my infused oils. I learned the method from Michael Moore. He made Arnica Salve
for us in class one day, starting with recently dried arnica.
doesn’t need to be finely ground, just broken up. In fact, if you grind it too
finely, it will very difficult to strain later.
tightly fitting lid. Add a dab of alcohol (maybe a teaspoon or tablespoon
full), mix it up a little and close the container.
alcohol has permeated the ground herb.
weight of the herb. Stir it up, making sure all of the herb is under the oil.
being infused, and go rancid more slowly after they are finished.
color than oils made by other methods, at least that I’ve seen.
stronger oil than a method that uses seven times the weight of FRESH herb.
Dried herb can be three or even ten times as much plant material per weight as
fresh. An oil made by this method is like a concentrate compared to usual infused oils.
the oil portion of a body butter. I’m not a fan of salves, personal preference. I don’t like using beeswax on my skin.
chamomile and sweet woodruff.
An exception: I have been told many times that St John’s
Wort HAS to be infused fresh and that a red color in the finished oil is a sign
of high quality and cannot be obtained unless the herb is fresh when the oil is
made. I only recently moved to a place where St John’s Wort grows, so this was
my first year making St John’s Wort infused oil. Just to be certain, I tried
making a small batch using the alcohol intermediary method. Sure enough, it’s
not red. I’m not sure yet whether it’s effective as a remedy, as I haven’t had
much chance to use it. I suspect, though, that next year I’ll make it with
fresh herb. I’ve never made lemon balm infused oil, but I imagine that would be
an exception, too. It’s this way with herbalism – there are always