Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Herb-infused oils {a tutorial}

About a year ago, I began in earnest to look at healing herbs and figure out which ones were the best fit for my family. We use our herbs in teas and in oil infusions. I use the resulting infused oils in salve or straight out the bottle. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these herbs really do have amazing healing properties! I knew someone who fell & cracked their tailbone. Poor dear was in constant pain and after seeing her chiropractor, there wasn't much else to do but wait for it to heal. I had just come across comfrey. Now, if you're not familiar with it - you should be! Comfrey is also known as "bone-knit" and is a super healer. Another super healer is Arnica. This power-house herb is great for bruising & swelling! The two together are a sure fire way to heal just about anything.

One word of caution: PLEASE do not apply arnica (in any form) to any kind of open wound!  Arnica can slow the coagulation of the blood (or clotting) and is not useful for open wounds! 

In this case, there were no open wounds so I mixed up 1 part comfrey oil with 1 part arnica oil and had her rub that into her tailbone, very gently, for the duration of her visit with us. With a few more chiropractic visits and some TLC she was nearly back to normal when she left a few weeks later! Once she returned home to her own chiropractor, he was amazed at her results and simply told her to keep doing whatever it was that she had been doing. 

With that being said, here is how I infuse my oils. There are many other ways to do it, and each has it's own benefits. If this method doesn't work for you, that's ok! Simply google "how to make an herb infused oil" and a wide variety of methods will appear! For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be infusing arnica:

Step 1: Gather your dried plant material. Organic is best, but use what you can find! Here's the Arnica I'd recommend (Starwest Botanicals Arnica via Amazon)
Using dried plant material ensures that your infusion doesn't mold. 

Step 2: Find a good quality olive oil. Again, organic is best, but use what you can find.
    Olive oil isn't the only oil you can use, but it is readily available to many! I have used coconut oil in a warm spot to keep it liquid. I have used grapeseed oil or almond oil. Use what suits you & the purpose for your infusion.

Step 3: Place your plant material into a quart mason jar. Pour olive oil into jar, completely covering the dried plant material. Place cap on tightly and put the jar someplace where you'll remember to give it a shake every few days.

Step 4: After about 3 weeks, your oil is ready for use! I keep mine as a constant "brew". I replace the oil I remove as I use it and every couple of times add in a bit more dried herb. This ensures I have a constant supply ready for when I need it!

Adding a teaspoon of vitamin E oil can help act as a preservative. However your herbal infused oils should last in a cool place for quite some time! 

I should note that since I am relatively new to infusing herbs, I have not yet come to the point where my jar is too full for any additional herb. I think once I get to that point I will remove it all & squeeze out or drain any remaining oil from the herb. Then I will begin a fresh jar!

Need ideas on how to use your newly infused oils? Check this tutorial out {Super Healing Salve}

***I want to thank my dear friend Jordan Carroll of In A Blink Photography for snapping a few shots for my tutorial!***

Are you interested in learning more about herbs? I am planning to enroll in this course very soon The Herbal Academy of New England Intermediate Herbal Course Won't you join me?

Please let me know if you try this method and if it works well for you! You can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/theimperfectruthproject or email me theimperfecttruthproject@gmail.com