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How to Infuse Herbs and Why You’d Want To!

Infusing carrier oils with herbs for medicinal or culinary use is a great way to take your soap making to the next level. Or to make balms and salves to meet your own needs.

Quick heat method:

I use a crock pot, but a double boiler can also be used.

Always use dried herbs, if using fresh, allow them to dry for a day, then crush. This allows water to leave the fresh herbs so it will eliminate the infused oil to become rancid.

  1. Use about 1 part herbs to 4 parts of oil. Or if you don’t need an exact measurement, add the herbs to the crock pot that you want to use and pour oil over them until it is about 1 inch of oil covering the herbs. Example: 4 oz herbs to 16 oz oil  OR 1/4 cup herbs to 1 cup oil. 

2. Put the lid on and turn on LOW HEAT for 4 hours.

3.Turn off and allow to cool on it’s own.

4.Strain and done!

To use the cold infusion method, use the same ratio as above, but just put the herbs and the oil in a jar with a lid. Give a few shakes to make sure the herbs didn’t pack down. Label and put out of direct light for 2-3 weeks, shaking every few days. Strain and done!

To use the solar infusion method, use the same directions as the cold infusion, but place on a window sill in the direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks, shaking once or twice a day. Strain and done!

If you are going to store it, add a bit of Vitamin E oil just to boost the shelf life.

Here are some of the herbs that I use for infusing most often:

 Arnica Flowers Arnica montana L.

  1. topical and external use ONLY

  2. do not apply to broken skin or open wounds

  3. member of Asteraceae (sunflower) family, avoid if allergic to this plant family

  4. excellent for muscle rubs

  5. promotes quick healing of bruises, sprains and swellings

  6. assists with dandruff, hair loss and premature graying when applied topically

  7. can be used in oil infusions and tinctures

Calandula Flowers Calendula officinalis L.

  1. fresh flowers are edible

  2. dried flowers can be used as tea, in oil infusions or tinctures

  3. fresh plant can be used as tea and in tinctures

  4. member of Asteraceae (sunflower) family, avoid if allergic to this plant family

  5. promotes healing of broken skin or open wounds

  6. soothing for troubled skin

  7. flower can be used as a dye

  8. traditionally used as a gargle for soothing irritate throat, mouth and tonsils

  9. used in many many balms and salves to promote healing

Chickweed Stellaria media (L.)

  1. the aerial parts of the plant are used

  2. aids in digestive problems and constipation

  3. promotes wellness in kidney and bladder

  4. aids in relief of arthritis and inflammation

  5. supports the respiratory system and works as an expectorant

  6. promotes wound healing

Comfrey Leaf Symphytum officinale L.

  1. one of my favorite for wound healing

  2. use dry in infusions

  3. known as the ‘bone knitting herb’

  4. very high in Vitamin C and Calcium

  5. supports speedy recovery of broken bones and wounds

Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis L.

  1. used to calm the heart and body

  2. used as a tea with other relaxants

  3. popular for culinary uses

  4. amazing smell and easy to grow

  5. antiviral properties

  6. stimulates the digestive system

Mullein Leaf Verbascum sinuatum L.

  1. used in tincture or infusions

  2. high in potassium, iron, sulfur

  3. supports healthy respiratory and glandular system

  4. mild laxative

  5. soothing expectorant

Peppermint Leaf Mentha x piperita L.

  1. easy to grow

  2. can be used fresh or dry for teas or culinary

  3. refreshing in balms and muscle rubs

Plantain Leaf Plantago lanceolata L.

  1. eaten raw and in salads

  2. used for tea

  3. anti-inflammatory

  4. astringent properties used for drawing toxins, infections, blemishes from the skin when used topically

  5. great in balms and salves

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis L.

  1. known mostly for culinary use

  2. antibacterial

  3. antioxidant

  4. anti-immflatory

  5. antifungal

  6. antiseptic

  7. contains iron and potassium

  8. aroma supports good memory

  9. research shows support for cancer patients

  10. improves hair growth and thickness when used topically

Thyme Thymus sp. L.

  1. Fresh or dried leaves or sprigs

  2. antibacterial

  3. antifungal

  4. promotes healing of wounds and skin irritations

  5. promotes respiratory health

There are so many more herbs available! Do some research and find some to use to meet the specific needs of your family! Two of my favorite web sites to order herbs from are Mountain Rose Herb and Bulk Herb Store.

I hope this inspires you to begin creating!


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