There is something beautiful in the alchemy behind taking pure ingredients and making luxurious, healing products. These herbal infusions can be wildcrafted by you very economically, using plants grown in your garden. The oils can be applied directly to the skin, or you can use them as an ingredient in salves, lotions & soap making.
My lavender/rose hip infused oil is the perfect remedy to alleviate the pain and swelling on my leg from an old injury. The oil gives soothing relief, and comfort and increases the blood circulation in that area minimizing the appearance of a varicose vein that has made an appearance.
There are many good carrier oils to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites for skincare.
Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)
Try to make sure that what you’re buying is 100% cold pressed (unrefined) and organic. Jojoba oil contains unique liquid waxes and fatty acids that nourish the skin. It is excellent combined with other skin care oils, adding balance and fortifying the benefits provided.
Organic Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus amygdalus dulcis)
Try to make sure that what you’re buying is 100% cold pressed (unrefined) and organic. Sweet Almond Oil is a natural source of skin-nourishing fatty acids and lipids. It has a rich, skin-nurturing consistency that provides a nice glide during massage. It is excellent for bath and after-shower applications, and especially appropriate for dry-skin care.
Many herbs can be grown in your garden. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, You can try working with dried herbs instead.
Lavender – One of the best known healing oils, with a chemically complex structure. The botanical name Lavandula, comes from Latin lavare, which means “to wash.”. Its topical properties are well known for being; anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, calmative, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative.
Echinacea – Also knows as purple coneflower. It is known to herbalists as one of the most potent immune boosters available. The botanical name Echinacea comes from Greek ekhinos, meaning “hedgehog” due to the spiny central disk. Its topical properties are well known for being; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal.
Rose hip – The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant. There are many varieties. The plant is high in antioxidants and is commonly used for eczema, dermatitis, sunburn, moisturizing mature skin and healing scars. The Botanical name R. Canaina, derived from the common name ‘dog rose’ its use is traced back to ancient Greece. Its topical properties are well known for being; astringent, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cleansing, anti-depressant.
Mint – Commonly used to relieve headaches, muscle aches, cool inflamed joints, nasal congestion, mosquito repellent & Menstrual pain. The botanical name Mentha Piperita comes from Greek piperita meaning “peppery,” which distinguishes peppermint from other forms of mint. Its topical properties are well known for being; astringent, antiviral, anti-fungal, stimulating, anti-septic, anti-nausea, relaxes peripheral blood vessels,
Sage – Renowned for its natural disinfectant and deodorizing properties. Excellent for eliminating body odor and well knows for its capacity to heal the skin. Useful for healing insect bites and wounds. The botanical name Salvia comes from Salvare which means “to cure” in Latin. Its topical properties are well known for being; antiseptic, astringent, Relaxing, antiperspirant, anti-bacterial, estrogenic.
Rose Petals – Rose petals infused in oil release a gentle feminine scent, not at all overpowering. A true rose essential oil can cost a small fortune, but you can extract some of the benefits from the roses in your oil diffusion. Be sure to use organic rose petals that have not been sprayed or treated with chemicals. The botanical name will vary across rose species. We have an abundance of Rosa Rugosa, so we use that for all of our culinary and medicinal infusions. Its topical proprieties are known for Antimicrobial, Relaxation & Heightened Libido, and can be used as part of a program for treating depression.
Note: you can create infusions with dandelions, lilacs, hibiscus, and many other organic herbal items. If you make soap, herbal infused oils are a really nice way to elevate and add more depth to the scents of your product.
- Wash and dry fresh herbs or carefully pick through them to make sure the herbs are clean. You can also use dried herbs. I don’t always was the herbs (only if necessary). You’ll want to set the herbs to dry for several hours to draw any excess moisture from them before adding them to oil. Moisture can cause mold.
- Chop the herbs finely and lightly bruise the herbs to release the fragrance. A Mortar and Pestle works great.
- Add the herbs to a clean glass jar and cover with oil. (make sure the herbs are beneath the oil).Affix a lid.
- Store the jar in a cool dark place for at least three weeks. Shake the jar daily and inspect for mold. It is important that you keep all of the plant material submerged.
Note: For a stronger scent you can simply do a second round of infusion. Strain the mixture, discard the old herbs/petals and then add fresh material to the oil for the second round of infusion.
Oil infusions should be stored in a cool dark place for longevity.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, breast feeding or have health conditions, use caution and get advice from a professional herbalist before using herbs/essential oils.