I love infusing my oils with all kinds of herbs and flowers. I can go as far as to say that I am obsessed with it. By letting herbs and flowers infuse in an oil for a certain period of time I am able to extract many of the powerful and healing properties of the plant into a usable form. There are so many herbs and flowers that you can infuse an oil with.
Using dried herbs will ensure the longest shelf life of you oil as using fresh herbs may introduce moisture into your infused oil which will spoil it. It is always worth mentioning of the importance to use organic herbs and flowers , as flowers such as roses often get heavily sprayed with chemicals.
There are 3 ways that an oil can be infused:
The Cold Infusion method – my favourite method and the one that I use for most of my infusions.
1) Clean and sterilise a glass jar and ensure it is completely dry.
2) Pack full of your dried herb or flowers. (Do not wash the herb or introduce any water to the process by using a wet jar or wet spoon for mixing).
3) Using a carrier oil of your choice such as sunflower, coconut or sweet almond, pour oil over the flowers ensuring they are completely covered. Fill the jar almost to the brim with oil as any air gaps will promote oxidation and will spoil the oil.
4) Gently push a spoon or chopstick around the edge of the jar to release any air bubbles.
5) Put the lid on and leave to infuse for 6 weeks away from strong sunlight. You can pop the jar in a warm place such as an airing cupboard.
6) After 6 weeks strain the contents of a jar through a muslin cloth or a coffee filter paper squeezing to remove all the oil.
The Sun Infusion Method – a traditional method of infusing oils in the sun and letting the warmth of the sun to gently heat the oils and assist in the infusion process. I sometimes use this method in summer.
This method is the same as the cold infusion method, however instead of putting the jar in a cupboard , you put it on a windowsill or a warm , sunny counter for around 5-6 weeks to infuse.
The Heat Infusion Method – is the quickest way to infuse the oils. The most important point to remember when creating herbal oils this way is to keep the heat as low as possible, because you don’t want to ‘cook’ the herbs. All you need to do is to place the herbs in a double boiler, slow cooker or bain marie, cover with the oil of your choice and gently heat the herbs over the low heat for 2-6 hours. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain the herbs through a muslin cloth and the oil is ready for use.
Here are some of my favourite things to infuse an oil with :
Rose Infused Sweet Almond oil
Roses are more than just beautiful flowers, their petals contain skin-toning properties that can be helpful for those with mature, dry or sensitive skin. Rose oil is often viewed as a luxurious oil that can improve the health of skin all over the body, especially on the face. Although it can be very costly to purchase commercially prepared rose oil or rose essential oil, you can prepare your own rose oil in few simple steps.
Vanilla infused Jojoba oil
Infusing Jojoba oil with vanilla, makes the oil smell so sweet and I love adding jojoba oil to my body and hair products.
Coffee infused Coconut oil
Coconuts and Coffee smell is one of my favourite and this infusion smells absolutely amazing. You can use coconut oil for almost anything.
Lavender infused Coconut oil
Another one of my favourite infusions. I pick lavender up during the summer our summer house in Bulgaria, where my father grows it and used it throughout the year to infuse coconut oil. I also sometimes add vanilla to this infusion to make it extra special.
These are some of my favourite things to infuse an oil with and you can always choose whatever you want to infuse it with and use the carrier oil of your choice. Using organic and cold pressed oils are important as they retain most of their beautiful properties. The life span of the oils will depend on the choice of oils, however Vitamin E can slow the oxidations process of the oils and therefore can be added to the infusions in order to extend the expiry date.
Love , Anna xx