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December 1, 2002

Making Herbal Oils
Janet De Haven

Making an Herb Oil

Use the herbs of your choice, fresh or dried. Calendula and lavender are two garden favorites because of their astringent, antiseptic and vulnerary (promotes healing of tissue) properties.

It is best to use herbs that have been dried. This helps the herb oil from mildewing. Cut the herbs into small pieces so that the medicinal qualities of the herb can infuse into the oil more easily.

Cold pressed olive oil is nice to use for salves . It has some natural sunscreen properties and is thick and moisturizing. Lighter oils like almond or hazelnut are nice for making a face lotion.

Place the herbs in a nonmetal pot and cover them with the oil. Heat the oil and herbs at a very low temperature (about 100-110 degrees) for 6 to 12 hours.

When the oil cools down, pour the herb mixture through cheesecloth to strain out herbs and squeeze. Don't forget to label your herb oils. I recommend keeping the herb oil refrigerated except for the amount you will be using in the next few weeks.

Herb oil can also be made without cooking. It just takes longer. Place the dried, cut up herbs in a jar, cover with oil and cap off the jar with a non metal lid, or place a piece of plastic wrap on the jar before a lid is twisted on. Keep the jar in a warm place, out of direct sunlight. Shake the jar once or twice daily. In 2 or 3 weeks the herb oil will be ready to strain and use.

Information compiled by: Janet De Haven

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