How To: Blueberry Glycerite

There have been glycerites galore around here lately, and before the summer season disappears completely, let's make one more, luscious, lovely extract with glycerine.

Because we can.

We're getting a bit advanced with this one, because blueberries can be a bit tricky to work with, but you can totally do this, so get out your equipment and let's get busy with blueberries!


50 % Glycerine
49.5 % Fresh Blueberries (I used organic)
0,5 % Preservative (I used benzyl alcohol)

Figure out how big a portion you want to make, then measure everything by weight. I made a small portion here (because I'm swimming in glycerites these days), so i chose a jar that holds 500 ml.

Blueberries can be sneaky. Sometimes a berry getting ready to go wonky will hide in the bunch. Since we don't want to add any wonky or even semi-wonky berries to our lovely glycerite, every single berry should be carefully examined.

Cutting every berry in half will both help max goodness be extracted and allow you to sort through every berry. Use only firm, plump berries that are bursting with blueberry deliciousness.


  • Sterilize the jar and your equipment
  • Slice the berries
  • Weigh the berries
  • Weigh and add glycerine
  • Add preservative
  • Place lid on jar
  • Keep jar in a dark and not too warm area
  • Agitate the jar daily for 5-7 days

Here's a peek at the jar shortly after I put on the lid. One cannot help but fall in love with the deliciousness of the color, can one?

Fast forward 6 days. 


Straining any glycerite is an exercise in patience, so here are a few tips to help ease the process.

You'll need

  • Container
  • Funnel (or 2)
  • Filters 
  • Latex gloves (you'll see why in a minute)
  • Bottle for your glycerite

Be sure your funnel, container and all equipment is clean before you start. Don your latex gloves, place the funnel over your container and line it with a filter. Prepare a second filter (so it can be slotted into place with one hand)

Pour the glycerite into the funnel and scoop out any floating berries (there will still be berries in the filter).

Now, GENTLY gather the edges of the filter and lift it up while placing a new filter (or second funnel with filter) into place. You now have a handful of filter number 1 - containing mostly berries and some glycerite

Ever so gently, squeeze the filter you are holding to extract as much liquid as possible.

Discard the fruit-laden filter.

You now have a setup that looks like this: a filter full of glycerite that is slowly running through.

Key word: slowly.

They say patience is a virtue.

Prepare to be virtuous.

Here's how:

Place your filter/container setup in a completely undisturbed place.
Cover it loosely with a 'foil tent' or other material that will keep dust, bugs and everything else undesired at bay.


Wait some more.

Wait even longer.

If your glycerite stops dripping altogether, don a fresh pair of latex gloves - CAREFULLY gather the edges of your filter together and lift it out while placing a new filter.

Then, EQUALLY CAREFULLY, pour the glycerite from the first filter into the second.


Wait some more.

Wait even longer.

If necessary, repeat the above filter-replacement exercise.

When the glycerite has finished filtering, transfer it to your bottle.

Date and label the bottle.

Rejoice at your virtuous-ness.

Time Factor

This glycerite took a total of 5 and a half hours to filter through. I did the filter-replacement exercise twice.

It was worth the wait.

Have fun.


Blueberry fun facts 
  • Blueberries have an average water content of around 84% 
  • 100 grams of blueberries is about 57 calories 
  • Blueberries have a natural content of methylparaben

Glycerite How to's on This Blog

Cucumber: 1
Cucumber: 2

Coming up

All about the magic of glycerine and its many properties.


Signe said…
Looking nice! What on Earth you are going to do with all these glycerites? Have any plans already? ;)
Unknown said…
I too am waiting to find out what the glycerite will be used for.
Unknown said…
I too am waiting to find out what the glycerite will be used for.
LisaLise said…
Hi Signe - I have been using them in skin tonics, lotions, creams, bath products... lots of stuff! :D

HI Kath - I may just have to post a few glycerite using ideas in an upcoming post-- several folks have asked :)
Tannu said…
Hi, making glycerite sounds lovely.. i am wondering what is the shelf life of it and if there is any other paraban free preservative that will work here?
LisaLise said…
Hi Tannu - you touch on a very interesting thing that I have been researching lately - the preservative power of glycerine with fresh food glycerites and whether or not a preservative is even necessary. The shelf life is dependant upon what is added, so I'm afraid you are getting a non-answer from me on this one. With dried herbs, a glycerite is generally made with no added preservative and has a shelf life of approx 6 months (although you will find some who say they last up to 2 years -- again - dependant on what is added. I have upcoming posts on this very subject.

May I ask why you are looking for paraben free?
Tannu said…
Hi Lise, thanks for replying, I was reading that to make glycerite it's recommended to first soak dry herbs in water... is it possible to make a glycerite without water and directly adding dry herbs? I am going to try that soon.
Paraban free is what my customers are looking for. I have loads of people ask me exclusively that they want paraban free. And if there is an option I would prefer that as well. I mainly use optiphen plus for my skincare range.
I actually love herbs infusions but always hesitant towards fresh fruits and using herb infusions too due to their hard to preserve nature, made an amazing rose water face cream which had the most beautiful pink tint but it turned brownish in few weeks which was little unpleasant as if i sell them fresh i don't want customers to think its molding because its changing color.
LisaLise said…
Hi Tannu - You need the water in these extracts as glycerine will not function well enough to extract the water-soluble components of the added material by itself.

Thanks for answering about the parabens. It is a common thing that people ask for paraben free and this is truly a pity. An entire group of preservatives has had to suffer under scare campaigns that started because of 2 parabens that came under suspicion for being endocrine disruptors. These 2 were pulled from the market in 2009 and to my knowledge are no longer even available.The others were also put under new testing, and one one were again released. Every paraben preservative on the market today is throughly tested and approved. Parabens are among the safest preservatives and also have the longest track record of use (and testing). Sorry for 'preaching' at you, but I find it truly sad that misinformation about these preservatives has been allowed to take hold in the way it has. We are not only cheating our customers out of tried and tested ingredients, but by dismissing parabens, we are also allowing scare tactics and fearmongering to dictate how we make our products. It's just not fair - to anyone!

That said, if you are not happy using benzyl alcohol, you might try a 'cocktail' mix such as Cosguard. If you are use hydrosols instead of infusions, you won't experience the same color change problem, but you will need adequate broad spectrum preservation, where I can recommend both cosguard (a 'cocktail' mix that includes ebenzyl alcohol) and phenonip (which does contain parabens). Best of luck with it. :)
Tannu said…
Hi Lise, Again thanks for replying :) you have raised some good points here.
I have no issues with benzyl alcohol, just couldn't find it at my usual suppliers :) i have to look a little harder
With parabans, i really have no issue with them, but there were few reasons I opted to choose not to use them, one there is so much misinformation that initially i got overwhelmed and tried to stay away from something i wasnt sure y i am using it. I found optiphen plus and germall plus as good alternates for most of the stuff i was making. Then realised customers didn't wanted them too and lots of them specifically ask if i have parabans free products. I honestly didn't got too much chance of reading parabans and reaching on a conclusion. I am not against preservatives or unnatural alternates if they are safe to use but because other options were doing just fine I never came back on parabans topic.

LisaLise said…
HI Tannu - Are you in Europe? You can buy benzyl alcohol from Urtegaarden in Denmark. :)
Tannu said…
Thanks :) I am in Australia
María said…
Glycerine extracts are so versatile! Possibilities are endless, but what I love the most is that you can make a glycerite of (almost) any vegetable and fruit you want when they are just in perfect ripeness, bursting with actives!
What about this blueberry extract mixed with a wee bit of strawberry extract and cassis hydrolat?
In my opinion that would make a lovely toner or micellar water for summer ;)
@Tannu, I hope Lise doesn't mind I put this link, but I know a supplier in Australia, New Direction Automatics (, they also have store for UK and Canada and I've heard good reviews. On eBay also there is an Australian eBay store that seems to be good according to reviews I've seen, but now I don't remember the name, I can look for it if you're interested
LisaLise said…
Maria to the rescue!! I asked a friend in Aussieland if she could help but am still waiting to hear. New Directions has a great supply of things.
María said…
Well, I've just spotted the mistype thanks to the bl**dy corrector... It's aromatics, not Automatics XD. I'll search for the other store ;)
Tannu said…
Thanks a lot Maria and Lise :)
Unknown said…
Hi, where in the world do you find benzyl alcohol? I have been searching high and low for it, and can not find it anywhere!! :( I asked on one of the facebook groups I am in, and only got one reply, saying that benzyl alcohol will make the products smell like almonds, but they couldn't tell me where to get it.
Soooo that being said, have you noticed the almond scent too? and where can I find this? Thank you Lise!

-Philippa :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Philippa - I buy it from my Danish supplier Urtegaarden ( they ship all over), but you might try Cosguard which contains benzyl alcohol, and yes, it has a very marzipan- like scent which dissapates in some mixtures. It was completely overtaken by the cucumbers and blueberries in my 2 glycerites with those. There is also an Aussie supplier of benzyl alcohol -- Australian wholesale oils is the name I think. :)
María said…
Hi Tannu, I found the eBay store I was talking about: they're called Sanctuary supplies and are based in Australia:
I hope you can find what you need :)
Tannu said…
Thanku so much Maria! you are such a darling! xxx
LisaLise said…
I agree - Maria is the best!
Thea Maya said…
Hi Lisa, Good day! I am making this lovely blurberries glycerite after reading your post.
Question that i have is about viscosity. Will it becomes lower the second day? As usually Glycerine is abit higher viscosity but when i tried to agitate the jar in the second day, it has a lower viscosity then the first day.
LisaLise said…
HI Thea Maya - Yes the glycerite does become a bit less viscous as the infusion takes place. I hope your glycerite turns out beautifully :)
Thea Maya said…
It looks lovely now, will update you next week once it is ready...I did for blueberry and raspberry...����������
LisaLise said…
Thea Maya - I look forward to your inout next week :D!
Unknown said…
I am going to make a white mulberry glycerite, freshly harvested from my own tree! Excited already.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Lu - Ooh that sounds lovely! Have fun!
Unknown said…
should the fruit be washed in distilled water?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Unknown. I recommend using distilled water, yes indeed.

Wondering if you've tried this with frozen blueberries??

I'm wanna give it a try, but was wondering if I should leave the proportions the same, or reduce the blueberry content due to a higher water/juice content in the frozen blueberries. Plus the freezer already started breaking down the blueberry I feel like I could get something interesting in less time than 6 days, I'm thinking 24 hours and a quick spin in the blender before straining.

Would love to read your thoughts on my lazy herbalist method, have you tried with frozen fruit??
LisaLise said…
Hello Genevieve - you can indeed use frozen fruits but as for speeding up
infusion time this will have to be a judgement call. My usual reply to people who want to speed up the process is “you can’t rush excellence”. :)
Jyoti said…
Hello Lise! I would love to make a green tea glycerite...should I hydrate the tea leaves before infusion? If so what should be the proportions? Will be grateful for guidance.
LisaLise said…
HI Jyoti - My book 'The Art of Making Glycerites for Cosmetics' has calculation charts for making glycerites with all kinds of materials. If you visit the shop at you can read more about what's included :)
Anonymous said…
Hello, Love your blog! I am trying to recreate a leave in blueberry conditioner I love. I am new to making glycerites, but blueberry extract has proven hard to find! I just wanted to double check that this is a shelf stable product and if it would be good to use for a leave in hair product?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon - Ooh blueberry conditioner sounds amazing! If you follow proper GMP, your glycerites will be as shelf stable as commercially made extracts. If you pop over to my main site, you'll find an E-book called The Art of Making Glycerites for Cosmetics that walks you through the entire process. :)
Geetha said…
Hi Lise that's a great info indeed I wish to try watermelon glycerite is that possible as it has 92-96% water. Can I make 50:50ratio even for the glycerine to fruit. Can I use preservative eco for the preservation will it be good to use on.
LisaLise said…
HI Geetha -
You might consider checking out my book The Art of Making Glycerites (there's a link at the bottom of this post) as it answers all of your questions and includes calculation charts for all kinds of raw materials - both with preservative added and as self-preserving. Preservative ECO with the INCI: "benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, glycerine and sorbic acid" is a broad spectrum preservative and can be used but be mindful of recommended dosages-- check with your supplier.
mandi said…
Hi there! I'm new here and I'm an herbalist who was taught how to make herbal extracts with glycerine as an alternative to alcohol tinctures. Now I'm teaching myself how to formulate and was curious about using herbal and/or fruit glycerites in my recipes but wondering how to preserve them naturally. I've read through the comments and see your stance on parabens. I respectfully disagree and would like to personally avoid them in my products. What are your thoughts on preserving glycerites with alcohol? Let's say 190 proof grain or sugar cane alcohol to be more specific. This is a method I learned in herb school but I'm wondering what effect the alcohol would have on a skincare formula and at what percentage I'd use. Maybe you don't have the exact answers for this but I'd love at least your opinion! Thinking of purchasing your glycerites e-book as well..
LisaLise said…
HI Mandi - thanks for your comment. Glycerites can be made so they are completely self preserving. I wrote a book about this (there's a link at the bottom of the post). I would be hesitant about adding alcohol as a preservative to a glycerite. If you do a search on this blog for lemongrass glycerite - that one is self preserving. :)
Jennifer said…
Should you rinse the blueberries first?
LisaLise said…
Hi Jennifer - yes indeed - rinse the blueberries i distilled water.
Anonymous said…
Hi, I have a question on using glycerites in facial care...A lot of herbs are Ph sensitive and due to that they shift color (beetroot turns brown) would this not happen when i put beetrootpowder in glycerite and then use it in my products? Or does this remain the same...
LisaLise said…
H Anon - you are absolutely correct about the colorants of many herbs being pH sensitive. There is no easy answer to this - expect to do a lot of experimenting. Beetroot is particularly difficult-- do a search on this blog about beetroot as a colorant. I did a post about this exact subject :)
Chaagii said…
Thank u so much for your vlog. Can I boil by slow heat 30 min in the water and then add sodium benzeote and glycerin ?
LisaLise said…
Hi Chaagii - I never heat my glycerine extractions, so I really can't say.
Unknown said…
Do you have any suggestions for making a glycerite out of the leaves of the blueberry bush? Or any ideas if the green leaves are good to work with, or if it is better to harvest the leaves when they turn orange and red here in Vermont in the fall? Supposedly, the leaves contain more nutrients than the berries do. Thank you so much!
LisaLise said…
Hi Wendy

Thanks for your comment! I am fascinated to hear the leaves are said to carry more nutrients than the berries! I would pick fresh leaves if I were doing a glycerite with the leaves. Crush or chop them just before use. Best of luck with it!