Herbal oils have a lot of uses! They can be used on their own but they are also a great base for balms and salves. You can actually purchase the herbal oil but you can also make it. Infusing oil with herbs is actually easy to do even for those who have no experience in doing it. In fact, if you know how to boil water, you will have no problem in making your very own herbal oil infusion.
Choosing Your Oil
The first thing that you would have to do while you are in the process of making your herbal oil infusion is to choose the oil. There are 3 factors that you have to consider when you are making a choice as to the best oil, that is, sustainability, skin sensitivity, and availability. People who are in the herbal oil creation business suggest organic olive oil for herbal infusion due to its ability to resist oxidation and the stability of the oil. However, you can also use sunflower, coconut, sweet almond, apricot, grape seed or even avocado oil for this purpose.
Picking Your Herbs
One common question that comes up in making herbal oil infusion is whether to use fresh or dried herbs. Creating medicinal oil with dried herbs is a great thing as the herbal infusion is quite potent but you can still use fresh herbs without incident. But, keep in mind that using fresh herbs will make the oil susceptible to bacteria. The high moisture from the fresh herbs can also cause the oil to spoil, hence, using dried herbs is highly recommended.
Preparing Your Herbal Oil Infusion
There are several ways to prepare the herbal oil infusion. Here are 3 of the most popular way to do it. But before doing any of it, be sure to prepare everything you need including a jar with a lid. Sterilize the jars to make sure they are clean.
Hot Oil Extract
Fill one to two thirds of the jar with dried herbs and pour the oil inside the jar. Stir the jar to mix and combine the herbs with the oil. Place a towel at the bottom of a pot with and add a bit of water then place the jar inside. With the fire at the lowest setting, heat up the pot for 4 to 8 hours a day for 3 days. While doing this, keep an eye on the pot and add water as it evaporates.
Cold or Solar Infusion
In this method, prepare the jar as stated above but rather than heating it up, leave the infusion to steep on its own from 2 to 4 weeks. Be sure to place it in a sunny and warm location.
Cooking in a Double Boiler
Here, you have to place the oil and the herbs in a double boiler. Heat it up until you bring it into a low simmer. Heat it up from half an hour to one hour but check it from time to time to make sure that the oil doesn't overheat. Once it cools down, strain the infusion using a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth and discard the herbs.