I make herbal solar infusions quite often. It seems I always have a infusion out in my backyard becoming stronger each day with the sun.
While the stove-top version of infusing oils is quicker, I prefer the folk way of making infusions using the sun and the energies of the sun to draw out the medicinal properties of the herbs into the oil.
Recently I began another Calendula herbal infusion and so made this the perfect time to finally do a tutorial on making your own herbal oils.
Dried herbs are preferred since there is little moisture in them (less chances of mold in your oil) but if you are using fresh, simply air dry them for a good 24 hours before using them to remove some of the moisture in the herb.
Once in a while I mix more than one herb in my jar but 90% of the time I use a single herb because then I have the option of using it solo or mixing it with another herbal oil once it’s done.
Making your own herbal oil
Fill a dry glass jar 3/4 full with the herb you’d like to infuse.
Add your oil (I prefer to use olive oil) to the jar – all the way to the very top of the jar.
Stir the oil with a knife to remove any air bubbles and add more oil to the jar as needed so that it’s fully covering the herbs.
Place the lid on your jar and shake well. Then properly label your herbal oil including the name of the herb you used, the oil you used and the date you started your infusion.
Place your jar near a sunny window or preferably outside where it will receive direct sun. For the first few days shake your oil and open it to make sure it’s going well (no mold for example). After that you just need to shake it every day for a minute or so but do not need to open the jar.
Leave it to solar infuse for 3-6 weeks or longer.
And then strain your oil very well (there shouldn’t be any herbal particles once strained). I like using a flat cloth diaper to strain as no herb particles can get through.
Once strained, keep your herbal oil in a glass jar (preferably dark color glass jar) and again properly labeled with the herb and oil used and the date you strained it.
Now you can use your oil for herbal blends, salves, lip gloss, body oil, lotions…and more!