LadyErynn's Garden is more than a place for herbs and tea. My hope is to share some herbal crafting recipes (like the Tinctures) with you so we can all dabble in the art of Herbalism together. One of my favorite recipes is for the Healing Salve, which is like a homemade Neosporin (but better), and I've noticed that many of the salve recipes I've found involve Herb-Infused Oils. So, that's where we're going to start. Making your own Herb-Infused Oil is quick and easy, and there are a few different ways to get it done. First off, you will need: Before we begin, make sure your herbs are completely dry. Any leftover moisture might make them mold during the process, so we need them to be as dry as possible. Also, your jar needs to be dry for the same reason. (Pro tip: save your glass olive-oil bottles to store these oils. You don't need to wash them out since there's already oil in them) My method is the double-boiler method, which means we are going to heat the oil before adding it to the herbs. For easy clean-up, my double boiler is a glass measuring cup in a saucepan about half-full of water. Measure out how much oil you think you need. Try to get organic oil if you can, but the store-brand will do in a pinch. Just stay away from the synthetic stuff. Anyway, measure out your oil and add it to the top portion of the double boiler. Turn the heat to medium and gently heat the oil until it's warm to the touch. While the oil is heating, take your herb (I'm using Basil, but Lavender and Calendula are also great ones to start with) and gently crumble them into the clean jar. They don't have to be in tiny bits, but you want to bruise them a little.
When the oil is warm to the touch, carefully take it out of the double boiler and pour over the herbs, making sure to cover them completely. Stir the herbs around to get rid of any air pockets, then seal it up with an airtight lid, cork, etc.
Now, the hard part. Like Tinctures, infused oils need to sit for a while to be effective. My way of heating the oil before adding it to the herbs cuts that time down a bit because the heat will help the herbs release their oils. However, it still needs to sit for 2-3 weeks minimum before we use it. Like with most herbs, you'll want to store it in a cool, dry place. You may also want to store it on a towel in case it leaks (I overfilled one of my smaller bottles and learned that the hard way). As I said before, herb-infused oils are a typical ingredient in most herbal projects. However, they can also be used in a variety of other ways. Depending on the herbs you use, these oils can also be used as: Now you know the basics of making Herb-Infused Oils, and this is just one method of many. To check out some of the other options, visit Wellness Mama, The Herbal Academy, DIY Natural, and Natural Herbal Living. As a side note, my Healing Salve uses Calendula Oil, Lavender Oil, and Tea Tree Oil. I don't know how to make the Tea Tree Oil yet, but the other two can be made with the methods above. There's plenty of time to get them ready before I share my recipe in September! The photos are my own.