My Herbs Blog
-Infused oils are an ancient way to extract the principle elements, and scent from plants and preserve them. My favorite, and most herbalist's favorite oil base is Olive Oil. When I say olive oil, I mean extra virgin, 1st Cold Press- ONLY! The first press, with cold extraction is pressed from the oil, usually with an ancient wooden pressure press that squeezes the oil from the olive fruit. This is this the most pure and energy filled oil you can use to make infused herbal oils.
".....I like them all, but especially the olive. For what it symbolizes, first of all- peace with its leaves and joy with its golden oil."
"The olive tree is surely the richest gift of Heaven."
There are other vegetable oils that can be used, and they are apricot kernel oil, almond oil, and grape seed oil. I just personally prefer Olive Oil and that is what I choose to use just about every time I make an infused oil, or ointment/ salve.
When you make your infused oils- you will want to use dried herbs or "fresh" wilted herbs and flowers. To wilt- pick fresh and place on a paper towel on your counter for a few hours. Some of the water will evaporate, making the herbs more stable for infusing. When they contain too much moisture content, there is risk of spoilage. I love how Rosemary Gladstar explains the proportions when making infused oils. She recommend the "simpler's method," whereby you put the desired amount of herb in a jar, and cover it completely with oil, making sure you leave 2-3 inches of oil over the top of the herb.
The herbs must be covered with the olive oil, because any portion that is not- can spoil, especially if you are using fresh wilted herbs. After covering the plant material, cover the jar tightly with a lid and place it in a warm sunny spot. (This method is called solar infusion, because you will be using the sun's heat and energy to extract the essences of the plant, rose, in this instance.) I love this method much more than heating my oil and herbs with the stove, or a crock pot.
and shake, or agitate your jar of rose petal oil at least once a day. This actually makes a big difference in the quality of the finished oil. I agitate about 4 or 5 times by gently turning my hand back and forth with the jar. The typical amount of time that you can let your oils sit, is two weeks. If you want the rose oil to be stronger you have a few options, 1. let the petals sit in the oil an extra week, or 2. strain off all the oil, compost the rose petals and then put a new batch of petals in the oil and start again.
When you strain the oil from the petals, use cheese cloth, so you can really squeeze the essence from the petals. To store your homemade rose oil, it is more preferable to use brown, glass bottles. I have used clear glass, but only when I am storing in a dark cabinet to keep the light and heat from affected the made oil. It is kind of strange that the oil needs to sit in the sun when you are making it, but when it is finished, you need to keep the new oil in a dark, dry storage space.
Do not forget to label your herbal product with the ingredients, the date, and I sometimes even write down the plant source, and the type of oil I used. Your new rose oil will not have a super strong scent of rose, but can be made more prominent by double and triple infusing the petals, or by adding a drop of pure rose essential oil to the finished product. For heart issues, and issue of sadness, grief or a feeling of apathy, gently massage the rose oil over your heart one to two times a day. Enjoy and God bless!
photo credit is to www.unsplash.com (except for first pic of the olive oil container.)
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