I love herbal medicine. It has been around for centuries and the benefits are as needed today as it was back then! To learn how to make your own remedies there are several basics to learn and one of them is making medicinal oils. This is one of the easiest things to learn and they can be used for so many things!
Oil infusion is a wonderful way to pull the beneficial volatile oils and medicinal properties out of the herbs and store it to be used when needed. You can either make strong medicinal oils or light massage oils depending on what you use. There are several methods for making oil infusions but I will just cover one of them here.
Olive oil is a good oil to use for this because it doesn’t go rancid very easily.
Here is a very simple recipe and you will get the idea of how to make any kind of medicinal oil. Calendula flowers are a very safe herb and they are traditionally used to soothe the skin from rashes, eczema or other irritations. Here’s an easy Calendula oil recipe:
What you need:
A double boiler is highly recommended because it is very easy to burn the herbs by just placing them in a saucepan alone.
5 grams of dried Calendula flowers
2/3 cup of olive oil
What you do:
Place dried herbs in the top part of the double boiler along with the olive oil. If oil doesn’t cover the herb stir it well. Slowly bring the oil to a VERY low simmer. You will just see a bubble or two rising to the top. Simmer for 30 to 60 minutes until the oil begins to change color to a deep green. It will begin to smell more like herbs and you know the properties of the herbs have been transferred to the oil. The lower that you keep the heat and the longer you allow it to cook the stronger the oil will be when finished.
Once oil has cooled, strain through a metal sieve and cheesecloth squeezing all of the excess oil out of the herbs then pour into a bottle for use and label with the contents of the bottle and the date it was made. The beauty of this simple recipe is that you can add different combinations of herbs to accomplish different things. Calendula is good for the skin. Arnica flowers would be a good one to make for aches and pains in the body.
The beauty of learning this simple skill is that you are halfway to making a medicinal salve! Watch for that in another post!