An oil infusion is a method of extracting and preserving the essential oils of herbs in a non-concentrated form. Making an oil infusion is like making a tea with oil, instead of water. This can work for leaves and flowers. The infusions can be used for massage, creams, ointments or aromatherapy purposes. Infused oils may keep for a few months, but will be stronger made in small batches for more immediate use. Making an oil infusion is a very simple process. Use high-quality organic herbs and a good quality oil like olive oil and virgin coconut oil.
a. Hot Oil Infusion: Hot infused oils may be made from herbs such as Comfrey. Any light oil, such as Sunflower, Safflower or Sweet Almond oil, is a suitable medium to use.
- Place the herb and oil in a glass bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, and heat gently for a couple of hours.
- Pour through a jelly bag into a clean jug.
- Squeeze out as much oil as possible through the bag (wear gloves as the oil is hot), to get a really strong extract.
- Pour into clean, dark bottles. Seal and store. Keep in a cool place and use within 3 months of making.
Standard Quantities: 250g (9oz) dried herb or 500g (11/4lb) fresh herb to 500 ml (2cups) pure vegetable oil.
b. Cold Oil Infusion: Some plants contain important medicinal oils which are highly volatile, e.g. they escape with heat, and a cold oil infusion retains their properties much more successfully. Herbs preferred for cold infusion are marigold or St. John’s Wort.
- Pack large jar with the herb and cover with oil. Seal and leave in a sunny spot for 2 weeks.
- Pour slowly through a jelly bag into a clean jug, allowing time for the oil to filter through the fabric.
- Squeeze out as much oil as possible through the bag. To make the infused oil even stronger, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 with the same oil and new amounts of the herb.
- Pour into clean, dark bottles. Seal and store. Preferably, use small bottles as when opened the oil starts to deteriorate.
Standard Quantities: 250 g (9 oz) dried herb or 500 g (1 1/4lb) fresh herb to 500 ml (2 cups) pure vegetable oil.