Well, today I am making patchouli oil so that I may make a patchouli salve… so, Part 1 is the making of the oil…. I am using the Dried Herbs, Hot Infused Oil Method:
Fresh Herbs, Hot Infused Oil
*Chop up several handfuls of fresh herbs and place in heavy stainless steel pot.
*Cover with inexpensive Olive oil or Almond Oil (I prefer to use sweet almond oil)
*Gently heat oil until herbs are wilted and remove from heat. Avoid over heating as it will destroy therapeutic qualities. Allow to cool, uncovered
*Allow the plant to sit in the oil for a few hours or overnight.
*Strain well, removing all plant bits. Using a muslin or cheese cloth cloth may be useful.
*Most of the moisture from the plant will have separated from the oil.
*Gently pour off this oil into another pan and gently heat the oil again. This allows any remaining moisture to evaporate. Each moisture droplet will rise to the surface of the oil and burst into a tiny spray. When the droplets have stopped bursting, the oil is free of moisture. This process can take up to an hour or two
*Allow the oil to cool completely. Decant into a sterilized bottle and leave any sediment in the pot. Label (plant name and date) and enjoy.
Dried Plant Hot Oil Infusions
*Coarsely chop clean, dry plant material and cover with olive oil.
*Gently heat for a few minutes, allow to cool completely. Strain all the bits of plant material. Decant into a bottle. Label and enjoy
Cold Infused Oils
This technique is suitable for flowering herbs such as Calendula, Hops, Lavender, Marshmallow, St.-John’s Wort, Melilot.
*Coarsely chop herbs and tightly pack a large jar.
*Fill and cover with inexpensive olive oil. Place lid on jar and leave in sunny place (windowsill, greenhouse, etc.) for 2-3 weeks.
*Strain mixture through a cheesecloth or muslin bag (use an elastic band or string to tie to the rim or a jar or jug).
*Squeeze oil through bag and repeat with new herbs and once-infused oil. Wait a few more weeks, strain and pour into sterilized bottles. Label and date. Enjoy.