Utilize the sun to naturally infuse oil with the goodness of herbs!
Simply infusing oil with herbs will transform them into healing, soothing, and relaxing medicinal preparations. There are several ways to infuse oils, but my favorite is the Folk or Simpler’s Method which relies upon the sun to naturally infuse the oil with the goodness and essence of herbs. You can utilize countless herbs, and listed below are some of the most popular choices. Many different organic carrier oils may be used, but Jojoba oil and Olive oil are wise choices because they have a long shelf life and are suitable for a variety of applications. You can use herbal infused oils to create massage oils, salves, lip balms, facial serums, hair treatments, body creams, soaps, and more!
Folk Method for Solar Infused Oils
1. Place herbs in a clean quart jar. If using fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause your oil to go rancid), cut into small pieces, and crush with a mortar and pestle before adding to jar. You can skip these extra steps if your herbs are dried. You can find an extensive selection of dried herbs here.
2. Pour oil into the jar, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1” of oil and leaving at least 1/2” of space at the top of the jar so the herbs will have room to expand. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more on top to ensure that the herbs are well covered.
3. Stir well, and cap the jar tightly.
4. Place the jar in a sunny and warm windowsill, and shake once or more per day. You can also cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight.
5. After 4-6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth. Make sure and squeeze every precious drop of oil out!
6. Pour into glass bottles, and store in a cool dark place. The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
Herbs to Infuse:
Arnica flowers – Indispensable as an external oil. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or on minor bumps and bruises.
Calendula flowers – One of my favorite oils with a myriad of uses. Oil infused with calendula flowers is wonderfully soothing and is suitable for sensitive skin and for babies.
Cayenne peppers – Used for occasional aches and pains – especially of the joints.
Cedar Tips – Helpful for fungus and minor skin irritations.
Chickweed – Wonderfully soothing for minor skin irritations and bug bites.
Comfrey root and leaf – Deeply penetrating and traditionally used as a topical oil or as an ingredient in salve.
Goldenseal or Oregon Grape root – Wonderful for minor cuts and abrasions.
Lemon Balm – Soothing for the skin.
Mullein flowers – A classic oil used to soothe and relieve.
Myrrh gum – Used for scrapes and cuts.
Peppermint – Great for massaging into sore muscles.
Plantain – Soothes and helps speed the recovery of damaged skin, blisters, and insect bites.
Poke root – Traditionally used as a woman's ally for breast massages.
Rosemary leaf – A stimulating oil for hair treatments, sore muscles, or even for culinary use.
St. John’s Wort – Craft this red-colored oil made from freshly gathered St. John’s Wort. The oil is used topically for minor wounds, bruises, bee stings, scrapes, diaper rash, pain, and mild burns.
Thyme – A strong preparation used externally for cuts and scrapes, and it is great for sore muscles.
Yarrow – Used for cuts, scraps, and minor rashes.
Feel free to combine herbs or infused oils to create special blends:
Floral Oil – An aromatic oil which will lift the spirits and smells divine. Apply to the skin after a shower, bath, or during a massage. The oil will be moisturizing, soothing, relaxing, and calming to the skin. To make, infuse organic Rose Petals, Lavender flowers, or Chamomile flowers in organic Jojoba Oil.
Relaxation Oil – A fragrant blend of relaxing herbs, use after a nighttime bath or shower to help with relaxation, tranquility, and sleep. Or, rub on temples at night before retiring to bed. Infuse a mixture of organic Hops, Chamomile flowers, and Lavender flowers in organic Olive or Jojoba oil.
Quick Method for Infusing Oils
Another way to infuse oils, which is sometimes necessary when herbal oils need to be created in a pinch, is the quick method which utilizes heat. Much care needs to be taken when creating herbal oils this way, because you don't want to deep-fry your herbs! Place herbs in crock-pot, double boiler, or electric yogurt maker, and cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or other carrier oil of choice) leaving at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1-5 hours until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herb. Some texts recommend heating the oil 48-72 hours at a controlled temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Once the oil is ready, strain using cheesecloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Store in a dark and cool place. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.