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Infusing oils - a few ?s


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When infusing oils is it best to use fresh or dried herbals?

Are there any herbals to avoid or do not do well with the infusing process?

Are there oils that are better than others for infusing?

Any tips for infusing as this will be my first time?

I think I'm gonna start with mint in OO if anyone should need to know....

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I have only made a few different infused oils, but I will offer what help I can=)

First it is important to choose a stable oil. I recommend starting with olive oil, its easy to obtain and is a great general body oil.

Its also important to choose a suitable jar. You can find small glass jars with a hinged top (with a rubber ring to make the seal air tight) at most craft stores for .99cents or so. They are small but that is good to start out with.

As far as herbs, its always better to use dried herbs. Fresh herbs have too much water content and can introduce microorganisms that can make the oil rancid. I had great success using rosemary and calendula. Rosemary warms the skin and increases circulation, but using the essential oil can be a bit too strong. I put the calendula in because it is also warming in a way, and great for hair/skin. You will have to do research on particular herbs, but anything you would normally use in bath and body recipes is fine. Try and chooses herbs that have distinct qualities you are trying to extract.

Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with herbs and cover them completely with the oil. They must be completely covered. Close the lid and secure it tightly, then place the jar in a sunny window. Be sure to shake gently and turn the jar every other day or so. The longer you infuse it the stronger it will be. 4-6 weeks is standard.

When you want to use the oil find some cheescloth,muslin bags, or any other organic cloth. Pour the oil/herb mixture through it and be sure to squeeze the bag to get absolutely every drop out. Put the oil in a jar or secure container .

The rosemary/calendula mixture I made turned out great! I used it as a bath oil and even let my hair get wet. Oily yes, but both herbs are wonderful for hair- especially blonde. The main purpose was a massage oil, the warming qualities were wonderful and worked wonders on aching muscles.

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Its something to consider if you are selling your creations. But I never bothered. I think as long as the seal is airtight, you dont accidentally introduce micro-organisms, and you use a stable oil you will be fine.

btw I like your idea- infusing mint. I bet itll make a wonderfully cooling oil=) I think I will try mint/rosemary, it might have a nice cool/hot effect=)

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