The hardest part about natural living is taking in all the information and actually doing something about it. Plus, there is always a ton of information out there so to have to process all of that can be a bit mind boggling.
For me, I feel like I have a pretty good grip on real food so this year, I’m putting most of my resources to learning about herbs, creating natural remedies, and making my backyard homestead more bountiful so I can begin to be more self-reliant. I know many of you said you wanted to see more of that on Naturally Loriel, so for the past few weeks I’ve really been brainstorming simple and attainable projects for us to create ;which ultimately moves us forward in our natural living journey.
I’m not lying when I say herbs, natural remedies, essential oils, and homesteading are going to require me to step outside of my comfort zone. I really don’t know much about them and I’m just taking each day as it comes. That’s all you can do without feeling like you’re going to pull your hair out, right?
Plus, I think we are given “things” only when we are ready for them and the next step. Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. This year for me, it’s all about the natural healing and self-reliant aspect of the broad term, “natural living.”
Which is what brings us to this topic today of how to infuse herbs in oils. Apparently you can make all kinds of fun and healing things when you infuse certain herbs into oils. From the little bit of reading I’ve done so far, it truly is amazing how we can use the healing powers of plants to make healthier alternatives that are safe for us, our children, and environment.
Herb infused oils are just what they sound like: herbs that sit in a desired oil so the oil then takes in the healing properties of the herbs. From there, you can create salves, balms, ointments, etc using the herb infused oil. Add a few essential oils and you’ve got yourself a powerhouse.
There are two ways you can infuse herbs in oils: the cold process and the quick, low-heat process.
As you could imagine, the cold process takes much longer (2-4 weeks depending on how potent you want your oil). Basically, you put the desired herbs into enough oil to cover them and let them sit in a warm, dark cabinet. Shake the jar once a day and let time do it’s thing. To use your oil, you would then strain out the herbs and use the oil for whatever product you are wanting to make.
The first herbs I decided to infuse consisted of dried plantain leaf (the herb), calendula, and comfrey in olive oil. Since Andrew is growing up (way too quickly, for sure) and becoming more rough and tumble, I need a healthy alternative to treat his inevitable boo boos. Plantain, calendula, and comfrey are all great for this purpose so I decided to create a salve using them. Don’t worry, I’m sharing the recipe with you later this week.
I’m also infusing fresh rosemary from my garden in coconut oil to create a dandruff treatment for my hair. Since I gave birth to Andrew, my body has never been the same, which includes the addition of dandruff that I never had prior to him. I’m sharing that recipe at the end of the week, too.
If you’re short on time, you can also do a low-heat, quick infusion process. You can learn more about that here.
Keep in mind, you can also infuse oils with herbs for cooking too! The possibilities are limitless — just figure out your end goal (what you want the oil to do) and start creating!
- Desired oil (I used 2 cups olive oil for the amount of herbs below -- if using coconut oil, first liquify by heating the coconut oil on the stove)
- Desired herbs (I used 4 Tbl comfrey and plantain, 2 Tbl calendula.... find organic, sustainable dried herbs here)
- Glass mason jar (I LOVE this size of mason jar for infusing oils)
- Place herbs into mason jar; fill with enough oil to cover all the herbs
- Cover tightly; shake well
- Place in a dark cabinet; let sit for 2-4 weeks; shake daily
- Strain herbs from the oil when infusion process is complete and use as needed