MAKING YOUR OWN INFUSED OILS
HOT INFUSED OILS
Active plant ingredients can be extracted in oil for external use in massage oils, creams, and ointments. Infused oils will last for up to a year if kept in a cool, dark place, but they are more potent when fresh, so it’s best to make small amounts frequently. The hot method is suitable for leafy herbs such as comfrey, chickweed, stinging nettle, cleavers, bladderwrack, and rosemary.
- Put the oil (500 ml sunflower or cold pressed olive oil) and the herb (250g dried herb) into a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a double boiler and heat gently for about 3 hours.
- Strain the mixture through a muslin bag or a jelly bag.
- Pour the oil into storage bottles, using a funnel if necessary.
COLD INFUSED OILS
This method of making an infused oil is suitable for flowers such as calendula, st. john’s wort and chamomile. It is a slow process, the flowers and oil are packed into a jar and left for several weeks, after which the once-infused oil is used again with fresh herb to extract as much active plant ingredient as possible. Cold infused oils are used in massage oils or as the basis for creams, salves, or ointments.
- Pack a large jar tightly with the herb and cover completely with oil (safflower or wheat germ oil work good for this). Put the lid on and leave on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse for 3 weeks.
- Pour the mixture into a jelly bag fitted with string or rubber band to the rim of a jug.
- Squeeze the oil through the bag. Repeat steps 1 an 2 with new herb and the once-infused oil. After 3 more weeks strain once more and pour into storage bottles, using a funnel if necessary. Store for up to a year in a cool place away from direct light.
Joelle’s Sacred Grove