Hello everyone. We are back in the kitchen today to talk about infusing oils with herbs. I do this regularly with a variety of herbs to use in our apothecary products. There are a couple methods you can use to infuse your herbs in oils which we will discuss. But first why infuse herbs in oil? Well the biggest reason is for the medicinal benefits of the herb infused in oil. By allowing the "carrier oil" to soak up the dried herbs, you now have a useful oil that can be added to a variety of products. For us we use this infused oil in our products to provide holistic healing properties. Carrier oils include: jojoba oil, olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil to list a few. We use extra virgin olive oil as a our carrier oil for the herbs. It has a longer shelf life as does jobjoba oil. So great if making a larger batch.
The first method of infusing oils is the "Folk Method" or "Solar Method" which is using the sun to infuse your herbs into the oil. This is the method we use for our infusions. Simply use a glass canning jar, fill up with your mix of herbs about 1/2 way and then add your carrier oil to about 1" above the dried herbs. Be sure to leave about 1/2" from the top of the jar for expansion. Cover and place in a sunny window sill for about 3-4 weeks. It is also helpful to place a label on the jar with the name of the herbs used and the date. Once they have fully infused, then strain the oil through a cheese cloth or wire/metal strainer to remove all the herbs. Place strained oil in an dark colored jar and place in your pantry for future use.
The second method is through heat. This is a quicker way to infuse your oils. Place your herbs in a crock pot or double boiler and cover with your carrier oil. Now you need to be very careful when using this method not to fry your herbs. You need to use low heat for 1-5 hours. You will notice the oils start to take on the coloring and scent of the herbs. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled strain with cheese cloth or wire/metal strainer and store in a dark colored glass jar. Be sure to pay attention closely while using this method. Be sure to label and date your jar as well.
So as you can see it's a very simply process to infuse oils with herbs. The benefits from doing so is so worth while. We have a variety of herbs that we infuse regularly to use in our apothecary products. Our favorites include calendula, lavender and peppermint. So give it a try yourself and let us know what herbs you used and for what purpose.
Keep it simple and natural.
Blessing from the Kitchen Witch