Infusing oils…

Common Infusion Methods

Infusing tip: crunch/chop/macerate/food process/mortar and pestle/blender/etc your herbs to minimize surface area and oil penetration

on the stove…

Tools needed:
Double Boiler
Cheese cloth or muslin
bottle/jar

ratio of herbs to oil:  250 g to 3 cups oil* 

Place the herbs in the double boiler and cover with oil. Gently simmer mixture for about 3 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the herbs by pouring through the cheese cloth or muslin. Pour oil into bottle. Hot infused oil is best used when it’s fresh, but it should last about a year.

 

with the sun…(cold process)

*use a colored jar, or do not place directly in the sun (or both)*

Tools Needed:
jar
Enough dried herbs to fill the jar
Enough oil to completely cover the herbs in the jar
cheesecloth/muslin

Place DRY herbs in the jar–if they are not DRY, the herbs can make the infusion turn rancid. Completely cover herbs with oil. Set in a sunny spot for 3 to 6 weeks. Shake occasionally. When complete, strain through the cheescloth or muslin (repeat if necessary) into clean bottle or jar.

in the crockpot…

tools needed:
crockpot
herbs
oil

As in a sun infusion, cover herbs with oil and place in crockpot on low for several hours.  Remove, cool, strain and jar. 

Making Salves from Infused oils…

Pour about 1/2 c (4 oz) infused oil into a glass bowl, and place over a pot of boiling water.
Add a small chunk* of beeswax to the infused oil, stirring constantly until the wax has completely melted. Pour the warm liquid into small, dark ointment jars.  Store in a cool, dark place.
*1 pint of oil generally needs about 1 1/2 oz beeswax, depending on the consistancy you want…

try these: 

  • infuse calendula, chamomile, yarrow and lavender–for baby salves I generally use a combination of sunflower, grapeseed and a weeeeeee little bit of olive oil…use oil as is for skin irritations, or add a few drops to cornstarch and arrowroot mixture—makes a good baby powder, can also make into a salve for diaper rash…
  • infuse 1 part comfrey, st johns wort, and plantain with 2 parts calendula into olive oil to make a skin soothing salve…

 

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS…

*try adding vitamin E oil to any oils that you plan to use “as is”, or to the final product…
a bit of rosemary infused in with your oils, of a few drops of the essential oil may also help them last longer…but it can also change the smell
*oils to use: olive oil and sweet almond oil are the more popularly recommended…also jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, avacodo, and sunflower oils and other carrier oils can generally be used–since some oils have different properties and smells of their own, you might want to look into that before mixing with certain herbs (like coconut oil and say, sage—-YUCK!)

*herbs to use:  any DRIED herb, whether for smell or its medicinal property or aromatherapy or magickal purpose…fresh herbs (with a few exceptions) tend to rot/get moldy in the oil, causing it to go rancid–UNLESS you are using a fast infusing method

1 thought on “Infusing oils…”

  1. Um… I think you are my hero! 🙂

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