years now and have benefitted from many free webinars and downloads. I have just purchased the herbal remedy Kit and am excited to get started on it! I have always been interested in cooking with herbs, but now I am learning about herbs as medicine thanks to the excellent course by K.P. Khalsa. But, I really want to thank you for your generosity in sharing information and the many free recipes and downloads you offer. And though I understand you are running a business, I feel as though you are friends excited and willing to share your info and knowledge with us. This site has spurred me to become educated and knowledgeable in the herbal field. I am not looking to be professional, but to improve my health and that of my family by using products which are actually good for us and moving away from chemicals whenever possible.
    Many thanks to all of you and my best wishes for a prosperous year in health and business!

  21. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful knowledge of herbs. I can’t wait to try this butter. I remember you
    mentioning a discount at Mountain Rose. Is that still valid and is there a coupon code? I am trying to put together an order and not forget anything from all of the wonderful recipes in the book and your site.

  22. Kathy says:

    Sounds like a great recipe — but I have a question! Mango Butter (related to cashews) causes problems for some of us. What could we substitute? More shea butter? Can’t use coconut either. :(

  23. Marlene McAvoy says:

    Thank you for the great recipe I was looking for a skin product for my son-in-law.and this is perfect for him I also have some patchouli and tangerine soap to send to him this fir needle recipe was an answer for me because I have been brooding over what to send him I go to a school that teaches herbalism and essential oils for a start but the school also teaches cheese making,wine making etc etc etc can I use your recipe for one of my projects for treating skin conditions also? Of course I will have to wait to see the results of the use of this cream on him.also fyi rosemary should be avoided by people with high blood pressure thanks again for this great recipe and have a wonderful christmas!

  24. Darinka says:

    Hello Rosalee and John, thank you for your recipe. I’m actually making it today for gifts. I use to make one similar with our garden Noble Fir, rose and patchouli from our garden and it was yummy. I’ll be making it just like your instructions this time. I usually use the pine needles with the stems and put them in my ninja blander to get the oils out of the N. Fir, prior to the infusion. The stems hold such a lovely aroma when crushed and it does transfer to the infusion. What do you think of this technique? have you ever used the needles with the stem?
    Thank you so much for your beautiful teachings.
    Many blessings to both of you :)

    PS: I got the game for my nephew and they got it today. SO excited for him

    • Rosalee de la Forêt says:

      Hi Darinka,
      Thanks for sharing your experience/ideas. I was actually wondering about putting the needles in a blender. I often do that to break up everything and help it infuse better. But I was concerned that evergreen needles might leave behind a sticky and/or resinous coating that might be hard to clean. Did that happen for you? Adding the stems is a great idea too.

      Enjoy Wildcraft!

      • Darinka says:

        lol, yes it did actually, but luckily I’ve dedicated this blender only for this type of crafting and to powder other resins for soap making like Dragon Blood, etc.. I still soak it overnight and scrub a little bit extra. Just never attempt Pinon Pine resin in a blender,.. boy that was a mistake. Live and learn lol.
        Thank you for your quick response. Happy Holidays

  25. Terese says:

    Love the evergreen body butter recipe! It is deffinatly on my to do list for the beginning of the year.
    I have been following along for a couple years. Memory issues plague me due to sleep issues. That is what brought me to Herbs and natural healing . Thank you for your generosity.
    Merry Christmas to your family , many blessings in the new year ahead.

  26. Peggy (Margaret) DiLullo says:

    Hello Everyone from Learning Herbs, I don’t get a chance to use my membership as much as I like but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy all the great and useful information.
    I have been a member for over a year and I plan to continue to be a member for as long as I possibly can.
    I love playing Wildcraft with my grandkids and making salves, tea and tinctures from my remedy kit with my granddaughters. I even gave a kind to my son’s girlfriend as a Christmas gift! I love it.
    The herb fairies books are also fun to read. Even for myself as an adult. It teaches me how to explain how helpful herbs can be to other children and adults. Although I have downloaded the books, I also purchased them from Amazon since I am a prime member and I love books. I don’t always have my computer with me and I don’t like reading from print outs. So I don’t mind paying to have a real book in hand especially when I go camping, boating on at the beach with my grandkids or just for myself. I look forward to purchasing your next book.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, And a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Peggy

  27. Michael Taylor says:

    I’m trying the evergreen recipe out now, does it have to be a double boiler? I’m using a old griddle
    that I found

  28. palmerpond says:

    Happy Solstice -and many thanks to you, John Gallagher, and the Learning Herbs family! I have been a member for 5 years and have enjoyed many of the courses, Rosemary’s Remedies, 7 Song’s, Susun Weed’s, Rosalee’s Taste of Herbs, etc. I have given the WildCraft board game to many friends and family. I still listen to the podcasts you made interviewing so many herbalists, and enjoy them immensely. THANK YOU for all the work you have done and continue to do. I find it very supportive! HAPPY 2017!
    Rebecca Ingalls

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