Herb-infused oils and ointments are obtained by letting herbs or spices infuse a vector oil, so that all their healthful and medicinal properties that are fat-soluble are released into the oil. They can be prepared with various oils, as long as they are good quality and possibly organic, and with most herbs and spices with fat soluble substances.
These oils can be made with one kind of oil and one herb or spice alone, or with a mix of things, depending on how you are planning to use them. The most common oils are made with chamomile, calendola, St. John’s wort, and lavender, as these herbs all possess strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great for the skin.
How long they last depends on how fresh the oil you used is, but an infusion made with fresh oil can last about a year. You can tell wether your oil is still good or not by smelling it: when it starts to lose its usual aroma, or it starts to smell rancid, you will know it is no longer good.
It is important to store any oil in a cool, dark place, as exposure to day light tends to diminish any oil’s properties and causes faster spoilage.
- 2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
- Half a vanilla bean
- The peel of a small organic lemon
- ½ cup of Linseed oil
- 2 tbsp Almond oil
- Prepare a clean jar and add the flowers. Take the peel from the lemon, making sure there is no white part attached to it, and split the vanilla bean in half. Add both to the jar, and pour in the oil. Proceed as described in the cold infusion, or use the warm infusion if you are in a rush, but make sure the oil never goes beyond 60 C˚.
- Once ready, this oil is great for treating skin redness, for dry lips in place of lip balm, for improving fragile nails, and for nourishing dry skin. You can also add this oil to nourishing hair and skin treatments.
- It also tastes and smells absolutely delicious, so you could consider making it with organic sunflower oil and use it for baking sweets in recipes that call for oil, or in a lemon coffee cake.